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Onsite Article: 2020...


Link Here31st December 2020
The year in BBFC cuts

See article from melonfarmers.co.uk

 

 

Wicked City...

1987 Japan anime horror previously cut but now released uncut on DVD and Blu-ray


Link Here21st December 2020
Wicked City is a 1987 Japan anime horror sci-fi by Yoshiaki Kawajiri.
With Gregory Snegoff, Mike Reynolds and Alexandra Kenworthy. YouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

There has been peace between the worlds of the mortals and the supernatural for centuries, but the balance is now being threatened. The Radical elements from the Supernatural world are crossing over into the mortal universe for the purpose of destroying the peace forever!

The film was cut by the BBFC for 18 rated VHS in 1993 and cinema release in 1994. The 1993 BBFC cuts were:

  • A panning shot of Jin having his hand on Maki's crotch is deleted
  • Close-up of Maki's crotch with Jin's hand on it, along with the subsequent shot of Maki's hair grabbing Jin, which is cut for continuity.
  • The demon creature forcing its tongue to Maki's mouth, and then doing the "old in-out".
  • The beginning of Maki's rape by the demons is short of a demon mauling on her breast, and the following brief rape shot.
  • The rest of Maki's rape is massively reduced and cut (over 20 seconds). This includes the demons mauling and her raping her.
  • Raping of Maki in the demon base has lost four close-ups - the demons squeezing her breasts, Maki getting raped from behind, a close of Maki's face, and of her chained hands.

The films has been re-released in 2020 as a double bill with Demon City Shinjuku and has been released uncut on DVD and Blu-ray. Anthony commented:

I can confirm, judging by the existing descriptions of what the BBFC cut, that this brand-new 2020 DVD and Blu-Ray release of Wicked City is uncut.

The running time stacks up with the uncut version too.

UK: BBFC details not yet published though for:
  • 2020 Manga Limited Edition [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon #ad
  • 2020 Manga Standard Edition [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon
  • 2020 Manga [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] R2 DVD at UK Amazon

 

 

Unaccountably naff...

The BBFC claims that it has fixed bugs leading to old cuts and bans being censored from its website...BUT...old cuts and bans still seem to be missing


Link Here16th December 2020
The BBFC has tweeted

We pride ourselves on being an accountable and transparent regulator that people trust, and it was never our intention to withhold or hide cuts or rejected content.

We have always been clear publicly that the issue is a bug which we have been working hard to fix. This occurred because we have transferred more than 100 years worth of data from our old system to a new one. While the website is what most people see, we have also changed the system we use for classification - which we announced on 28 January 2020 and you can read about on our website.

While we anticipated bumps along the way - which is to be expected with any transformational project of this nature - we regret that issues have occurred around cuts. We are very proud to be an accountable and transparent regulator, and so getting this issue fixed has been a high priority for us. We are now confident that this has been fixed, and would like to stress, again, that if any record is still missing cuts information then this is entirely unintentional. Going forward, we will continue to update records manually if we discover that any information is missing.

At the BBFC, our focus is on helping children and families choose content well by providing them with the guidance they need to make informed decisions about what's right for them and what isn't. Our new website has been optimised for mobile, to make it easier than ever before for parents to find the trusted information they need and want. Research shows that demand for clear content labelling has never been higher, with 97% of people saying they benefit from age ratings being in place.

Trust in the BBFC remains at an all time high, with 83% of parents saying they trust our age ratings all or most of the time, and 92% of people agreeing with our decisions. We take the integrity and impartiality of our work very seriously and over more than a century, the BBFC has increasingly come to be recognised as the go-to guide that people can trust.

I tried looking up a few old banned and cut films but cuts and bans are still missing. A did spot cuts and bans information about Human Centipede 2 but this information did not include the basic cuts time, nor did it make clear which releases the described cuts apply to.

 

 

Unconscious bias...

The BBFC proposes to replace its appeal board by children's campaigners


Link Here15th December 2020
The BBFC writes in its latest bard meeting minutes: The Board heard a report:

on plans to reform the BBFC's Video Appeals Committee drawing on the membership of the Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing to create an appeals mechanism that remains independent of the BBFC and is much more efficient and fit for purpose than current arrangements.

And from the last Annual Report here are the rather biased sounding current members of the Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing:

  • Reg Bailey
    Chair of The Board of Trustees at YMCA England & Wales

  • Margo Boye-Anawomah
    Childcare barrister & family judge

  • John Carr OBE
    Expert on child protection in relation to new media

  • Naomi Eisenstadt
    Independent Adviser on Poverty and Inequality (previously Senior Research Fellow, Department of Education, Oxford University)

  • Professor Charlie Lewis
    Professor of Family & Developmental Psychology, Lancaster University

  • Annie Mullins OBE
    Director of Ask.fm Europe Trust & Safety and Co-founder of the Institute of Digital Well-Being

  • The Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy
    Dean of Christ Church, Oxford

  • Professor Ann Phoenix
    Co-Director of the Thomas Coram Research Unit

  • Honor Rhodes OBE
    Director of Strategic Development, [trans controversial] Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships

  • Louise Robinson
    Ex-headteacher, independent school 4-18; Registered Lead Inspector, educational consultant and appraiser

 

 

Updated: Spelling test...

The BBFC decides to spell the word 'nigger' with asterisks in its content reports and whether to update strong language policy in general


Link Here13th December 2020
The BBFC spoke of a change in spelling policy when responding to a question asking why the BBFC spells the words 'fuck' and 'cunt' with asterisks but not the word 'nigger'.

The BBFC responded:

We recently updated our policy around this term and going forward any mention [of the word 'nigger'] in our ratings info will be asterisked. We are working on doing the same for historical uses across our website and are conducting further research on language.

Update: 'Fuck' too

13th December 2020. See BBFC boardmeeting minutes [pdf] from darkroom.bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC further expanded details of a review of strong language in a board meeting:

An update on language research, which is currently underway.

The study will assess the UK public's attitude towards strong language ('f**k', motherf**ker') and very strong language ('c**t') in film and TV content. This includes varying forms of bleeped, mouthed, implied or elided strong and very strong language, and how we should define this in ratings info.

The research will consider the different contexts in which language may appear, and whether public acceptance towards the volume of strong or very strong language at 12(A) and 15, respectively, has changed.

The use of acronyms indicating strong language (e.g. 'WTF') at the junior categories is also being explored. As is the classification of peer-to-peer/reclaimed use of the 'n-word, including how to define this in ratings info.

Where required, BBFC internal policies will be updated to reflect the findings of this research.

 

 

Offsite Article: An age ratings database you can't trust...


Link Here7th December 2020
The BBFC: Sinisterly Censoring Their Own History? By Scott Bates, quoting the Melon Farmers

See article from indiependent.co.uk

 

 

Commented: Netflix are using BBFC approved ratings for all films and TV series...

Let's hope that the BBFC provides Netflix with a better database of ratings than the one on the BBFC website


Link Here 2nd December 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes

Netflix is the first streaming service in the UK to carry a BBFC age rating on all TV seasons and feature films on the service, helping families choose content with confidence.

The innovative partnership between a streaming service and the regulator, an industry first, has now reached the joint goal of 100% coverage of BBFC age ratings on the platform. This milestone has been welcomed by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture.

Netflix applies BBFC Guidelines standards to content, with the BBFC setting those standards and auditing ratings to ensure consistency. Netflix have now populated their entire catalogue of original and acquired content with BBFC age ratings, giving families in the UK trusted age rating guidance and advice.

Families can now choose content safe in the knowledge that everything they press play on is rated to trusted, high BBFC standards. Netflix's parental controls are also powered by BBFC data. Netflix has also improved its parental controls based on BBFC data and member feedback. Parents can now:

  • pin protect individual profiles to prevent kids using them;

  • tailor their kids Netflix experience by filtering out titles that are not appropriate for their age based on BBFC ratings;

  • remove individual series or films by title. When this filter is used, the blocked title(s) won't show up anywhere in that profile.

  • easily review each profile's setting using the "Profile and Parental Controls" hub within account settings;

  • see what their kids have been watching within the profile created for them; and

  • turn off auto play of episodes in kids profiles.

Comment: Old cuts on Netflix

2nd December 2020. Thanks to Tim

It is an interesting article about Netflix using BBFC ratings, particularly as they have previously shown films without BBFC ratings and with compulsory BBFC cuts reinstated. For example they showed The Mountain Men (1980) including the compulsory horse fall cuts and Walking Tall (1973) with the BBFC video cuts for violence reinstated even though the BBFC have never waived those for DVD.

Presumably Netflix can now override BBFC ratings and award their own. Perhaps there is an agreement to consult with the BBFC over the more controversial cuts.

It would be interesting to note if Netflix are expected to follow the BBFC's pedantic rules on horse trips and the like. Nominally UK law requirements only apply to cinema films and could legally be quietly forgotten about for online video.

 

 

Updated: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...

The BBFC wish you a happy Christmas complete with Danny fucking Kaye


Link Here22nd November 2020
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 US comedy by Jeremiah S. Chechik.
With Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Juliette Lewis . YouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.

The 2020 cinema release has just been passed 12A uncut for infrequent strong language, moderate sex references

The film is uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated in the US but the film has a bit of a censorship history in the UK.

BBFC category cuts were required for early PG rated cinema and VHS releases as follows:

  • The dialogue: We're gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye! lost the 'fucking' in favour of an overdubbed 'dancing'

It was later released uncut on UK Blu-ray in 2003 bearing a 12 rating, seemingly without being resubmitted to the BBFC.

In 2013 a commentary track based on the uncut version was passed 12 uncut for video. In 2014, the film itself was then passed 12 uncut for video.

This 12 rated uncut video version was not published in the BBFC's old database but appears in the BBFC's new dumbed down database.

As of 2020, all UK DVD releases still feature the cut UK version.

 

 

Possessor...

Is the UK cinema release cut or uncut?


Link Here18th November 2020

Possessor is a 2020 UK / Canada Sci-Fi horror thriller by Brandon Cronenberg.
Starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. While she has a special gift for the work, her experiences on these jobs have caused a dramatic change in her, and in her own life she struggles to suppress violent memories and urges. As her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, and soon she finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

Possessor exists as a cut US R rated version and an uncut MPA Unrated Version titled Possessor Uncut. The producers were keen to differentiate between the two versions and the 'Uncut' tag is an official re-titling of the film.

A Running time of 103m suggest that it was the cut version that was passed 18 for UK cinema release. The home video version runs for 104m which matches with the Possessor Uncut version. This too was passed 18 by the BBFC. However all advance publicity trailers and posters seem to feature the Possessor Uncut artwork.

Maybe this means that viewers watch at the cinema on 27th November will get the cut version whilst viewers watch the simultaneous digital streaming release will get the uncut version. The DVD is set for release on 8th February 2021 at UK Amazon #ad

Let's hope all these releases are the uncut version as the director Brandon Cronenberg himself states that he prefers the Possessor Uncut version. See article from latimes.com

Presented stateside by distributor Neon, Possessor Uncut -- titled so to distinguish it from an R-rated version that also will be available in some markets -- is the complete version as far as director Brandon Cronenberg is concerned, replete with the uninhibited moments of sex and violence, such as the transfixing erection glimpsed in a sequence memorably bathed in electric blue, that might otherwise have earned the film an NC-17 rating. Cronenberg commented:

Generally I prefer explicit violence, and I prefer violence that is viscerally disturbing to people. I find it more unsettling if violence is very sanitized. If you have a PG-13 movie where 100 people get killed and no one bleeds, to me that's doing a disservice by trivializing the violence. So I prefer people to have that visceral response, because you should.

 

 

Offsite Article: Has the BBFC been scammed by cowboy database builders?...


Link Here 14th November 2020
The BBFC dismantles its own database. By High Impact Classification

See article from highimpactclassification.wordpress.com

 

 

Epic confusion...

Cinemas were confused over the BBFC rating for a special screening of John Carpenter's Halloween. Perhaps this was down to the BBFC's garbled new database


Link Here1st November 2020
Halloween is a 1978 USA horror by John Carpenter.
Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tony Moran. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film was always uncut in the UK and surprisingly 18 rated until a 15 rated cinema release in 2018. In fact video versions are still 18 rated.

Now it appears that cinemas are still a bit confused about the film's rating. Andy explains about a censorial travesty of epic proportions!

This being Halloween I was planning on taking my [15 year old] daughter to see the 1978 classic at the local cinema for it's one night retrospective performance. Two weeks ago I purchased tickets, advertised quite rightly as a certificate 15, and both my daughter and I were looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen.

Two days ago I was double checking timings and the cinema had upped the certificate to an 18! I did a double take, checked the BBFC website case study, rang the cinema and spent a good 30 minutes trying to explain why the film is now rated 15 for the cinema... to no avail. The lady was very helpful, even going to the regional booking centre before coming back to me and telling me the film is definitely an 18, so I had no choice but to cancel our tickets.

I checked the website - Parkway Cinemas - and in Cleethorpes, Beverly and Louth the film is playing with an 18 certificate. In Barnsley it is playing with the standard 15. As it is in all other local cinemas.

How is it possible for to get so confused about a BBFC rating? It did cross my mind that perhaps the cinema was somehow showing on old pre-digital print, but that seems unlikely.

Of course the other possibility is that the cinema looked up the film on the new garbled BBFC database, only to find that it is nowhere to be found. Readers are welcome to try, but I couldn't see it, (until I bizarrely followed up the title Halloween - Additional Scenes From Tv Version ).

 

 

Commented: Downrated...

The BBFC prettifies its website but takes away significant information, such as recent decisions and whether a film has been cut


Link Here29th October 2020
The BBFC has just reworked its website and significantly reduced the functionality of its classifications database.

Indeed the new layout is prettier than before but now the database offers significantly less information than before.

The BBFC noted this change in a rather understated tweet:

We have just relaunched our website with a more simplified search function.

In fact the BBFC have removed the following significant functionalities:

  1. The database no longer provides a page listing recent BBFC decisions for upcoming releases. It takes way the transparency of being able to monitor the latest decisions.
  2. The database no longer offers an advance search facility whereby users can seek films by director or cast etc.
  3. The database cannot be searched via alternative titles, even when the film has been released with a different title. Only the title that the BBFC uses as its primary title can be searched upon.
  4. Cuts information detailing the amount of cuts, or even if cuts have been made at all is no longer presented. On occasions that the BBFC has commented on cuts then these comments are still available but these do not detail the amount of running time cut.
  5. Banned/Rejected films no longer appear in the database.
  6. Film running times are now only specified to the minute rather than to the second as before.

On the plus side the database search facility provides extra links over and above the database entry. For example searching on a title reveals if the film has a case study or is mentioned in a press release.

Offsite Comment: The BBFC returns to a world of secrecy

29th October 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com

The British censorship board's website has gone from being a valuable resource to an empty vanity project that covers up their history.


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