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2023: Jan-March

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Murders in the Zoo...

1933 film is the latest film cut by the BBFC for animal cruelty


Link Here30th March 2023
Murders In The Zoo is a 1933 US crime horror by A. Edward Sutherland
Starring Charles Ruggles, Lionel Atwill and Gail Patrick BBFC link 2020 IMDb
BBFC animal cruelty cuts were required for a PG rated video release in 2023.

Summary Notes

A monomaniacal zoologist is pathologically jealous of his beautiful but unfaithful wife Evelyn and will not stop short of murder to keep her.

Versions

BBFC cut
cut:
run: 62:08s
pal: 59:39s
12UK: Passed 12 for sexual threat, moderate horror, threat after BBFC cuts:
  • 2023 Eureka Entertainment Ltd video

The BBFC commented:

The distributor chose to make cuts to a sequence of animal cruelty.

BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 60:00s
pal: 57:36s
A pre 1970UK: 3D version passed A (PG) uncut:
  • 1933 cinema release

 

 

Limiting the freedom of adults to access legal pornographic material...

Anti-porn campaigner and president of the BBFC calls (disgracefully in a paywalled article) for further censorship of porn


Link Here25th March 2023
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Natasha Kaplinsky, anti-porn campaigner and president of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), said in an exclusive paywalled article for the Sunday Telegraph, said that the Government needed not only to introduce tough age verification to protect children but also to take action to restrict young adults from accessing the welter of illegal violent and abusive porn available online.

Kaplinsky, who is also president of the UK's biggest children's charity Barnardo's, is calling for amendments to the Online Safety Bill, currently before the House of Lords, that would bring the legislative treatment of porn on the internet in line with the restrictions that the BBFC polices in the offline world.

Kaplinsky cited a recent parliamentary report which revealed illegal porn was readily accessible online including depictions of rape, incest and sexual violence. She said:

This was because the offline regulation of legitimate porn overseen by the BBFC was not mirrored online and the Government's Bill as written did not plug this loophole. This meant content that would be illegal to distribute offline will continue to be legally available online,

She claimed that this attempt at further internet censorship was not an attempt at censorship:

To be clear: this is not about limiting the freedom of adults to access legal pornographic material.

This is about the regulation of appalling content that eroticises rape and the violent abuse of women, or which promotes an interest in abusive relationships. There is a big difference. It is only logical that where content is unacceptable offline, we as a society should say it is unacceptable online too.

Presumably her reference to promoting an interest in abusive relationships is a reference to the plethora of 'step family' porn, but it must be noted that the BBFC has passed such material R18, eg see That's Right, She's My Step Sister...so What from bbfc.co.uk

Attempts to extend the censorship of porn online are expected next month when it comes before the Lords.

 

 

Primed For Profit: The BBFC's Double Standards...

The British censors allow wealthy US streaming giants to self-certify at a very reduced cost, while still bleeding physical media distributors dry


Link Here12th March 2023

The British censors allow wealthy streaming giants to self-certify at a reduced cost, while still bleeding physical media distributors dry.

The British Board of Film Classification has just issued another self-congratulatory press release about how they have convinced yet another platform -- this time Amazon Prime -- to take on their ratings rather than having content either unrated or else using non-BBFC standard age classifications.

For the BBFC to allow huge, wealthy corporations to self-certify and use BBFC assets for a small fee (free for up to 100 titles, then from 573.90 plus VAT -- less than it would cost to certify one feature film on disc -- for up to 250 titles a year through to a maximum of 4,591.22 plus VAT for anyone releasing 5000+ titles a year) while still charging much smaller distributors through the nose and making them pay for every element of a film including all the extras --  well, that seems outrageous.

See full article from reprobatepress.com

The BBFC press release reads:

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has announced that it has signed an agreement to enable Prime Video to build on their existing Trust & Safety tools, in order to move towards the in-house production of BBFC age ratings that are in line with the BBFC's Classification Guidelines. This marks an important next step in the BBFC's long-standing content classification relationship with Prime Video, which aims to provide families across the UK with the information they need to make safe viewing decisions.

Through enhanced dialogue and processes, the BBFC will support Prime Video as they adapt their rating methodologies in the UK to fully reflect the BBFC's classification standards. This will extend the presence of the BBFC's trusted guidance on the streaming service in the UK. As part of the agreement, the BBFC will share additional expertise and insight into the standards they apply when classifying film, video and TV content.

The BBFC's classification standards are underpinned by a transparent set of published guidelines, which are the result of wide-scale consultations with over 10,000 people across the UK, extensive research, and more than 100 years of experience. The BBFC also works closely with young people, child psychologists and charities so as to ensure that standards continue to reflect the views and expectations of parents and families across the UK. The guidelines are updated every 4-5 years and the BBFC will consult on its guidelines this year, with any changes required by the research coming into force in early 2024.

The announcement comes as recent BBFC research, conducted by We Are Family, reveals that 90% of parents/caregivers of 4-to 15-year-olds and 80% of teenagers aged 16-19 consider age ratings and content advice to be of equal importance on streaming services as they are for films in the cinema. More generally, the research shows a high demand for both age ratings and content advice on streaming services, particularly amongst parents and caregivers. Young people also see the value of such guidance: 51% of teens aged 16-19 check content advice before choosing what to watch, and 89% said that they pay more attention to content advice if choosing for a person younger than them, such as siblings or other family members.

 

 

Nuts decisions...

The BBFC are set to consider the 15/18 boundary in its upcoming public consultation


Link Here12th February 2023
Snuff Tapes is a 2020 Chile horror by Vito Garcia Viedma
Starring Valentina Soto Albornoz, Camila Carreno Arancibia and Camila Medina BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The discovery of explicit footage on old VHS tapes triggers a woman's memory, forcing her to face her demons and seek revenge on the psychopath who raped her.

In their latest board meeting the BBFC discussed the upcoming release of Snuff Tapes:

The Board considered the film's scenes of sexual violence and abuse in relation to the BBFC's strict policy on sexual and sadistic violence and agreed that it should be classified 18 with the ratings info sexual violence, sadistic violence, gore.

The BBFC has also been discussing the boundaries between 15 and 18 rated violence and are going to be surveying public opinions on this during their upcoming guidelines consultation. The BBFC discussed two examples:

A scene from the seasonal horror film Nutcracker Massacre in which a fantastical villain attacks a man in his kitchen, severing his testicles with the eponymous weapon. The film was classified 18 for strong violence and injury detail. The Board considered whether the scene could have been defended at 15 given the comic tone and the lack of realism, but ultimately agreed that the lingering focus on the victim's mutilated genitals meant that the film was appropriately classified at the lower end of 18 rather than the upper end of 15.

A clip from an 18-rated episode of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi series See in which the protagonist played by Jason Momoa uses swords to dispatch a series of enemies. The extended sequence features multiple bloody slashes and throat cuts before Momoa forces a sword down an opponent's gullet. The Board considered arguments for 15 -- including the fantastical context, the mitigation provided by the focus on the Momoa character's combat skills, and the lack of both strongest gore and meaningful sadism -- but again concluded that the level of bloody violence was best classified at a low 18.

 

 

The Untold Story...

Notably extreme Hong Kong Cat III horror just passed 18 uncut by the BBFC


Link Here8th February 2023
The Untold Story is a 1993 Hong Kong crime comedy drama by Danny Lee, Herman Yau
Starring Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Danny Lee and Emily Kwan BBFC link 2020  IMDb

The film was unavailable for many years in the UK with the assumption that the BBFC would never pass it. The BBFC offered a cut release in 2005 but the distributor didn't take this up. The video was finally passed 18 uncut in 2023. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US. The film was also cut in Hong Kong.

Summary Review: Unpredictable, daring, extreme

This story concerns a serial killer posing as a restaurant proprietor who goes into violent rages and indulges in sadistic acts.

For those of you looking for something to disturb you, seek this out. It's not an atypical story by any means, but the murder scenes are pretty grisly. It's not quite all out gore, but it's pretty disturbing in that you're just not used to this kind of stuff.

One guy gets chopped up into dim sum. In another sequence, a family gets hacked to pieces...you ever notice in Hollywood where murdered children get killed offscreen? Not here. There's also a graphic rape scene involving chopsticks that ain't exactly feminist-friendly.

It's rare you see a horror film provoking anything more than laughter nowadays. This one is all out, gung-ho savagery. What's even weirder is the moments of slapstick that pop-up whenever the cops are in a scene. A strange way to lighten the darker scenes, but, that's Asian cinema for you...unpredictable, daring, extreme and the polar opposite of Western filmmaking.

Versions

BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 95:52s
pal: 92:02s
18

MPAA Unrated

UK: Passed 18 uncut for sexual violence, strong bloody violence, threat, gore:
  • 2023 88 Films video
US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:
banned
banned
banned
banned
UK: The film was unavailable for many years in the UK with the assumption that the BBFC would never pass it.

Thanks to Scott.The BBFC offered a cut release in 2005 but the distributor didn't take this up. The BBFC explained:

A work called THE UNTOLD STORY co-directed by Danny Lee and Herman Yau was submitted in 2005 for classification. The film was discussed across the Board, and cuts were requested under the Board's sexual violence policy to a scene of sexual assault. The work was never classified as the distributor - according to our records - did not respond to the request for cuts within the allotted time scale. The work was withdrawn after there was no further response from the distributor to a reminder sent to them.

 

 

Billie Eilish Live At The O2...

Distributors mess around cinema customers with disgracefully last minute BBFC ratings


Link Here25th January 2023
Billie Eilish Live At The O2 is a 2023 US music film by Sam Wrench
Starring Billie Eilish BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Well ahead of the film's release, cinemas sold tickets with the expectation of a 12A rating.

A disgracefully last minute announcement of a BBFC 15 rating caused disappointment and led to ticket cancellations (and hopefully refunds).  The distributors, Trafalgar Releasing, responded by an 11th hour resubmission with the word 'motherfucker' deleted and a reference to pornography removed. This time round the BBFC confirmed the required 12A rating.

It is unclear as to why the cinema industry wants to mess round its customers, but perhaps it is about time that official age ratings should be announced before ticket sales commence.

Summary Notes

Join fans around the world in experiencing the never-before-seen extended cut version of Billie's Grammy-nominated concert film.

Versions

cut
pre-cut
cut: ~12s
run: 98:43s
pal: 94:46s
12AUK: A pre-cut version was passed 12A for infrequent strong language, moderate sex references:
  • 2023 cinema release titled Billie Eilish Live At The 02 (Extended Cut)

BBFC ratings info reveals that:

  • the use of the word 'motherfucker' was removed by the distributor
  • that one or more references to pornography were reduced to a single reference
BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 98:55s
pal: 94:58s
15UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language:
  • 2023 cinema release titled Billie Eilish Live At The O2 (Extended Cut)

 

 

 

Offsite Article: Billie Eilish: Live at the O2 is unexpectedly 15 rated...


Link Here 22nd January 2023
Should cinemas sell advance tickets if they don't know the age rating yet?

See article from variety.com

 

 

Offsite Article: A harmful approach to harmful content...


Link Here 18th January 2023
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. By Matthew Lesh

See article from thecritic.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Classified as propaganda...


Link Here12th January 2023
BBFC commissions a survey angling for BBFC ratings to be mandated for all VOD streaming services

See article from bbfc.co.uk


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