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Movie News

2013: Jan-March

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Negative Depiction of a Failed State...

GI Joe: Retaliation banned in Pakistan

Link Here31st March 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a 2013 USA action thriller by Jon M. Chu.
With Dwayne Johnson, D.J. Cotrona, Channing Tatum. YouTube icon IMDb

The latest installment of the Hollywood film franchise GI Joe , has been banned in Pakistan for its negative portrayal of the country, according to officials of the Central Board of Film Censors.

GI Joe: Retaliation starts off with an American special security team recovering lost nuclear warheads in Pakistan. The story depicts Pakistan as an unstable country in which terrorists are on the verge of stealing the country's nuclear assets.

Censor Iftikhar Durrani, the adviser on national regulation and services,  explained that the film portrays Pakistan negatively, not just on the issue of the war on terror, but also in the context of the country's international standing:

There is a scene which shows the assassination of the Pakistani president and the imposition of martial law, which is not a fair representation of the country.

Meanwhile, Atrium Cinema elaborated that the film had been banned as it showed Pakistan in a negative light:

Due to initial scenes depicting Pakistan as a failed state and fictionally portraying foreign invasion of Pakistan's nuclear installations.



No Slap and Tickle Before Marriage...

India film censor seems to have written a new rule that a man is not allowed to be shown slapping his partner until they are married

Link Here29th March 2013

India's Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) has written new rules about slapping scenes in movies.

A film titled Bazar-E-Husn is being issued an adults only 'A' certificate with three cuts for its depiction of violence against women.

Says producer AK Mishra:

They have asked me to delete three slapping scenes, including the one in which a villain slaps his wife. I was told by the committee members that they have a directive from the board that atrocities against women cannot be shown in cinema.

The CBFC letter addressed to the producer states that only the visuals of slapping scenes after marriage could be retained. The remaining slapping scenes have to be deleted.

Insisting that this is a period film, Mishra says, I find these rules ridiculous. He has refused to accept the cuts and now the film has been appealed to the revising committee.



Violently Censored...

Film maker reportedly attacked at film festival in France

Link Here29th March 2013

A group of Arab youths have reportedly attacked an Israeli film director, Yariv Horowitz.

Horowitz, who directed the film Rock the Casbah was participating at the Aubagne Film Festival in France when he was attacked by a group of Arab youths just before the film won the best film award.

He is reported to have lost consciousness and has been subsequently treated. Horowitz is said to have returned immediately to the festival after treatment. Authorities are estimating that the attack was racially motivated. Horowitz was attacked immediately after the screening of the film by a group of Arab youths. The director lost consciousness and was treated at the festival. After recovering from the blows he received, he returned to the festival area in good condition .

After the violent incident, Horowitz's film won the Special Prize of the Jury for Best Picture.

The film Rock the Casbah, starring Yon Tumarkin, follows the story of young soldiers in the first intifada in Gaza. The soliders are located on the roof of a Palestinian family whose son is involved in the murder of one of their battalion.




Malaysia bans film previously banned in Singapore

Link Here22nd March 2013

  The Singapore film Sex.Violence.FamilyValues, already banned for a while in its home country, has now been banned in Malaysia.

The 47-minute film written, directed and co-produced by Ken Kwek has been pulled out of the Asean International Film Festival (AIFFA) following a ban by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF).

According to a statement released by the censorship board, the anthology of three short films :

contains strong and obscene language as well as scenes that show obscene actions that is insulting to local cultures.

Kwek told Yahoo! Singapore:

I'm not surprised, despite the AIFFA's earlier assurances that the film would not be banned. I'm a bit disappointed, but not surprised.

Now set for US distribution

22nd March 2013. See article from

Sex.Violence.FamilyValues producers have now sold the 47-minute pastiche of three comedies to a U.S. distributor and are close to finalizing a deal with iTunes.

The film was banned in Singapore last October when censors deemed one segment in which a Chinese porn director played by Adrian Pang rants against an Indian actor racially offensive . After the scenes in question were deleted the film was allowed to open.

The full, unedited version has been acquired by U.S. distributor Virgil Films and Entertainment, which will release it VOD and online.



Extract: Tongue Wagging...

Writer-Director Fede Alvarez Talks Evil Dead, Cutting Down to an R-Rating, the Appeal of the Extreme Violence, Evil Dead 2, and More

Link Here20th March 2013

Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez spoke of his experience of film censorship at the MPAA:

The MPAA is actually a bizarre thing. You don't have to try to understand it.

We didn't butcher any scene or anything. We just had to trim. We took out frames here, You know, when she cut her tongue, we were showing a lot. You see the tongue, you get to see the tongue moving. Probably there was a version where we showed more frames. We've cut about 20 frames here, that kind of stuff, where you take that out and you get your R rating.

They were very nice to us. They were very nice to us because they were saying it was supernatural horror, which means it's not real, like the other is real. It's kind of a fantasy universe, so that makes it more friendly. Don't ask me.

...Read the full article



Mohamed gets the biopic treatment...

Two directors are undertaking the delicate task of making films about the founder of Islam

Link Here17th March 2013

There are controversial subjects, and then there is Mohamed. Yet the fear of controversy appears not to have deterred film-makers in Iran and Qatar, who are producing a pair of rival biopics of the seventh-century religious character Mohamed.

As a protagonist, Mohamed poses a unique challenge: much of the Muslim world forbids his depiction on screen.

The Iranian director Majid Majidi, whose $30m (£19.8m) biopic began shooting last October, reportedly intends to show parts of Mohamed's body, though not his face. While Iran's Shia population may be flexible about such imagery, Sunni Muslims elsewhere are not. Cairo's Sunni-led al-Azhar University has already demanded the unfinished film be banned.

Meanwhile in Sunni-majority Qatar, Alnoor Holdings announced plans to spend $1bn on its own series of epic movies about the life of Mohamed. The team has hired the Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Lord of the Rings producer Barrie Osborne as technical advisers. They are being understandably very cautious, Osborne told The Hollywood Reporter.

...Read the full article



Update: This is Not a Film...

UK DVD release from Iranian director who has been banned from making movies

Link Here16th March 2013
Full story: Film Censorship in Iran...Iran jails film director for propaganda against the regime

This Is Not a Film is a 2011 Iran documentary by Jafar Panahi.
With Jafar Panahi. IMDb

UK:  Passed U uncut for no material likely to offend or harm for:

  • UK 2013 Tartan Palisades R2 at UK Amazon released on 11th March 2013

There is also a US release


Summary Review: Banned

A day in the life of a banned Iranian film director. Smuggled out of the country and endangering all those who helped out in the production.

This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (OFFSIDE, THE CIRCLE) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking.

See A 'non-film' about not being allowed to make a film from



Offsite Article: Where's the love?...

Link Here15th March 2013
The sudden death of the Hollywood sex scene

See article from



Making a Song and Dance about It...

Indian film censors consign sexy dance numbers to the adult category

Link Here11th March 2013

India recently traumatised by a particularly nasty gang rape incident in Delhi. Somehow films seem to have been selected to carry the can, and so censorship has had to be ratcheted up a notch. But it is not easy to find much else to censor when nudity and sex have been banned for years anyway. However a suitably ludicrous scapegoat was found in dance numbers where an admiring chorous line of guys swarm round a female singer. These so called 'item songs' now seemed destined to invoke an adults only A certificate from the film censors. And the first victim has inevitably kicked up a bit of a todo.

The Central Board of Film Certification's (CBFC) initial decision to give Priyanka Chopra's item number Babli Badmaash in Shootout At Wadala an A certificate has taken the film industry by shock and surprise. An A certification disallows the producers, Balaji Motion Pictures and audio label, Sony Music, from promoting the track on television during prime time.

Tanuj Garg of  Balaji Motion Pictures said:

After submitting Babli Badmaash for certification, we were informed that it would get an 'A' because it was an item track. We were shocked and informed the CBFC that the industry was not aware of such a rule. We were later told that there was no blanket directive; songs would be certified according to their content.

Soon after, the Film and Television Producers Guild wrote to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, stating that the industry deserved to be informed about the new regulation. The guild explained how most of these special songs are mainly used as a promotional song/video. If dance numbers are going to be held back after being labelled item songs , all pre-release marketing plans will go down the drain, they said.

The film industry, understandably, is against any arbitrary change in the certification of item songs. A senior producer asked:

What is an item number? How does one define it? It is a phrase with no formal dictionary meaning. It is an industry-coined phrase. A rule cannot be made about something that is so inherently vague and subjective.

In the meanwhile, the industry is waiting with bated breath to see if Babli Badmaash is cleared by the board's appeals committee.

Meanwhile the Censor Board has claimed that there is no move yet to give A certificate to all dance numbers and such film songs will be examined on a case-to-case basis. Leela Samson, Chairperson, CBFC, said in a statement:

For the last few weeks there seems to have been an impression in the media, and also within the film industry, that CBFC has adopted a rule to certify all dance numbers with an 'A' certificate. I would like to unambiguously clarify that no such decision has been taken either by the Board or by I and B Ministry, and nor is such a move being contemplated,

The guidelines governing certification of films, trailors, or any part thereof, simply state that they will be certified depending on the age-group of audiences that they are suitable for. Hence, dance numbers too will continue to be examined purely on a case-to-case basis to see whether they are suitable for a U, UA, or A certificate.



Offsite Article: We've discussed cutting movies for a 12/PG-13 rating. What about the other way round?...

Link Here2nd March 2013
What's the point of making a movie with a 9-year-old boy's sensibility, then including just enough violence to garner a PG-13 rating?

See article from



UAE Recommends...

Ram Gopal Varma's film, The Attacks of 26/11

Link Here1st March 2013

The Attacks of 26/11 is a 2013 India drama by Ram Gopal Varma.
With Nana Patekar, Atul Kulkarni. IMDb

UAE has banned the cinema release of Ram Gopal Varma's The Attacks of 26/11

The film  depicts the terrorist attacks on a Mumbai hotel in 2008.

However the film has been cleared by film censors in Bahrain and Oma.



Naked Shoulders...

Bill Condon hypes censored sex scenes in PG-13 rated Breaking Dawn Part 2

Link Here28th February 2013

The Director of Breaking Dawn Part 2 , Bill Condon, has been hyping the DVD/Blu-ray release on March 2.

He ludicrously claims that a sex scene between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart 'is so hot' that it had be to censored for the children's PG-13 rating. He says via a press release and in a making of DVD extra:

We had one shot that the MPAA complained about where there's a closeup of Rob kissing [Kristen's] shoulder. They thought they saw nudity, but there wasn't any, but they have filthy minds, clearly... We had to keep showing it to them until they were sure they weren't seeing anything naughty.

As Twilight series devotees know, there was a lot of ground to cover in adapting Breaking Dawn to the screen. Between the wedding, the honeymoon, the birth, and everything in between, naturally there were things that didn't make it into our final cut. But I wanted to make sure that for all the Twihards out there, there was a chance to see some of these cut scenes.



Update: Muted Baddiness...

Vishwaroopam gets the go ahead in Malaysia after 16 dialogue cuts

Link Here22nd February 2013
Full story: Vishwaroopam...Indian spy thriller attracts protest for depicting muslims as the baddies

Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam is returning to cinemas in Malaysia, but only after 16 dialogue cuts were made to avoid offence to muslim viewers.

The film was yanked from Malaysian theaters the day after it opened on January 25, even though it had been approved by the Film Censorship Board (LPF). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the LPF acted in response to letters of protest filed by the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress and the Federation of Malaysian Indian Muslim Associations complaining of religious insensitivity,

Film Business Asia reports that the distributor has not yet announced when the film would return to theaters. In the meantime, pirated DVD copies have circulated widely in Malaysia.



Extract: A Good Day to Cut and Re-cut Die Hard...

Director John Moore speaks of a Director's Cut and the UK Children's Version

Link Here19th February 2013
Full story: A Good Day to Die Hard...The Children's Version

A Good Day To Die Hard is a 2013 USA action thriller by John Moore.
With Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch. YouTube icon IMDb

We find John Moore deep in the bowels of the John Ford dubbing theatre on the Fox lot in LA where, surrounded by his trusted editing team, he's going over two separate versions of the movie. One version of the movie is Moore's Director's Cut, which will be substantially longer than the 97 minute-long theatrical version, with the Moscow-levelling car chase around 30% longer.

The second is the 12A version that Fox have requested specifically to play in the UK (the version that will play in the US is filled with swearing and splashes of claret, and is R-rated). On screen, we watch as someone has a gun put to his head, and his brains promptly blown out. That won't be in the UK, says Moore, half-laughing, half-sighing.

...Read the full interview



Update: Yippee Ki-Yay Chia Pet!...

Singapore joins Britain in opting for a children's version of Die Hard 5

Link Here19th February 2013
Full story: A Good Day to Die Hard...The Children's Version

A Good Day To Die Hard is a 2013 USA action thriller by John Moore.
With Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch. YouTube icon IMDb

The movie opened in Singapore 10 days ago, but viewers are warned that the movie has been spoiled by some really clumsy sound editing.

For example, it seems that whenever Willis uses strong language, the word is replaced by an audio clip of Willis saying something that sounds like chia pet .

As in Yippee ki-yay, chia pet. Which, of course, makes no sense at all.

It's like watching a poorly dubbed movie on Channel 5 - except you've paid for it. It's so bad that the Shaw Theatres website has this disclaimer for the movie:

Please note, the audio inconsistencies within the original movie presentation are intentional.

20th Century Fox Singapore has chosen to mute out the vulgar language as to observe the PG13 rating requirements. Instead of editing them to keep the flow of action sequences intact.

Please be informed that no refunds will be entertained.



Offsite Article: Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac...

Link Here19th February 2013
The provocative film in two parts, which features real sex scenes with porn doubles in softcore and hardcore versions, will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

See article from



Updated: Is it time for a 15A/PG-15 rating?...

With Die Hard 5 and Taken 2 cut to get a broader rating, is it time that UK and US ratings boards took another look at the system?

Link Here17th February 2013

If, reluctantly, we accept that cinemas and distributors are looking for certificates that don't involve refusing someone a ticket (heck, that might require an usher), then can those of us who want to see our films unsullied at least have another option? Can we - as was suggested by one of our readers (JP) here - have in the UK a 15A certificate, that keeps the parental option open, but also prevents studios chopping films to fit in with existing guidelines?

...Read the full article

Comment: Some Things Are Just Not Meant For Children

17th February 2013. See  article from

The other reason a 15A or PG-15 certificate would not be good for adult cinemagoers, is that there are sometimes things that are simply not aimed at, or intended for children. Sometimes films are made, that are made by adults, for adults, and only for adults.

...Read the full article



Comments: Yippee Ki-Yay Motherflipper!...

UK cinema distributors opt for a cut children's version of Die Hard 5

Link Here15th February 2013
Full story: A Good Day to Die Hard...The Children's Version

A Good Day To Die Hard is a 2013 USA action thriller by John Moore.
With Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for strong language and violence after advised category cuts were implemented for:

  • UK 2013 cinema release

The film will be shown uncut in the US with an R rating (would be called 17A in Britain).  No doubt most of the western world will see this uncut version too.

The BBFC commented:

During post-production, the distributor sought and was given advice on how to secure the desired classification. Following this advice, certain changes were made prior to submission

This work was originally seen for advice in an unfinished form. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making a number of cuts to both language and visuals. When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, edits had been made:

  • to reduce the number of uses of strong language (both fuck and motherfucker) and
  • to reduce sequences of bloody violence, including blood sprays when characters are shot in the head, and punches to restrained individuals.

The formal submission was consequently rated '12A'.

Comment: So 20th Century

14th February 2013. See  article from

Bleeding Cooll website asked 20th Century Fox why they censored the upcoming cinema release of A Good Day to Die Hard . This was studio's response:

Everyone at Fox is excited that John McClane is back on the big screen in the latest installment of the Die Hard franchise, this time with his son and on foreign soil in Russia.

We can confirm that working with the BBFC some minor cuts were made in order to achieve a 12A certificate.

We believe the movie will delight the Die Hard fans and the 12A certificate, similar to Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall , will allow both adults and teenagers to enjoy the latest movie in the franchise.

Comment: Proper Censorship

14th February 2013. From David

Ah, fuck. The director's so proud of making sure it's a proper R-rated movie this time, so naturally in the UK it gets cut down to be a 12A instead of a 15. I guess I'll be waiting for the inevitable harder cut DVD to see A Good Day To Die Hard.

And they better fucking not pull that 12 DVD, uncut 15 Blu-Ray shit.

Comment: Proper Censorship

14th February 2013. From Andrew

There's a lot of heat over this disgraceful decision to give us a butchered Die Hard 5 , and a lot of talk as to why the UK seems to get lumped with snipped versions STILL.

It seems to me that the BBFC's choice to offer a cuts advice service is to blame (as well as, of course, the studio for being happy to give UK audiences a neutered product). Do other censorship bodies from other countries offer to coordinate with the studio during the editing phase over exactly what cuts are needed to achieve a desired rating?

Do other countries not end up with so many butchered films because they don't offer this service, or to the same degree?

Well Germany, which tends to be the other European country most likely to cut films has decided that the will screen the uncut R Rated version. So maybe this Doe Hard fiasco will be just us.

Comment: A Good Day to Die Soft

15th February 2013. From MichaelG

This current trend for cutting films for the cinema (to make them available to a wider audience, naturally) is something of a paradox when you look at the situation once the film hits DVD and the film companies can't wait to get Extended Harder Cut or Uncut Version screaming at you from the cover of the box ('Taken 2' and Savages are the two latest examples I can recall). Anyone else think this is odd? They seem to be alienating the audience the film was intended for at its cinema release, but then clamouring to get them back for the DVD release, probably knowing full well (even though the BBFC don't seem to) that a younger audience are still going to watch an uncut version on DVD. Times have certainly changed since a cut cinema release would be further cut again for home viewing...

Comment: A Good Day to Blame Fox

15th February 2013. From Andrew N

Ok, first up, let me stress that i am in no way condoning any previous (Ferman era especially) BBFC decisions. HOWEVER, the current net trend of slating them, everytime something gets watered down, is pretty dumb. Seeing as the they are simply ADVISING distributors of what would need TO BE done, to get an inappropriate film, into an appropriate rating. I (like you) don't rate censorship in any way, shape, or form. HOWEVER, this is not about censorship. It's about the almighty Dollar.

Read the answer Fox gave to, they completely dodged the question, and went straight for the sale. Familiar character, you all watched the last one yadda yadda yadda.

The thing is, John McClane has now become a caricature of the original character. He's not the dude from Die hard, he's an all American hero who can't be killed. And just to prove that, they put him in more and more ludicrous situations. Sadly, these situations are very appealing to young boys. Ticket buying, money spending young boys. And Fox knows this. Because despite the flood of net nerds digitally bashing the 4th movie, it did amazing business. Which means somewhere in the U.S. (the UK played at 15, regardless of the cut ) 10's of millions of people flocked to the local multiplex to see it.

And Fox knows this. Why wouldn't they?

So why the 12? Or to be more exact the 12A . Well it's the A that's Fox's ace in the hole. You see in the UK, ANYONE can see any film 12A or below. Providing they're with an adequate guardian. However, in the U.S. ANYONE can see an R rated film (again, providing they're with an adequate guardian). The only difference being that the R rating carries an age restriction of 17, not 12. So anyone under 17 can go and see McClane jumping out of windows into a questionable CGI drop. And here's where the line blurs, and the bean counters take notice.

Because that 5 year gap (12 - 17) is the EXACT demographic of today's Die hard fan. And while a BBFC 15 falls right in the middle, no parent in the UK can legally take a nagging 11 year old to see it. And those nagging 11 year olds spend a shit load of money, on tickets, concessions, and more to point, they always travel in groups.

Die hard is an adult film, would anyone really have objected to ANOTHER 15 rated Die hard movie in the UK (baring in mind, 3 out of the first 4 now carry this rating, and it's only a case of time before Die hard 2 is dropped to it)?

Yes they would've. But all of those people work for Fox, and couldn't give two shits about your viewing pleasure, as long as you (and more importantly your kids) keep paying.

Oh and as a final note, watch out for the (guaranteed) HARDER CUT on home video. As once again, Fox try to sell you something you should've already been privvy too.

Chances are, you'll buy it too.

In these cases of cutting adult films for kids, lay of the BBFC, and go for the money hungry distributors. They're the ones cutting your films. No one else.

Offsite: Do Newspaper film critics reckon Die Hard 5 is best left to the 12 year olds?

15th February 2013. See  article from



Slaves to Censorship...

India's film censors cut Django unchained

Link Here13th February 2013

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained has been passed A (adults only) in India with all the violence intact buts cuts to scenes with minor nudity.

Indian viewers will see a cut version with three missing sequences with fleeting nudity:

  • a glimpse of the unclad form of Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington, in a pit (she has been punished by her owner);
  • the sight of Django, played by Jamie Foxx, emerging undressed out of a bathtub;
  • and a trussed-up, nude Django.

Tarantino could well kick up a fuss about the cuts if he wished to. Hollywood's resident enfant terrible has final cut rights---the right to veto objections by producers and distributors and decide the final shape of his work.

This isn't the first time a Tarantino film has come to India a few minutes shorter than its original running length.

  • The World War II drama Inglourious Basterds was released in 2009 without a scene in which an American soldier bashes in the head of a Nazi.
  • The two-part Kill Bill, released in 2003 and 2004, was punished even more severely. The CBFC axed scenes of heads and limbs being chopped off. Another sequence indicating that the lead character, The Bride, is being raped and prostituted by a medical orderly while she is in a coma was censored.



Offsite Article: Closed Curtain...

Link Here13th February 2013
Full story: Film Censorship in Iran...Iran jails film director for propaganda against the regime
Banned Iranian director's film depicts crushing state oppression at Berlin festival

See article from



Offsite Article: Evil Dead has been cut...

Link Here10th February 2013
Now, will somebody please give a shit?

See article from



More Nazis...

Director's Cut of Iron Sky will be premiered at Berlinale 2013

Link Here9th February 2013

Iron Sky is a 2012 Finland/Germany/Australia action comedy sci-fi by Timo Vuorensola.
With Julia Dietze, Christopher Kirby, Götz Otto. YouTube icon IMDb

The Berlinale spectacle of last year, the science fiction comedy about Moon Nazis, Iron Sky is back!

The brand new Director's extended cut incorporating Timo Vuorensola's full vision will be screened for the first time in Berlinale for hundreds of fans and supporters on Sunday. Vuorensola explained:

I was able to bring in many of the scenes I really enjoyed and now are prepared in full quality. The film is now almost 20 minutes longer, and much more epic in pacing, and finally in the form I originally wanted it to be.

...Read the full article



Updated: Maniac at the BBFC...

Passed 18 uncut for UK cinema release perhaps a little unexpectedly

Link Here5th February 2013
Maniac is a 2012 France/USA crime horror by Franck Khalfoun.
With Elijah Wood, America Olivo, Sammi Rotibi. YouTube icon IMDb

It has now been passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence for:

  • UK 2013 cinema release

Perhaps a notable uncut rating as the response from film festival screenings was that it was very likely to be cut.

The film has also been mentioned as a possible first victim for the BBFC's change of guidelines on the subject of violence and sexual violence. The BBFC listed an extended set of factors to be taken into account when considering sexual violence. The press release about the change of rules gave few clues about the practical effects of the rule change, so hopefully the uncut release of Maniac is an indication that the rules haven't "tightened up" quite as much as the tabloid press suggested.

There seem to be two running times noted for the film, 89 and 93 minutes. However uncut festival screenings were amongst those noted as 89 minutes so perhaps just technical differences on how it is projected.

Update: Confirmed by Metrodome

5th February 2013. See  article from

Metrodome Distribution have informed that it has been confirmed by the BBFC that Franck Khalfoun's Maniac has not been cut back from its original Fright Fest reel which has now been rated as an 18.



Offsite Article: From Beyond, Stuart Gordon, and MPAA censorship...

Link Here5th February 2013
A detailed look at the history of Gordon's censorship tussle with the MPAA

See article from



Offsite Article: Cinema determined to break every taboo...

Link Here5th February 2013
New French Extremism and the bloody world of Gallic horror

See article from



Reign of Assassins...

An edited version is set for UK cinema release

Link Here2nd February 2013

Reign of Assassins is a 2010 China action film by Chao-Bin Su.
With Michelle Yeoh, Woo-sung Jung, Xueqi Wang. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: An edited version was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for strong violence for:

  • UK 2013 cinema release
UK: An unknown version will be released for:
  • UK 2013 Entertainment One R2 DVD at US Amazon released on 23rd February 2013

The uncut version runs at ~120:00s whereas the UK cinema releases runs at 102:59s

Promotional Material

In ancient China, in a time of inter-clan warfare, Drizzle is the top assassin of a gang known as The Dark Stone. In order to escape from The Dark Stone and rid her life of violence and bloodshed, Drizzle decides to undergo a drastic procedure to alter her appearance, to change her name to Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh), and to move to the Capital. Keeping a low-profile as a shopkeeper, she falls in love with and marries a messenger (Jung Woo-Sung). However, their peaceful life is soon disrupted when Zeng's identity as Drizzle is unveiled in a dramatic fight and confrontation with The Dark Stone, who will stop at nothing in their efforts to rule the martial arts world.



Updated: David...

Tamil film cut by the BBFC and by religious groups claiming hurt sentiments

Link Here2nd February 2013

David is a 2013 India crime drama romance by Bejoy Nambiar.
With 'Chiyaan' Vikram, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Jiiva. IMDb

UK: The Tamil Version was passed 12A for moderate violence and threat after BBFC category cuts for:

  • UK 2013 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

Distributor chose to make cuts to remove:

  • a scene of violence (a man being set alight after being doused with alcohol) and
  • a scene of bloody self-harming (a man cutting his arm with a knife)

in order to obtain a 12A rating. An uncut 15 classification was available.

See article from :

Director Bejoy Nambiar has decided to remove Lucky Ali's song Ya Hussain from his new film David after some groups objected to it.

A section of the Muslim community had urged Nambiar to remove the song as they felt it does not befit their definition of propriety. The song accompanied a sequence in the film, which showed a Moharram procession. Nambiar explained:

They (Muslim groups) objected to the song. But they were kind enough to accept my invitation to discuss the matter. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that it would be better if I didn't hurt anyone's sentiments. So I've decided to remove the song.

There is also a Hindi Version featuring 3 Davids as opposed to 2 Davids in the Tamil Version

Update: Banned in Pakistan

2nd February 2013. See  article from

The release of bi-lingual Bollywood action thriller David was banned in Pakistan by the film censor board in Islamabad.

Certain groups within the Indian community recently protested against the film and challenged a sequence in the film which showed a Moharram procession during a song. Director Bejoy Nambiar invited some of the protesters to view a private screening of the offensive content so that an agreement could be reached. However, after the song titled Ya Hussain was viewed by the section of the audience in question, Nambiar himself decided to cut it from the film, based on their reactions.

The Chairman of Pakistan's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Rai Akbar told The Express Tribune that the film had been screened and the board felt that it failed to pass the criteria due to its controversial nature. He waffled:

It was very clear that the film could not be screened in Pakistan, because it failed to pass the basic criteria given by the censor board. There were several issues with the film, but our main point was that the film was not suitable for viewing in Pakistan.

Local distributor Amjad Rasheed, head of International Multi-Group of Companies, agrees that there are several moments in the film which portray religion in a negative light:

The CBFC has stopped it because of some covert religious references in the film and I as a distributor completely stand by their decision.



Less Evil...

Director reveals that the Evil Dead remake has been cut to avoid a US NC-17 rating

Link Here29th January 2013

The director Fede Alvarez has revealed that his remake of Evil Dead received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA when it was first submitted for consideration.

The director noted that they indeed made some cuts to secure an R-rating, but I imagine we'll get to see the full unrated cut when the film hits Blu-ray and DVD.

Evil Dead opens on April 12th.

[Note an NC-17 rating is the same as the UK 18 rating. An R Rating would be something like a 17A in the UK].



Aimed at the Bin...

Pakistan film distributors decide that Zero Dark Thirty is better left unshown in cinemas

Link Here29th January 2013

Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty will not be shown in Pakistan's cinemas.

Distributors have decided not risk the wrath of the country's censors, its military and terrorist groups with a movie about the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Mohsin Yaseen, general manager for marketing at Cinepax, said derogatory references to Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies meant any distributor would face awkward questions. It's a touchy subject for a Pakistani audience, he said.

Yaseen said his company had recently bought the rights to distribute an Indian film, Tere Bin Laden, which poked fun at the al-Qaeda leader. Pakistan's censors insisted on so many cuts, he said, it was not possible to show the film at all.

He said : When Zero Dark Thirty came out, we thought it best just to keep away from it. He added that other film distributors were in broad agreement.

The film is available on pirated DVDs and has proved a hit with audiences.



Updated: Grown Up Version...

Children's version of adult version of children's fairytale dropped

Link Here28th January 2013

Hansel & Gretel - Witch Hunters [3d]  is a 2013 Germany/USA action fantasy horror by Tommy Wirkola.
With Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and Peter Stormare. IMDb

The film will be released to US theatres today. But this fairytale is not a bedtime story for kids. In fact, it's gone from a PG-13 rating to R.

Paramount Pictures announced a ratings change this week. Hansel & Gretel is now rated R. It had previously been listed as PG-13 on several websites.

Writer Adam Chitwood on the Collider website stated that two versions of the film had previously been made to test how much violence to include:

The discrepancies between the cuts may have been a result of the studio trying to see if audiences prefer a more graphic version of the fairy tale over a tame cut.

Stuart Klawans with the Nation described the film as bodies being pierced, stabbed, shredded, beheaded and splattered like gore-filled water balloons.

Update: Director speaks of deleted scene

28th January 2013. See article from

Collider: Was there ever talk of making it PG-13?

Tommy Wirkola: No -- thank god. I was afraid. I actually made sure they could never cut it to PG-13.

Collider: I mean the film that exists now is fairly violent -- Was it more violent than this and how so?

Tommy Wirkola: It was.

Collider: Like Dead Snow-level of violence?

Tommy Wirkola: Never that extreme. But there was a scene where [Hansel and Gretel] burst into a house and there's a witch. She puts up her hands and they tell her to step aside. She steps aside and behind her is a tiny little baby hanging from a rope that's she's about to eat. [Hansel and Gretel] end up saving it -- but people were shocked. Again -- I'm not stupid. I see that's too much. So it's about



Obscured by Clouds...

Chinese film censors cut 40 minutes from Cloud Atlas

Link Here23rd January 2013

Movie censors in China have slashed 40 minutes from Tom Hanks and Halle Berry's epic Cloud Atlas .

The film opened with a 130-minute running time, cut down from 169-minute version that was released worldwide. The film is R Rated in the US (which would be 17A in the UK).

A report in the Shanghai-based Dongfang Daily said expository sequences and passionate love scenes were cut from the film, while gory sequences depicting a character being shot in the head or another having his throat slit remained.

The Hollywood Reporter speculates that a romantic relationship between budding composer Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw) and his Cambridge schoolmate Rufus Sixsmith (James D'Arcy) is highly likely to have been dropped from the Chinese version of the film. Same-sex romances remain a taboo for Chinese censors.

In another scene, set in a 22nd century Korean city called Neo-Seoul, a human-replicant waitress is shown having sex with her foreman. This was probably censored too.



Obituary: Michael Winner...

And to this day, Death Wish 2 still bears the proud scars of battle with the BBFC

Link Here22nd January 2013

British film maker Michael Winner has died from liver disease at the age of 77.

His wonderful career started in Britain with a varied assortment of generally light hearted films, often starring Oliver Reed.

He moved across to the US where his films took a harder edge, most notably with the Death Wish series with Charles Bronson.

These got him into all sorts of censorship tussles with the UK censor, James Ferman. The ongoing tussle was noted in a lecture by Ferman when he recalled the particularly heavy cutting inflicted on Death Wish 2. Referring to 3:42s of cuts to two gang rapes, Ferman quipped:

I cut three minutes 42 seconds of that stuff, a record I think. Winner was furious.

Thereafter Winner was something of a champion against censorship. He regularly took part in TV discussions, arguing the case against censorship.


Shoot to Kill (1960) Some Like It Cool (1961) Old Mac (1961) Out of the Shadow (1961) Play it Cool (1962) The Cool Mikado (1962) West 11 (1963) The System (1964) You Must Be Joking! (1965) The Jokers (1967) I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967) Hannibal Brooks (1969) The Games (1970)

Lawman (1971) The Nightcomers (1972) Chato's Land (1972) The Mechanic (1972) Scorpio (1973) The Stone Killer (1973) Death Wish (1974) Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) The Sentinel (1977) The Big Sleep (1978) Firepower (1979) Death Wish II (1982) The Wicked Lady (1983) Scream for Help (1984) Death Wish 3 (1985) A Chorus of Disapproval (1988) Appointment With Death (1988) Bullseye! (1990) Dirty Weekend (1993) Parting Shots (1999) Burke & Hare (2010)



Appeasing the Baddies...

Skyfall cut for its Chinese release

Link Here18th January 2013

The new Bond film will be released in China but with key scenes removed and alternative translations written into the subtitles to appease the country's film censors.

Sam Mendes' Skyfall Chinese release has been hampered by the inclusion of politically and culturally controversial narrative events which take place in Shanghai and Macau.

The cut version omits a scene set in Shanghai where a French hitman (Ola Rapace) shoots a Chinese security guard. References to prostitution and corruption in China have either been edited out or obscured in the subtitle translations.

In particular the backstory to villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) who was tortured by the Chinese government after working for MI6 in Hong Kong has had all references to China removed.

The scene where Daniel Craig's Bond and the character Severine (Berenice Marlohe) are at a Macau casino and he enquires if her tattoo is the mark of an infamous prostitution ring remains intact but the subtitles have been changed to refer to a gang.



Two Mothers One Father...

Utah nutters whinge at films showing at the Sundance Film Festival

Link Here17th January 2013

A Utah group claims that the Sundance Film Festival's lineup features 'obscene' movies and is therefore at odds with Utah's culture of family values, and wants the state to pull its financial backing.

The Sutherland Institute claims the state shouldn't back a festival that features films about porn stars and women having affairs with one another's adult sons. This is referring to a pair of mainstream Hollywood movies, the R Rated Lovelace and the not yet rated Two Mothers starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright.

Derek Monson, Sutherland Institute's director of public policy spewed:

There are a lot of people here that find that kind of thing objectionable. We are a family friendly state and we endeavor to be so because we value the benefits that strong families bring to society.

Utah state officials stand by the backing, saying the money is an investment in a festival that brings major economic impact and international exposure to the state.

Utah expects to spend $300,000 supporting the festival again this year, but the University of Utah estimated that last year's festival brought $80.3 million in economic impact for the state.



Obituary: Nagisa Oshima...

Now in the Realm of the Senses having died aged 80

Link Here16th January 2013

Japanese filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, best known for directing In The Realm of the Senses , has died at the age of 80.

The 1976 film, also known by its Japanese title, Ai No Corrida , featured unsimulated sex between the actors.

Oshima also directed singer David Bowie in the WWII prison-camp drama Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.

His most controversial project reflected his lifelong criticism of censorship. In The Realm of the Senses, a film based on a true story of obsession in 1930s Japan, was incredibly explicit for the time, with the two protagonists engaging in increasingly intense, graphic and bizarre sexual practices. In the final scenes, the male protagonist has his genitals severed by his lover, a prostitute-turned-hotel worker.

The film fell foul of censors in Germany, the UK and the US - where it was seized by customs officials ahead of a planned screening at the New York Film Festival. The film wasn't passed uncut in the UK until 2011. However, the sticking point wasn't the explicit sex, it was a scene with a young boy having his penis yanked in a non-sexual way.

Oshima's companion film, the more restrained Empire of Passion , won him the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978.



Offsite Article: Don't Blame Violence on Tarantino Movies...

Link Here15th January 2013
Instead of going for the easy target of the movie business, the government should take practical steps to identify and assist people who are suffering from mental illness and who are at risk of committing unprovoked acts of violence.

See article from



Channel 4 Recommends...

Django Unchained. Channel 4 generates good publicity after interviewer amusingly fails to draw Tarantino into speaking about the media violence blame game.

Link Here12th January 2013

Quentin Tarantino clashed with Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy during a an interview ahead of the London premiere of his new film, Django Unchained . The Oscar-winning film-maker repeatedly refused to offer an opinion on the link between screen violence and true-life violence and at one point told Guru-Murthy: I'm shutting your butt down.

Django Unchained charts the fortunes of a black slave turned bounty hunter in the American deep south. The film's supporting characters find themselves variously shot in the face, bludgeoned with a hammer, and torn apart by dogs.

Interviewed by Channel 4 News on Thursday night, Tarantino admitted that he relished making violent films but insisted: It's a movie, it's a fantasy. It's not real life. When asked how he could be sure that there was no link between enjoying screen violence and enjoying real violence, however, the director refused to respond:

I'm not answering your question. I'm not your slave and you're not my master ... It's none of your damn business what I think about that.



Offsite Comment: The Independent Recommends...

Link Here12th January 2013
Geoffrey Macnab has a rant at comedic but sadistic violence in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained

See article from



Offsite Article: Giving Terrorists a Proper Ass Kicking...

Link Here12th January 2013
A Good Day to Die Hard is R Rated, as opposed to the PG-13 rating of the previous half arsed entry in the series

See article from



Update: High Noon...

MPAA president forewarns White House that Hollywood will oppose any proposals to censor films in the name of gun control

Link Here10th January 2013
Full story: US Mass Shootings...Gun lobby vs violent media

On the eve of the entertainment industry's White House meeting to discuss gun violence in films and video games, Motion Picture Association of America president Chris Dodd told The Hollywood Reporter that his industry will consider voluntary guidelines but will vehemently oppose any government restrictions on content.

Dodd and spokesmen from various sectors of the entertainment industry will meet with Vice President Joe Biden, who has been charged by President Barack Obama with recommending legislation to curb gun violence.

Dodd said:

We want to explore what we can do to provide parents and others with the information for them to make choices on what they want to see and what they want their children to see. That's a legitimate space for us to be in. It's all voluntary. What we don't want to get involved with is content regulation. We're vehemently opposed to that. We have a free and open society that celebrates the First Amendment.



Breaking Dawn Part 1...

Extended Version gets an exclusive release on French DVD

Link Here6th January 2013

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is a 2011 US fantasy by Bill Condon. With Kristen Stewart and Nikki Reed. YouTube icon IMDb

An Extended Version claiming to be a France exclusive will be released on DVD on the 8th February 2013. And in passing it is interesting to note that Breaking Dawn is rated as Tous Public [U] in France.

The Extended Version contains 7 additional scenes:

  • Revised opening scene with the Volturi
  • Extended flashback of the young Edward Cullen
  • New scene during the honeymoon
  • 2 new scenes in the Cullen home
  • Extended version of the fight scene between Edward / Jacob and the other werewolves
  • New scene with Jacob tending his wounds



Offsite Article: Les Miserables...

Link Here4th January 2013
There is the possibility of a future Extended Version restoring some of the music that did not make the Theatrical Cut.

See article from



Update: At least China is Uncompetitive in one Market...

Extreme film censorship puts a dampener on local production

Link Here1st January 2013
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids

China is wrestling with how to reconcile its extreme censorship system with the need to create films the world will want to watch.

Xie Fei, a professor at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, recently sparked a debate on government control over the film industry when he called for replacing the country's censorship procedures by a movie rating system with ratings similar to those used in the United States. Xie wrote in an open letter:

In the past few years, there were so many unwritten laws when censoring movies. Unwritten laws such as: 'ghosts are not allowed in contemporary settings,' 'extramarital affairs are not allowed,' 'certain political incidents are not allowed,' etc. The censorship system [in China] is not defined by law, but done according to individuals.

Such rules are killing artistic exploration.

Beijing-based filmmaker Dayyan Eng responded saying that with more foreign films entering the domestic market, local directors struggle to compete. He blames it partly on the censorship system.

It's [Censorship] restricting what we can make. And I think that everyone has been finding out, especially this year, because the local films have been killed by Hollywood.

If Hollywood is allowed to make whatever they want, and actually most of them, the big budget ones anyway, are being shown in China, we are at a disadvantage because the system that's in place to regulate or censor this things is not the same for Chinese films and for Hollywood films.

Eng's latest film, Inseparable , was the first wholly local production to feature a Hollywood star, Kevin Spacey. Eng says the censorship system influenced the way he wrote his movie.

When I first started out doing the story and writing the script and even up to shooting and editing it, in a way I have to censor myself a little bit. For example, there would be certain scenes I want to do, but I would think 'Maybe it is not going to pass the censorship if I do it this way, if I go too far' so I tend to pull myself back little bit.

Although Chinese lawmakers recognize that domestic films are facing increasing pressure to compete with foreign films, they did not directly respond to Xie Fei's suggestions that a US-style rating system was better than China's censorship rules.

Similar proposals surfaced in 2007, after nude scenes in the Ang Lee film Lust Caution were cut before the film's release in China. But censors put an end to the idea when a senior official from SARFT said that such a system would not be appropriate for China.

But now, with a growing number of actors, directors and producers sharing their views online, it has become easier for critical voices to contribute to the national discussion. Film producer Robert Cain has consulted Hollywood and Chinese studios on co-productions since 1987. He says that by not establishing a rating system, the Chinese government is patronizing its public:

There is no need to treat everyone in China like a child or an infant that can be hurt by certain topics in movies. Everyone knows that people have sex, everyone knows that crime takes place and it seems very hypocritical to me that the government wants to pretend, at least in films, that these things don't happen in China.

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