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2014: Oct-Dec

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Love, Laughter and Religion...

Religious campaigners in India and Pakistan take offence at a film titled PK

Link Here31st December 2014
PK is a 2014 India comedy romance by Rajkumar Hirani.
Starring Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma and Sanjay Dutt. Youtube link IMDb

A stranger in the city asks questions no one has asked before. Known only by his initials, P.K.'s innocent questions and childlike curiosity will take him on a journey of love, laughter and letting-go.

Hindu campaigners have been attacking PK, a recently released Indian film. Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad disrupted the screening of the film at several locations demanding that supposedly objectionable scenes insulting Hindu deities and rituals be censored from the film.

In Ahmedabad, protests went violent as over 50 Bajrang Dal activists stormed and vandalised two theaters, Shiv and City Gold Multiplex. Though the miscreants fled before the police arrived, sources said the activists have been identified through CCTV footage.

Religious campaigners burned posters outside Milan cinema in Surendranagar, where the film was being screened, and forced a shutdown of the movie hall for the day. In Rajkot, saffron activists hit the streets against the film.

In Bhopal, sangh parivar activists raised slogans against Aamir Khan and jostled with cops outside Jyoti Talkies in Bhopal. Bajrang Dal and VHP have given a 24-hour ultimatum to the film's producers for removing anti-Hindu scenes. VHP-Bajrang Dal spokesman for central India Devendra Rawat said:

It has become a habit with Bollywood to hurt the sentiments of Hindus. They insult our gods and show our spiritual gurus as villains. Why don't they make a film based on Imam Bukhari and his anti-national statements?

In Delhi, police said they had stepped up security around several theatres after violent protests at Rivoli cinema in Connaught Place on Sunday when religious campaigners had smashed the theatre's window panes.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali has demanded that the Censor Board remove objectionable scenes so that communal harmony is not disturbed. He said:

If a film has material that hurts religious sentiments, especially when it has a Muslim actor playing a Hindu, it has the propensity to be misread.

The PK issue has also revealed that chief censor Leela Samson seems to be edged out of her job. She explained:

The ministry has not taken up the issue with me or other officials of CBFC. However, they have often chosen to bypass me and speak to officials appointed by them indicating their 'concern' about a particular film, she adds.

Samson minces no words while criticising the government, alleging that the former I&B minister Prakash Javadekar never kept his promise of allowing the board to appoint for its panels professionals who are well informed about sensitive issues. Panel members who view the films have a heavy dose of party people amongst them.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, a Hindu group named Hindu Kranti Dal had filed a complaint against PK before police commissioner of Jalandhar Yurinder Singh Hayer. Police watched PK with leaders and activists of Hindu Kranti Dal and ordered removed of scenes against which the Hindu outfit raised objections.

Hindu Kranti Dal leader Manoj Nanna said that makers of PK have disgraced Hindu god Shiv. He said that HKD want police action against PK director Raj Kumar Hirani and actor Aamir Khan.



Updated: Egypt and Morocco Recommend...

The movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings

Link Here28th December 2014
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a 2014 UK / USA / Spain drama by Ridley Scott.
Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Ben Kingsley. Youtube link IMDb

Epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of one man's daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Egypt has banned the Hollywood biblical epic movie Exodus: Gods and Kings for reasons of religious intolerance whilst citing 'historical inaccuracy'

The film relates how the religious character Moses helped Israelite slaves flee persecution in Egypt under the Pharaoh Ramses by parting the Red Sea to let them cross safely.

Culture Minister Gaber Asfour told AFP Ridley Scott's blockbuster was rife with mistakes, including an apparent claim that Moses and the Jews built the pyramids. Asfour claimed:

This totally contradicts proven historical facts. It is a Zionist film. It gives a Zionist view of history and contains historical inaccuracies and that's why we have decided to ban it.

Mohammed Afifi, the head of the censorship committee, said he took issue with the scene showing the parting of the Red Sea in which Moses is seen holding a sword like a warrior, instead of a stick. Furthermore, he claimed, the parting of the Red Sea is explained in the movie as a tidal phenomenon rather than a divine miracle.

Morocco has also banned the film, despite it already having been approved by the state-run Moroccan Cinema Center. Hassan Belkady, who runs Cinema Rif in Casablanca, told media24 news website that he had been threatened with the closure of his business if he ignored the ban.

Update: UAE recommends Exodus

28th December 2014. See  article from

The United Arab Emirates became the latest country to ban the release of Exodus: Gods and Kings . A film censor from the National Media Council, Juma Obeid Al Leem, told Gulf News:

This movie is under our review and we found that there are many mistakes not only about Islam but other religions too. So, we will not release it in the UAE.



Update: Welwyn Garden City Recommends...

Cinema takes down poster for the upcoming movie, Fifty Shades of Grey,

Link Here27th December 2014
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey...BDSM book scores an international hit
A film advert for the forthcoming movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, was taken down from outside a cinema after the cinema received a few whinges.

The poster depicted the head and shoulders of Dakota Johnson, playing Anastasia Steele, blindfolded, bare shouldered and apparently in the throes of passion.

The poster was on display outside the recently refurbished leisure complex.

A spokesman for the Garden City Cinema said:

We are very sorry if we caused any offence to anyone.

The film is set to be a huge blockbuster and is already selling well with us, even though it doesn't open until Valentine's Day 2015.

The poster reflects the erotic nature of the film and was not explicit, but we understand if some people have taken offence.



Updated: Serious Censorship...

Hacker group demands that Sony cancels the release of its new movie, The Interview

Link Here27th December 2014
Full story: The Interview...Sony hacked possibly by North Korea and threats curtail film release
Hackers claiming to be those that have seriously disrupted Sony Pictures' computer systems in the biggest corporate hack in history posted a message to the heads of the company telling them to cancel the release of film The Interview .

The group also leaked a trove of emails from senior Sony Pictures employees which include private employee information, the phone numbers of actors and the aliases they use when travelling, film budgets and unreleased scripts. It includes the private information of about 40,000 employees, including home addresses, previous salaries and social security numbers.

The Interview is a North Korea-baiting film that is a reason some have speculated that the country could be involved in the attack.

In a message titled Their Privacy , and written in broken English, hackers said that Sony had refused to give in to its demands to cancel the release of the movie of terrorism. The group signed themselves as From God'sApstls. The message reads:

We have already given our clear demand to the management team of SONY, however, they have refused to accept.

It seems that you think everything will be well, if you find out the attacker, while no reacting to our demand.

We are sending you our warning again.

Do carry out our demand if you want to escape us.

And, Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!

You, SONY & FBI, cannot find us.

We are perfect as much.

The destiny of SONY is totally up to the wise reaction & measure of SONY.

Update: Violent threats prove to be very effective at censorship

17th December 2014. See  article from

The New York premiere of The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korea's president, has been cancelled amid threats from hackers. A spokesman for the cinema chain due to host the screening said it had been shelved. Hackers targeting Sony Pictures had threatened to attack US cinemas showing the studio's film.

Calling themselves Guardians of Peace, the hackers mentioned the 9/11 attacks in a recent warning, claiming the world will be full of fear . Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time, the hacker group wrote in a message. 

A spokesman for Landmark, the cinema chain due to host the New York premiere, confirmed the showing had been cancelled but gave no reason, Reuters news agency reported. Executives from Sony had previously said they would not object if cinemas chose not to show The Interview.

Update: Hollywood runs out of baddies

18th December 2014. See  article from
See also The Interview hack scandal could spell end to foreign movie villains from

Sony has bowed to the demands of North Korean-linked hackers and made the unprecedented step of pulling its film The Interview from cinemas. Sony announced the movie would not be released as planned in America on Christmas Day after threats of violence by the hackers.

The decision was made after the five biggest cinema chains in the US, operating 20,000 screens between them, said they would not show the comedy, which centres on a plot to assassinate the secretive state's leader Kim Jong-un.

Sony said it had no further global release plans for the film - which had a scheduled UK release date of Feb 6, 2015.

US investigators said it had determined North Korea was behind the devastating cyber attack following weeks of speculation.  President Barack Obama said his administration is taking the cyber attack against Sony studios seriously, but urged cinemagoers not be cowed by the threats.

Many were quick to criticise Sony's decision, calling it a major blow for freedom of expression and warned it could set a dangerous precedent of censorship.

Offsite Comment: US weighs response to film threat

19th December 2014. See  article from

The White House is treating the cyberattack on Sony Pictures as a legitimate national security matter as the film studio deals with the fallout from its controversial decision to pull The Interview from theaters.

... Read the full article

Update: World Police cower from violent bully

19th December 2014. See  article from

After Sony yanked North Korean satire The Interview from theaters, several small houses announced plans to show Team America - another film featuring a North Korean leader - in an attempt to spite the hermit regime.

However, Paramount Pictures has now put the kibosh on the screenings - sending out messages barring the cinemas from showing the movie.

One of the theaters, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema said;

Due to to circumstances beyond our control, the TEAM AMERICA 12/27 screening has been cancelled. We apologize & will provide refunds today.

Paramount however has yet to explain their decision to ban cinemas from showing the film.

Team America: World Police features the previous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il as a singing marionette that gets impaled on a spike and is later revealed to be a space alien North Korea called The Interview and act of war for portraying the assassination and violent death of its current leader, Kim Jong-un.

Offsite Update: Flimsy evidence

20th December 2014. See  The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy  from

Update: America is about kowtowing to North Korean threats

20th December 2014. See  article from

Sony made a mistake by axing the comedy The Interview . Speaking after the FBI pinned the blame on North Korea for a massive hack of Sony Pictures, President Barack Obama said:

We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don't like, or news reports that they don't like.

Or even worse imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.

That's not who we are. That's not what America is about.

Obama said he was sympathetic to Sony's plight but added: I wish they had spoken to me first.

Update: America makes a token gesture about free speech

24th December 2014. See  article from

In a plot reversal, Sony Pictures will allow The Interview to play in about 200 US cinemas as of Christmas Day, after coming under criticism from President Barack Obama for caving into pressure from North Korea

The Interview was put back into cinemas on Tuesday when Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a limited Christmas Day theatrical release for the comedy that provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its cancelled release.

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton that Seth Rogen's North Korea farce will be in a number of theaters beginning Thursday.

Update: Monkey

27th December 2014. From

North Korea called President Barack Obama a monkey and blamed the US for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the comedy The Interview. The country's powerful National Defense Commission, the country's top governing body led by Kim Jong Un, said that Obama was behind the release of The Interview . It described the movie as illegal, dishonest and reactionary. A spokesman said:

Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.



Offsite Article: Responding to Censorship with Censorship...

Link Here27th December 2014
Full story: The Interview...Sony hacked possibly by North Korea and threats curtail film release
Is Sony's crackdown a bigger threat to western free speech than North Korea?

See article from



The Messenger of God...

Indian film causes a little religious 'outrage'

Link Here22nd December 2014
MSG: The Messenger of God is a 2015 India action comedy drama by Jeetu Arora and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan.
Starring Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, Daniel Kaleb and Fllora Saini. Youtube link IMDb

Guru Ji is a social reformer who works to help people fight against social evils.

Various Sikh organisations are 'outraged' about Gurmeet Ram Rahim's debut movie MSG: Messenger of God, and are seeking a ban.

The All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) said that it will soon move the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking a ban on the film. AISSF president Karnail Singh Peermohammad said even the film's teaser is controversial as it shows the dera chief challenging people (Sikhs) with his dialogue Jo hamse takrayega (who will try to confront me). He said:

We have demanded a complete ban on the screening of the film and have requested the censor board, Punjab government and the Akal Takht to take immediate steps to get the film banned across the world. We are also moving a case in the court seeking a ban on the controversial film.

We have even objected to the title of the film. God's envoy cannot be a criminal. He is facing rape and murder allegations.



Kingsman: the Secret Service...

BBFC slip in another film suffering BBFC advised category cuts for a 15 rated cinema release

Link Here20th December 2014
Kingsman: the Secret Service is a 2015 UK action crime comedy by Matthew Vaughn.
Starring Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Taron Egerton. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong bloody violence, strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice in an unfinished version. The company was informed the film was likely to be classified 18, but that their requested 15 could be achieved by making some reductions in scenes of violence. When the finished version was submitted for formal classification, reductions had been made and the film was passed 15.
Summary Notes

A veteran secret agent takes a young upstart under his wing.



Taken 3...

BBFC advised category cuts made for a 12A rated cinema release

Link Here19th December 2014
Taken 3 is a 2015 France action crime thriller by Olivier Megaton.
Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for moderate action violence, infrequent strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice in an incomplete form. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive a 15, but that their requested 12A could be achieved by making reductions in scenes of violence. When the finished version was submitted for formal classification, those changes had been made and the film was classified 12A.

US Release

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief strong language.

Hopefully uncut but there have been a couple of recent examples where BBFC advised category cuts have been adopted for worldwide release.

Summary Notes

Bryan Mills, an Ex-government operative is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed as he is tracked and pursued, Bryan Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.



Researchers with nothing better to do than watch Tom and Jerry all day...

There's more death and mayhem in cartoon's than in films for adults

Link Here 17th December 2014
It's something any Tom and Jerry viewer must have known for a long time. Children's cartoons are apparently more violent than films aimed at adults, and filled with murder and mayhem according to 'research'.

Animated characters are more than twice as likely to be killed off than actors in movies aimed at a grown up audience, the study claims. The authors of the research concluded:

Rather than being innocuous and gentler alternatives to typical horror or drama films, children's animated films are, in fact, hotbeds of murder and mayhem.

The study, published in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, assessed the amount of violence young children might be exposed to when watching films targeted at their age group:

Parents of main characters were more than five times as likely to die in children's cartoons as they were in films targeted at adults.

Researchers Dr Ian Colman and Dr James Kirkbride, from the University of Ottawa in Canada and University College London, also found no evidence to suggest that the level of violence has changed in children's films since Snow White.



Japanese campaigners recommend...

Angelina Jolie's latest movie, Unbroken

Link Here16th December 2014
Unbroken is a 2014 USA action war biography by Angelina Jolie.
Starring Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Jai Courtney. Youtube link IMDb

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.

Angelina Jolie's latest war movie, Unbroken , has been facing criticism recently from Japanese conservatives for its portrayals of brutality in World War II prisoner of war camps.

There is a movement among Japanese conservatives to ban the film inside Japan, describing its content as racist, immoral, and fabricated.

Anything to do with the country's wartime legacy still stirs up controversy within Japan and some leading politicians openly deny wartime events such as the Nanjing Massacre and claim that the forced prostitution of Korean women known as comfort women never occurred.

Many Netizens have commented in support Jolie and her vision, saying that she is simply showing the truth and that Japan can't hide from its past. However, there are some who pointed out that history has always written by the victors and details easily altered, and drew attention to the fact that Japan was not the only nation to commit atrocities, adding that it is not fair that their country continues to be singled out for its actions in a war that ended over half a century ago.



Offsite Article: The Expendables 3...

Link Here15th December 2014
Movie-Censorship reveals the cuts for a US MPAA PG-13 rating

See article from



Religious Censors...

Indian sikhs to set up a unilaterally imposed film censorship board to ensure that movies and books provide positive propaganda for the religion

Link Here14th December 2014
India Sikhs are attempting to unilaterally impose a new Sikh film censor board on Indian films to force them to portray the religion and its followers in a positive light.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will constitute a Sikh Censor Board to clear movies and books touching on the Sikh religion, history and culture. The board will ensure that films, books and entertainment provide positive propaganda for the religion. SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar said,

The proposed board is aimed to ensure that the movies made in the future are in accordance with the Sikh 'rehat maryada' (code of conduct). The board will have 11 members, including Sikh intellectuals, historians and experts from various fields, film experts and lawyers.

Akal Takht Jathedar (High Priest) Gurbachan Singh said:

The SGPC was asked to constitute a censor board. Any movie or book related to Sikh history and culture has to be examined to avoid any controversies in the future.

However the unilateral imposition of religious censorship may not have any legal basis whatsoever.

Central Board of Film Classification (CBFC) member Chander Mukhi questioned the legal sanctity behind the proposed censor board by SGPC. He said:

What legal status do they have? Under which law will they enact this board? CBFC is enacted by the Parliament. Any other organisation will come up tomorrow and try to set its own censor board. We have different panels to watch the movies before they are released. The members are different every time. Any objectionable part in the film is cut down.

Makkar admitted that the board would have no legal sanctity:

Filmmakers who don't seek approval from the board would be responsible if there is any controversy. There have been instances in the past when films had to face strong protests.



The British Board of World Film Censors...

BBFC category cuts for Pompeii and Hercules are applied to worldwide releases

Link Here12th December 2014
BBFC advised category cuts were made for UK cinema and home video releases of Paul WS Anderson's Pompeii .

The BBFC commented at the time of the cinema release:

This work was originally seen for advice. 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 some changes.

The company was advised:
  • to reduce stronger moments of violence where there was a dwelling on particular acts and
  • to reduce the emphasis on blood on bladed weapons.

When the film was formally submitted, changes had been made which addressed these concerns. Consequently, the film was passed 12A.

Now reveals that the BBFC advised category cuts were adopted for US PG-13 rated release and also for FSK 12 rated release in Germany. Presumably the BBFC cuts therefore apply worldwide.

BBFC advised category cuts similarly found there way into the worldwide Theatrical Version of Brett Ratner's Hercules . But at least in this case there was an Extended Version released on US Blu-ray which restored the cuts. The Extended Version is MPAA Unrated in the US but has not been released in the UK.



Offsite Article: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is Darker Than You Remember...

Link Here 9th December 2014
An interesting article detailing with the two versions of the film and touching on the BBFC censorship

See article from



Offsite Article: The ongoing failure of the PG-13 rating...

Link Here7th December 2014
Full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13
An opinion piece on PG-13 backed up with a good history of the rating. By Chris Klimek

See article from



Offsite Article: Zack and Miri make an MPAA Appeal...

Link Here5th December 2014
How Kevin Smith Avoided an NC-17 Sex Scene

See article from



Recommended by New Zealand's film censor...

House on the Edge of the Park

Link Here2nd December 2014
House on the Edge of the Park is a 1980 Italian horror thriller by Ruggero Deodato
With David Hess and Annie Belle. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The New Zealand film censor has reported the ban of a proposed re-release in its 2014 Annual Report:

This film is deemed objectionable because it tends to promote and support violence and coercion to compel women to submit to sexual conduct.

The film is dominated by numerous scenes of sexual violence. It opens on a graphic scene of rape that is not supported by context. The narrative then follows two men as they terrorise a group of people, particularly the female members of the group, who they repeatedly subject to sexual violence. Gratuitous lingering shots of nudity and other cinematic effects such as romantic music and lighting during the scenes of assault and rape support this purpose. The sexual violence is not contextualized or explored beyond the superficial presentation of the conduct. The victims appear aroused by, unaffected by and thus collusive in the violence perpetrated against them; this feeds into the intrinsic rape myth dialogue of the publication. Viewers are relentlessly exposed to titillating images that eroticise sexual humiliation and violence.

All of these factors invite viewers to become complicit in events and to take vicarious pleasure in the men's misogyny and the victims' humiliation and dehumanisation. Further, due to the publication's proliferation of rape myths and relentless eroticized presentation of sexual violence, people who have been subjected to any form of sexual abuse will be re-traumatized by the film's depictions of violence and sexual violence. The legitimization of these rape myths also irredeemably serves to validate viewers' misconceptions of sexual violence and thus their real world response to sexual violence.

The Classification Office is aware that cut versions of the feature have been released in the United Kingdom and has considered whether a different classification might be possible if excisions were made. However the distributor has notified the Classification Office that any excisions will not be made, so in this instance they have not been recommended.

For comparison in the UK, the film was once banned, but is now cut

Banned by the BBFC for 1981 cinema release. Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Unbanned after 12 minutes of cuts in 2002. Cuts reduced to 43s in 2011.

And of course in the US the film is uncut and MPAA Unrated for



Recommended by New Zealand's film censor...

High School DxD

Link Here1st December 2014
High School DxD is a Japan action anime comedy
Starring Jamie Marchi, Terri Doty and Kyle Phillips. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

The story follows Issei Hyodo, a dim-witted, lecherous second-year high school student who is killed by a girl on his first date ever. Issei is reincarnated as a devil, and from that day forward, he serves as an underling of Riasu, a high-level devil who is also the prettiest girl on Issei's campus.

The New Zealand film censor has reported the ban in its 2014 Annual Report:

The DVD is classified objectionable. The publication is the first set of episodes of a Japanese anime series set in high school about a sex-obsessed schoolboy who becomes part of the supernatural world. The DVD tends to promote and support the sexual exploitation of young persons. All of the young female characters are highly sexualised and fetishised. They are relentlessly depicted as nude or in limited sexualised clothing. Focus is made on their breasts and youthful bodies in such a way as to titillate and arouse the viewer. Their youthfulness is emphasised by the high school setting, their school uniforms and their engagement in high school activities. Episodes are separated by photo stills of the female characters sexually posing, reminiscent of adult pornographic material. The credits feature these characters performing strip tease. The scenes are constructed wholly for the sexual benefit of the viewer. The main purpose of this treatment is to reinforce the notion that young persons are sexually desirable and available. It encourages and legitimises the pursuit of young persons as viable adult sexual partners.

By way of a comparison, the BBFC passed the DVD 15 uncut for strong sex references, nudity, strong language, violence, sexual threat for:



Extract: Seeking Consumer Advice on Consumer Advice...

Australian film censors review international research on public attitudes to film classification

Link Here30th November 2014

The Australian Commonwealth is currently conducting a program of classification-related social research.

As a first step in the implementation of the research program, a review of relevant public opinion research and literature was undertaken. The review included public opinion research from Australia and overseas on perceptions, awareness, use and understanding of classification categories and consumer advice and alignment of classification categories and consumer advice with community standards. Relevant academic studies were also included in this report.

Review conclusions are as follows:

  1. There is broad backing for and confidence in classification systems, both in Australia and in comparable jurisdictions.
  2. There is a high awareness of the NCS and categories/ markings amongst the Australian public; however, quantitative research undertaken in this area is dated.
  3. Understanding of classification categories and markings amongst the Australian public (and amongst the public in comparable jurisdictions) appears to be limited, with significant variation observed across categories/ markings.
  4. Understanding of mid-level classifications amongst the Australian public is especially problematic, and sometimes compares unfavourably to the levels observed in comparable jurisdictions.
  5. The Australian publics' understanding of the consumer advice that accompanies classification symbols is incomplete, and sometimes compares unfavourably to the level of understanding observed in other jurisdictions.
  6. Using separate classifications for sexually explicit films and other adults only films can cause confusion.
  7. Despite broad community and stakeholder support for the existence of a classification system, views on the RC category (and similar) are mixed.
  8. Classification decisions for films and computer games are broadly aligned with community standards, both in Australia and in comparable jurisdictions.
  9. Parents (and other primary caregivers) are more supportive of classification and rating systems when compared to the general public.
  10. Young people across jurisdictions are, on the whole, knowledgeable and supportive of classification systems; however, self-reported support may not translate into actual use of the system to avoid (or prepare to view) material, especially amongst older children and adolescents.
  11. Use of classification and rating information amongst the general public (especially parents) appears to be relatively high across jurisdictions, with Australia comparing favourably; however use amongst parents may be overestimated.
  12. Empirical evidence assessing potential for harm should be critically considered in conjunction with data assessing community standards.
  13. There is widespread agreement amongst community members that certain content is likely to be harmful (especially to children and young people); however the relative potential for harm is thought to be mediated by: Frequency; Duration; and Context.
  14. There is broad community support for the inclusion of selected fetishes in higher-level, restricted content.
  15. There are concerns that exposure to gambling and non-illicit drug use (i.e. alcohol and tobacco) via films and computer games may be harmful, both at an individual and societal level. It is therefore worth considering (a) the inclusion of a specific Gambling element within the NCS, and (b) the expansion in scope of the Drug use element to including portrayals of smoking and alcohol consumption.



Extract: Adult films down, VoD movies up...

New Zealand's film censor publishes annual report

Link Here30th November 2014

A total of 2,259 publications were submitted for classification this year, 2,032 publications were examined and 2,060 decisions registered.

Crown submissions increased by 48% from the previous year while commercial work dropped by 8%. This drop was expected to be larger with the main New Zealand distributor of adult DVDs withdrawing from the market. However, during this period local distributors of online movie and TV series began submitting product for classification.

In terms of Crown work a 48% increase from the previous year in Crown submissions was largely driven by Police and the Department of Internal Affairs enforcement activity. As a result, the number of publications banned this year more than doubled from the previous year's result. Of the 320 publications banned, 88% dealt with the sexual exploitation of children and young persons.



Offsite Article: Bloodless Violence...

Link Here29th November 2014
Full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13
Could R-Rated Violent Movies Actually Be Good For Younger Viewers?

See article from



Updated" Three Fingered Salute...

Thai cinemas cancel showings of Mockingjay as its symbology chimes with those opposing military dictatorship

Link Here25th November 2014
Managers at Bangkok's Lido and Scala cinemas have decided not to show the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 for fear of a political backlash.

The management of Apex group, which operates the theatres, told the Bangkok Post it had received a phone call asking for 200 tickets for the film's premiere on Thursday noon at Scala theatre, and that they be sent by mail. It found out later the tickets were being given out for free from a Facebook page.

The League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy posted on its Facebook that it would give 160 tickets for the movie premiere at Scala under its Raise Three Fingers, Bring Popcorn and Go to the Theatre campaign. It also asked its friends to comment on How does the Capitol resemble Bangkok? - the winning commentators would get 80 tickets for free. As of 6.46pm on Wednesday there were 241 comments to the post.

Apex said authorities had met with management to talk about the film but claimed its decision to drop the show had nothing to do with what happened to the military ruler Prayut Chan-o-cha in Khon Kaen.

His talk there was interrupted by five students. The five wore anti coup t-shirts and gave the general the three-finger salute from the Hunger Games series of movies before being whiskered away by police and soldiers to a military camp. A security official said they were detained at the camp for attitude adjustment.

Update: UN gives Thailand a 3 fingered salute

25th November 2014.  See  article from

The United Nations has criticised the Thailand's military dictators for arresting students flashing the signature protest gesture from The Hunger Games while the film's makers have said they are concerned for the young activists.

Fallout from the detention of three students outside two Bangkok theatres continued with the military's 'Prime Minister' Prayut Chan-o-cha saying he felt unthreatened by The Hunger Games' three-fingered protest against totalitarian rule, but nonetheless warned people against using it. , Gen Prayut told reporters:

I don't know whether it is illegal or not but it could jeopardise their futures. I appreciate their courage but they should use their courage in the right ways.

His comments came as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Southeast Asia criticised the authorities for a recent spate of instances in which people were led away for questioning after making the salute that has become a symbol of defiance for anti-coup protesters. Local OHCHR representative Matilda Bogner told AFP:

This case is the latest illustration of a worrying pattern of human rights violations, which has the effect of suppressing critical and independent voices, l

The three students apprehended for flashing the three-finger salute were released without charges.

Meanwhile the military government announces indefinite martial law

Perhaps while the media are distracted by the Hunger Games story, the country's justice minister announced that martial law is here to stay. Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya told Reuters:

Martial law is necessary and we cannot lift it because the government and junta need it as the army's tool.  We are not saying that martial law will stay in place for 50 years, no this is not it, we just ask that it remain in place for now, indefinitely.

And meanwhile the lese majeste law is used to outlaw criticism

A military court in Thailand has sentenced a web editor to four and a half years in jail for publishing an article five years ago that it said insulted the nation's king.

Rungwong edited the Thai E-News website, which is now blocked by censors. The article, published in 2009, was written by Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a radical Thai intellectual and former university political scientist who fled to Britain that year.

Thailand's lese-majesty law is considered the harshest in the world, with the accused facing jail terms of three to 15 years if found guilty. And the definition of insult is drawn very widely. Suggesting changes to Thailand's political status quo can readily be considered a criticism of the state and hence an insult to the king's stewardship of Thailand.

Update: And human rights criticisms get blocked

1st December 2014. See  article from

The Thai government has blocked access to the Thailand page of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) website after receiving harsh criticism from the organisation.

In recent weeks HRW have heavily criticised Thailand's military government for its crackdown on dissent.

The fact that the [junta] feels the need to block Human Rights Watch's Thailand webpage means that we must be doing something right, said Brad Adams, HRW's Asia director.



Update: Action violence didn't turn out so expendable...

Stallone says Expendables 4 will be R rated

Link Here24th November 2014
Full story: Expendables...Tough guys and whimpy censorship
Expendables 1 and 2 established a hard edge to the Stallone's action series but the 3rd episode was toned down to PG-13 in search of a larger audience. This didn't turn out to be the case but this could also be down to audience fatigue often associated with multiple sequels.

Either way Stallone has said in an interview with CraveOnline that th enext film with return to being R rated.

Stallone was asked: Do you think future Expendables movies should be R-rated from the get go? He replied:

I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone's part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I'm quite certain it won't happen again.



Offsite Article: Found Missing 99s...

Link Here20th November 2014
Full story: Found...Cut and briefky banned in Australia, Cut in the UK
Movie-Censorship reveals that the UK release of Found is cut by 99s so must have suffered pre-cuts in addition to the 4s of BBFC cuts.

See article from



Paddington Bear and his Mild Sex References...

The Daily Mail, the book's author and SaferMedia all whinge at the BBFC for its consumer advice for the movie, Paddington

Link Here18th November 2014
Paddington is a 2014 UK / France family comedy by Paul King.
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.

The BBFC Just passed the film PG uncut for cinema release with the consumer advice:

dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language.

But a little earlier, the consumer advice had read

dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references, mild bad language.

The BBFC changed the wording of its guidance after the Daily Mail ran a story about the PG rating for the film. It seems that the Paddington author Michael Bond was totally amazed at the term mild sex references used by the BBFC. Bond told the Daily Mail:

I'd be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight. I can't imagine what the sex references are. It doesn't enter into it with the books, certainly.'

After an approach from the film's distributor the BBFC altered the term mild sex references to innuendo . The distributor also asked for clarity to the frequency of mild bad language, and the BBFC duly obliged by adding the descriptor, infrequent.

The film's director Paul King said he had expected the BBFC to issue a PG rating:

I'm not surprised about that but I don't think it's a PG for sexiness. That I would find very odd, he said.

The Daily Mail also a dragged up a trivial sound bite from  Pippa Smith, of the SaferMedia campaign. She said:

There should be absolutely nothing threatening, sexual or dangerous about Paddington. If there is, it should be cut.

For a full description of what the BBFC are alluding to here is the BBFC Insight. (which still uses the heading 'sex')

Imitable Behaviour

There are infrequent scenes of dangerous behaviour, including Paddington hiding from a villain inside a refrigerator and riding on a skateboard while holding on to a bus, as well as a brief scene of a boy strapping fireworks to his shoes.


There are occasional sequences of mild threat when Paddington is chased by the villain who threatens to kill and stuff him, as well as a brief sequence in which Paddington lies unconscious on a table while a taxidermist prepares their tools nearby. There is also a short scene in a jungle when Paddington and his family run for shelter during an earthquake with trees falling around them.


There is some mild innuendo, including a comic sequence in which a man disguised as a woman is flirted with by another man.


There is a single mumbled use of bloody .

Update: Panto

27th November 2014. See  article from

Paddington producer David Heyman has spoken about the unfair controversy surrounding the film's BBFC rating. Heyman told Digital Spy:

When I first heard, it was with a little bit of disbelief. There's nothing in the film that is more inappropriate, or has more innuendo, than panto.

They're doing their job, and I understand, but I think this time they were a little unfair. It's good old fun, and it's playful.



The Maze Runner...

An uncut 15 rated Audio Descriptive Version suggests that the UK will see an uncut home video release

Link Here15th November 2014
The Maze Runner is a 2014 USA action Sci-Fi mystery by Wes Ball.
Starring Dylan O'Brien, Will Poulter and Kaya Scodelario. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: The Audio Descriptive Version was passed 15 uncut for intense scenes, strong threat, violence for:

  • 2014 Twentieth Century Fox video

UK Censorship History

In the US the film was uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images for:

However BBFC 43s of category cuts were required for a 12A rated 2014 cinema release

The appearance of a 15 rated Audio Descriptive Version suggest that there will now be an uncut release on UK video although it is not yet clear exactly what will be released on UK DVD and Blu-ray.

Summary Notes

A group of boys, with no memories of their past lives, must escape a massive maze infested with deadly creatures.




US drama by John Herzfeld has two versions, passed 15 and 12, available for UK video release

Link Here15th November 2014
Collection (aka Reach Me and Out of Sight) is a 2014 USA drama by John Herzfeld.
Starring Danny Aiello, Rick Aiello and Jillian Barberie. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: Presumably the cut PG-13 version was passed 12 for strong language, moderate violence, threat, drug use for:

  • 2014 Signature Entertainment video titled Collection

Censorship History

Originally R Rated by the MPAA but the film was later cut for a PG-13 rating. The BBFC passed the two versions 15 and 12 respectively without BBFC cuts.

The film seems to have been cut fro PG-13 by about 3:22s which achieved a lowering of BBFC advice from strong violence to moderate violence.

The US home video release is advertised on Amazon with an R rating as follows:

US: Uncut and MPAA R rated for some violence, language and brief drug use for:

Summary Notes

A drama centered on a group of people who all have a connection to a self-help book authored by a reclusive former football coach.



BBFC living somewhere inbetween NeverNeverLand and CloudCuckooLand...

BBFC ludicrously cut 20 minutes from the Inbetweeners 2 Deleted Scenes extras for strong language and crude humour

Link Here 12th November 2014
The Inbetweeners 2 is a 2014 UK comedy by Damon Beesley and Iain Morris.
Starring Simon Bird, James Buckley and Blake Harrison. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

It has already been reported that the main feature suffered BBFC category cuts for a 15 rating. The BBFC commented:

This film was previously seen for advice. The company was advised the film was likely to be classified 18 but that their preferred 15 could be achieved by making reductions to two scenes involving crude humour.

Maybe the cut scenes tried to find their way back on to the disk as Deleted Scenes. But the BBFC were having none of it. The DVD/Blu-ray extra entitled Deleted Scenes was cut by 19m 54s. The BBFC explained:

Distributor chose to reduce the number of uses of very strong language and to reduce the detail in a scene in which one character urinates on another. Cuts were made in line with BBFC Guidelines and policy in order to achieve a 15 rating. An uncut 18 was available.

How ludicrous to cut strong language for 15, 16 and 17 year old viewers.



The Daily Mail Recommends Mockingjay...

With the support of a couple of trivial sound bites from Mediawatch-UK and SaferMedia

Link Here11th November 2014
The Daily Mail as been heaping praise on Hunger Games: Mockingjay . The paper gushes:

Showing public executions, corpses being devoured by wild animals and the bombing of a hospital, it's not exactly your typical children's film. But the latest instalment of The Hunger Games phenomenon has been handed a 12A classification -- meaning it can be watched by under-12s as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

As a glamorous Jennifer Lawrence took to the red carpet for the film's London premiere last night, critics (Well just Medaiwatch-UK and SaferMedia actually) questioned whether the BBFC's decision was appropriate, warning that the graphic scenes in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 could normalise violence and traumatise children.

While this instalment contains fewer acts of violence than the first two films, the scenes of death and destruction that it does have are some of the most disturbing in the franchise -- including the aftermath of a firebomb with heaps of corpses twisted among each other. Protesters are also shown being hooded, forced to their knees and shot in the head.

Pippa Smith of the Safer Media campaign said:

These are not things you would want children to see. It normalises violence.

Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch UK added:

There's nothing to stop you taking a four-year-old to see it. I think it's really worrying that films which, several years ago, would have been a 15 are now being given lower ratings.


Whilst the Daily Mail is conjuring up a bit of commercially advantageous 'outrage' about the leniency of the BBFC, others are questioning whether the BBFC isn't perhaps a little overly cautious about an 18 certificate for the gay film Gerontophilia

See review from

Gerontophilia has been described by some as the most controversial film ever made by director Bruce La Bruce. That's quite impressive for a filmmaker whose previous films have mixed Neo Nazis and gay porn, and zombies and gay porn. There's not any gay porn at all in this one, so why has it courted controversy? Well it's purely because it's about one of the last taboos -- relationships with a massive age difference.

To be honest I was surprised that in the UK the BBFC gave it an 18 certificate along with the advisory that it contains strong sex (which was also put on the DVD cover). It doesn't contain strong sex at all -- which for a Bruce La Bruce movie is the perhaps most shocking thing about the film -- it just has a guy briefly masturbating under his clothes and the sight of a naked 80-year-old. However because the guy is touching himself because there's a naked 80-year-old, that apparently equates to strong sex. Normally the BBFC isn't as prudish about these things as its US counterpart is, but I can't help but feel that a bit of disgust crept in here that didn't look at the actual content.



Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence?...

Er.. no. Another research paper finds no correlation

Link Here 9th November 2014

Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence? It Depends on What You Look at and When, by Christopher Ferguson; Journal of Communication

Since the 1920s, scholars and politicians have blamed violence in movies and other media as a contributing factor to rising violence in society. Recently the responses to mass shootings in Aurora, CO and at Sandy Hook Elementary followed this theme as media consumption came into the equation. But can consumption of violent media really be a factor in real-world violence? A recent study published in the Journal of Communication by a researcher at Stetson University found that there were no associations between media violence consumption in society and societal violence.

Christopher Ferguson (Stetson University) published his findings in the Journal of Communication. Ferguson conducted two studies that raised the question if whether the incidence of violence in media correlates with actual violence rates in society. The first study looked at movie violence and homicide rates between 1920 and 2005. The second study looked at videogame violence consumption and its relationship to youth violence rates from 1996-2011. He found that societal consumption of media violence is not predictive of increased violence rates in society.

For the first study, independent raters evaluated the frequency and graphicness of violence in popular movies from 1920-2005. These were correlated to homicide rates for the same years. Overall, movie violence and homicide rates were not correlated. However, during the mid-20th century, movie violence and homicide rates did appear to correlate slightly, which may have led some to believe a larger trend was at play. That correlation reversed after 1990 so that movie violence became correlated with fewer homicides. Prior to the 1940s, movie violence was similarly related to fewer homicides, not more.

In the second study on video game violence, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) ratings were used to estimate the violent content of the most popular video games for the years 1996-2011. These estimates of societal video game violence consumption were correlated against federal data on youth violence rates during the same years. Violent video game consumption was strongly correlated with declines in youth violence. However, it was concluded that such a correlation is most likely due to chance and does not indicate video games caused the decline in youth violence.

Previous studies have focused on laboratory experiments and aggression as a response to movie and videogame violence, but this does not match well with real-life exposure. Other studies have indicated that, in the short term, the release of violent movies or video games is associated with declines in societal violence. However, no one has examined these trends long-term. Some scholars have argued that movies are becoming more violent, but none have examined whether this phenomenon is a concern for society. This study is the first to suggest that movie violence and video game violence consumption probably are increasing over time, but that there is little evidence that this has caused a problem for society.

Society has a limited amount of resources and attention to devote to the problem of reducing crime. There is a risk that identifying the wrong problem, such as media violence, may distract society from more pressing concerns such as poverty, education and vocational disparities and mental health, Ferguson said. This research may help society focus on issues that really matter and avoid devoting unnecessary resources to the pursuit of moral agendas with little practical value.



Extended to 15...

The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug and considerations of 12/PG-13/15/R ratings

Link Here6th November 2014
The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug [Extended Edition] is a 2013 USA/New Zealand fantasy adventure by Peter Jackson.
Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

About an hour into The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug , there's a scene that takes place between Elvenking Thranduil (Lee Pace) and his son Legolas (Orlando Bloom) where they're interrogating a captured Orc.

Thranduil ends up killing the Orc by brutally taking off his head. As the camera pulls back on the scene you can see the Orc's lifeless body twitching in its last moments of life until Thranduil steps on his foot to make him stop.

On the Blu-Ray commentary director Peter Jackson refers to the Orc's appendage as the R-rated twitching foot:

When the film went to the MPAA, the thing that they were most concerned about was the twitching leg

Jackson was intent on leaving the scene in the film and the film was awarded the required PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

In the UK, the BBFC likewise passed the film 12 uncut for moderate violence, threat. The same rating applied to both the Theatrical Version and the Extended Edition.

But for the home video the distributors in the UK were not quite so wound up by the possibility of a higher rating.

The Extended Edition has been released with a 15 certificate, not because of the 12 rated main feature, but because of one of the extras being 15 rated: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - Extended Edition - Business Of The State The Master's Chambers [Additional Material]

UK: The main feature was passed 12 uncut for moderate violence, threat for, but the disks have gone out with a 15 rating for:

  • 2014 Warner [2D + 3D Extended Version] Bookend Edition R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd November 2014
  • 2014 Warner [2D + 3D Extended Version] Steelbook R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd November 2014
  • 2014 Warner [2D + 3D Extended Version] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd November 2014
  • 2014 Warner [Extended Version] R1 DVD at UK Amazon released on 3rd November 2014



Offsite Article: Still shocking...

Link Here1st November 2014
Stills turn up detailing the long lost original ending to Friday the 13th Part 3

See article from



Comparably Strict...

The New Zealand film censor compares ratings from 6 countries and finds itself most similar to UK

Link Here26th October 2014
New Zealand film censors at the Office Of Film & Literature Classification have been censor ratings for the major films and games from 2012-13.

Ratings from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ontario, New Zealand and Singapore were compared using a scale of age and restrictiveness. The report examined 260 feature films and 112 video games..

According to the report the comparisons for games show that;

  • Overall, game classifications in New Zealand are less restrictive than those of the United Kingdom and Ontario, and more restrictive than those of Singapore, Australia, and the United States. 

  • The average strength of game classifications in different jurisdictions (for 2012/13) is similar to our last report (for 2010/11).

  • There have been changes since our last analysis however: the United Kingdom is included in the games comparison as it began enforcing the European PEGI system in 2012, and Australia began using an R18+ classification for games in 2013.

  • Having adopted the European PEGI system and legally enforced its age ratings, the United Kingdom now has the most restrictive classification system for games of any jurisdiction in our study. Game classifications in the United Kingdom are most consistent with New Zealand's: 89% of titles in our sample received a relatively consistent classification in both jurisdictions. 

  • Game classifications in the United States are the least consistent with New Zealand's, with just 18% of the sample receiving a relatively consistent classification.

  • For games classified in Australia in 2012, only 14% of titles were relatively consistent with New Zealand's, but this rose to 49% in 2013 after the introduction of an Australian R18+ classification for games. The overall impact 

  • of the introduction of R18+ is that games were more restrictively classified in Australia in 2013 than in New Zealand.

  • The ESRB system in the United States is the least restrictive system for game classification because it is not legally enforced. However, when fully enforced in Ontario, the system is more restrictive than New Zealand's.

  • Singapore's game classification system is considerably less restrictive than its system for films, and is one of the least consistent in this regard when compared with other jurisdiction.

Overall the NZOFLC stated that the Restrictiveness of NZ classifications is closest to UK's .



Movies should be rated by people who haven't watched many movies...

Ludicrous academics claim that the more we experience, the less our opinions are worth. In every other aspect of life, the more we experience, the better we are able to judge.

Link Here 24th October 2014

Parents can become less sensitive to violence and sex in movies after watching only a few scenes with disturbing content, according to a study published in Pediatrics that was conducted by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Parents viewed three brief pairs of movie scenes featuring either violent or sexual content. After seeing the first movie clip, the parents thought the minimum age on average to see a movie with that content should be 16.9 years old for violence or 17.2 years old for sex. After watching the sixth and final scene, the parents were more willing to let younger teens see the movies, 13.9 years for violence and 14 years for sex -- lowering the minimum age by three years or more.

Dan Romer, associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and the study's lead author said:

We know these scenes are somewhat disturbing to parents. When they first see them, they say you shouldn't let someone younger than 17 see them -- which is comparable to an R rating. But they get more and more accepting of that content as they're watching it.

The study Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movie s, will be published in the November 2014 issue of Pediatrics. The findings were based on an online survey of 1,000 parents who have children from ages 6 to 17. The movie scenes came from popular films targeted at youth (PG-13), rated R (under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian) or unrated in DVD versions.

The study comes as scenes of sex and violence become more prevalent in movies aimed at youth. A 2013 study in Pediatrics from APPC researchers showed that the amount of violence in PG-13 movies tripled in the most popular movies since 1985. That study also found that the amount of gun violence in popular PG-13 movies in 2012 actually exceeded that in popular R-rated movies. Another APPC study in Pediatrics in 2013 found that movie violence was associated with sex and alcohol use as often in PG-13 as R-rated movies.

The possible effect on movie raters

The authors noted that people who rate movies for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who are themselves parents, could be subject to the same desensitization and thus more likely to be lenient when it comes to evaluating the appropriateness of such content for children. The study said this effect could help to explain the ratings creep that has allowed more violence into films aimed at youth.

Parents in the study viewed scenes from six of these eight movies: 8 Mile (2002, rated R); Casino Royale (2006, PG-13); Collateral (2004, R); Taken 2 (2012, PG-13); Die Hard (1988, R); Live Free or Die Hard (2007, unrated DVD); The Terminator (1984, R); and Terminator Salvation (2009, PG-13).




Belief in Repression...

Burma to re-introduce video censorship as sexy films are offensive to religious beliefs

Link Here23rd October 2014
A censor from Burma's Motion Picture and Video Censor Board, said that video censorship is to be re-introduced in Burma. He claimed that many recent movies have portrayed behaviour that supposedly runs counter to Burmese culture.

The movie censorship board announced earlier this year that, beginning on 1 December, such films will be subject to the old censorship system, whereby they are required to be evaluated and approved by the censor board prior to distribution.

Tin Nyein, a board member, further explained that this was a response to the large number of sexually-explicit films released in recent years that are offensive to certain religious beliefs.



Extract: Do we really need to see more?...

An enthusiastic review describing new content in the Director's Cut of Nymphomaniac reveals that the answer is Yes!

Link Here22nd October 2014

Did we really need more? Did we really need to see a graphic self-abortion, male genitals in all manner of pre/post sexual release? Did we need more conversations between Joe and Seligman?

After viewing Lars Von Trier's director's cut of Nyphomaniac, packing in at least 40 more minutes of provocative button pushing, the answer is an enthusiastic Yes!

In the new cut, there is more of the father figure, we can see how the rest of Joe's life becomes predatory and predestined. We also get more explicit looks at the character's early travails. The train tryst before offers up some hardcore results now. And then there is the abortion. It's graphic. It's gross. It's gruesome. But it's also a necessary part of Joe's past.

...Read the full review

US: The Director's Cuts are MPAA Unrated for:

  • 2014 Magnolia [Director's Cuts: Vol I + Vol II] RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 25th November 2014
  • 2014 Magnolia [Director's Cuts: Vol I + Vol II] R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 25th November 2014

There's no sign yet of a UK release for the Director's Cut.



Update: And politicians don't take criticism well...

Singapore film makers appeal against government ban on To Singapore with Live

Link Here21st October 2014
On 2 October 2014, filmmaker Tan Pin Pin re-submitted her film, To Singapore, With Love , for classification with the film censors at the Media Development Authority (MDA).

The MDA had originally rated her film NAR : Not Allowed for All Rating . This means the film is not allowed to be screened in public or be distributed. The MDA later said the film is allowed to be screened in private and to college students.

Since Ms Tan re-submitted the film for rating, however, several ministers and government departments have castigated the film, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He said the accounts given in the film by the former members of the Communist Party of Malaya were self-serving and were conveniently inaccurate in places, glossing over facts in others.

The Minister for Communications and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim, also criticised the film. He told Parliament on 7 October that the film's one-sided portrayals are designed to evoke feelings of sympathy and support for individuals who in reality chose to leave Singapore and remain in self-exile.

And the Government's latest response, the press secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister said allowing the film to be screened in public would be like allowing jihadi terrorist groups today to produce and publicly screen films that glorify their jihadist cause.

It certainly doesn't look good for film makers hoping to overturn the ban!



Update: Gone Girl: Movies should entertain, not educate...

The reaction to Gone Girl has been anything but unpredictable, with Britain's professional offencerati leaping on the film for its allegedly murky assertions about rape, and, more specifically, rape victims.

Link Here20th October 2014
Full story: Gone Girl...David Fincher winds up censors and the politically correct



Chucky Reincarnate...

Annabelle pulled from French cinemas after troubles break out amongst the audience

Link Here18th October 2014
Annabelle is a 2014 USA horror by John R Leonetti.
Starring Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis and Alfre Woodard. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia - a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now... Annabelle.

BBFC: Passed 15 uncut for strong horror, bloody violence

MPAA: Rated R for intense sequences of disturbing violence and terror.

A string of French cinemas have cancelled showings of new American horror form Annabelle after violence has repeatedly broken in the audience. The managers of cinemas in Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier have ceased showing the film until further notice for security reasons.

General chaos and fights have broken out among audience members during the screenings of the film, which is a prequel of the film The Conjuring and tells the tale of the murderous puppet Annabelle terrorising an unsuspecting family.

The trouble seems to stem from teenagers getting rowdy during the screenings. BFMTV film critics Alain Grasset said:

It's a very young audience, for whom the screening is a time to let loose, they go to see it as a joke, but it's a pretext to go a little wild.



Update: A Sea of Troubles...

An Indian take on Hamlet set in Kashmir gets banned by Pakistan's film censor

Link Here18th October 2014
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Haider is a 2014 India crime romance by Vishal Bhardwaj.
Starring Shahid Kapoor, Tabu and Shraddha Kapoor. IMDb

Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', Haider - a young man returns home to Kashmir on receiving news of his father's disappearance. Not only does he learn that security forces have detained his father for harboring militants, but that his mother is in a relationship with his very own uncle. Intense drama follows between mother and son as both struggle to come to terms with news of his father's death. Soon Haider learns that his uncle is responsible for the gruesome murder, what follows is his journey to avenge his father's death.

Citing the film's sensitive content , Pakistan's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decided against the release of the film in Pakistan. A CBFC employee told The Express Tribune that Haider's controversial topic and propagandist nature are the reasons for this.

A senior official at the CBFC maintained that the film's ban:

Has nothing to do with the ongoing tension between Pakistan and India. Any film that is on a controversial topic, such as the Kashmir issue, will most likely not be released in the country.

The film is against the ideology of Pakistan. We have a professional panel of reviewers that assesses films while keeping in mind factors that a layman can't understand. He stated that certain Hindi words used in a film may seem harmless to an average audience member, but can have adverse effects on our culture.

Distributor Amjad Rasheed commented on not pursuing censor clearance via a local censor board:

We realise the [gravity of the] situation at the Line of Control and if one board has refused to certify the film, then the wise thing to do is not to offer the film at all.

The film has also caused controversy in India. A court in the state of Uttar Pradesh is hearing a petition calling for the film to be banned on the grounds that it was against national interest.



Offsite Article: Uptight Britain...

Link Here16th October 2014
Politically incorrect French comedy hit won't be shown in British cinemas

See article from



Updated: Trigger Warnings or Spoilers?...

Impassioned film goer complains that BBFC trigger warnings end up being spoilers

Link Here15th October 2014
A blogger at has written an impassioned and eloquent plea against spoilers contained in BBFC consumer advice:

As a foreign language arthouse film, Two Days, One Night arguably attracts a certain type of audience: one who, at the very least, has gone to the trouble of finding out the thrust of the story in order to decide whether or not to see it. So it's fair to suggest that most people watching the film in a cinema know that it concerns Cotillard's character, Sandra, struggling to get her job back by pleading with her workmates to convince them to forego their bonus.

What, then, does that audience think when the words suicide attempt appear on screen as a warning about the film's content, alongside the BBFC's 15 certificate, mere seconds before it starts? I can't speak for everyone, but my own thoughts went something along the lines of: Oh right, so at some point things will get so bad that Sandra will try to kill herself. I'll just sit here with that information stored away, waiting for it to happen, shall I? THANKS A RUDDY BUNCH, THE BBFC.

...Read the full article

It's surely a bit tough on the BBFC. In the world of political correctness, suicide is one of the highest priorities for so called 'trigger warnings'. Surely you can't let people sensitive to suicide watch films like this without being warned.

The Guardian reports that the BBFC have seen the error in its ways:

Now the BBFC has said it will aim to stop giving too much away. The body began publishing the information on the card last year, and has tried to balance helping people make informed choices with not spoiling the storyline.

It said the problem rarely arose but it had sympathy with those who felt their enjoyment had been affected.

It believes it can tackle the issue in a pragmatic way without compromising the need to inform the public about a film's content .

The BBFC will trial a new policy examining whether a potential spoiler can be withheld from the information prior to the film, although it would still be available online. The policy will be reviewed after six months.

Update: MPAA trigger warnings for something unmentionable

14th October 2014.

The BBFC got in a little bother for spoilers in its onscreen consumer advice for the cinema film Two Days, One Night. The BBFC advice read:

Passed 15 for suicide attempt

Perhaps forewarned by the BBFC controversy, the MPAA ratings just released today seemingly avoided the spoiler with the consumer advice:

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements

Of course the phrase is now so vague that it is totally useless. What is the point of telling parents that there is something mature in a film supposedly suitable for children without giving a hint about what the mature theme is?

Are the MPAA so politically correct that they have trigger warnings that can't mention the reason for the warning?



Offsite Article Guardian's high priestess of PC, Joan Smith, recommends...

Link Here 15th October 2014
Full story: Gone Girl...David Fincher winds up censors and the politically correct
Ben Affleck's Gone Girl

See article from



Offsite Article: What parents need to know about unrated DVDs...

Link Here15th October 2014
Nothing particularly new but it gives a little background how the system works in the US

See article from



Updated: Scenes Gone...

Indian film censors demand cuts from David Fincher's Gone Girl

Link Here8th October 2014
Full story: Gone Girl...David Fincher winds up censors and the politically correct
Gone Girl is a 2014 USA thriller by David Fincher.
Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris. BBFC link IMDb

Indian film censors at the CBFC have demanded cuts before the film can be theatrically released in India. A senior marketing official at the movie's local distributor, Fox Star Studios, explained:

The movie was submitted for censorship, and certain cuts were demanded. These suggestions have been sent to Fincher's team, and he will be sending his cut, which we will submit again to the censors. We are aiming for an October 24 release.

The adult-rated movie, which originally included scenes of nudity, sex and graphic violence, is an acclaimed adaptation of Gillian Flynn's bestselling account of a husband's attempts to find his missing wife.

In the US the film was rated R uncut for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language.

In the UK the film was rated 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and very strong language.

Fincher's last film, an adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , also feel foul of Indian film censors and ended up not getting a theatrical release.

Update: Cuts details

8th October 2014. See  article from

Based on Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel by the same name, Gone Girl features Ben Affleck as an out-of-work writer who becomes the main suspect when his wife, Rosamund Pike, goes missing. Neal Patrick Harris plays her obsessive ex-lover.

The CBFC has imposed five cuts editing out scenes of frontal nudity sex and violence.

One look at the reviews and you will know that all three of the stars have bared all. A shower scene, featuring Affleck in the nude, has become a talking-point with many online commentators, not too mention repressed film censors. A pivotal sex scene featuring Pike and Harris has also got the cut.

A CBFC official said:

There is too much nudity in the film. Scenes show bare breasts and usage of words like pussy and cunt. How can we allow such stuff to release in India?



Stories of Our Lives...

Kenya's film censor bans gay film

Link Here6th October 2014
Stories of Our Lives is a 2014 Kenya by Jim Chuchu.
Starring Louis Brooke, Allan Bryan Weku and Judy Gichohi. IMDb

The film is a collection of five vignettes about Kenya's LGBT community. It has played on the international film festival circuit.

The Kenya Film Classification has just banned the film with the comment:

The decision to decline approval to the said film was because the film has obscenity, explicit scenes of sexual activities and it promotes homosexuality which, is contrary to our national norms and values.




BBFC opens its haunted archives and reveals a time before kids had to be wrapped up in cotton wool

Link Here3rd October 2014
Ghostbusters is a 1984 USA comedy Sci-Fi fantasy by Ivan Reitman.
Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver. BBFC link IMDb

Ghostbusters was submitted to the BBFC in June 1984 and classified PG for its language, innuendo and potentially scary scenes. Examiners noted suggestive innuendo involving Ray and a ghost, as well as an Exorcist-type sequence when the film's female lead, Dana, levitates and speaks in a deep voice, her body having been inhabited by the demonic Zuul.

Ghostbusters remained at PG on video when it was submitted again in 1985, 1993, 1995 and 2009. However, when the film was resubmitted for cinema classification in 2011, it was classified 12A for moderate sex references and subsequently passed at 12 on DVD/Blu-ray. The BBFCinsight for the 2011 submission of the film explains:

The BBFC's Guidelines at 'PG' state there may be 'Mild sex references and innuendo only'. The film contains a number of sex references, both verbal and visual, that exceed this allowance. Most notable is a scene in which it is implied that a ghost is performing oral sex on a man. As the man's trousers and zip are unfastened, the camera moves to his face as he sinks back on the bed with his eyes crossed in pleasure. Later, a woman who has been possessed by a demon rolls about on a bed with a man and tells him: I want you inside me. Although these references were permitted at 'PG' in the 1980s, when there was no classification available between 'PG' and '15', they are now more appropriately classified at '12A' where the Guidelines state 'Sexual activity may be briefly and discreetly portrayed. Sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers .

...Read the full article



Island Mentality...

East Java sets up its own film censor

Link Here2nd October 2014
The East Java administration will establish its own Film Censorship Board (LSF) to force films produced in the province adhere to the censor's view of cultural values.

National Film Censorship Board chief Mukhlis Paeni said that it was important for East Java to form a censorship board because the region was one of the most prolific film production areas in Indonesia, hosting many production houses, cinemas and local television stations. He said:

Films do not have to be edited by or seek authorization from a censorship body in Jakarta. With a censorship board in East Java, the task can be done there.

He expressed his hope that the censorship board would open by next year.

The Central Film Censorship Board is responsible for editing and approving films that are to be distributed and screened nationwide, and has the final say on whether a film is appropriate for viewing



No Pride in US Film Censorship...

Gay campaigners are offended that the US does not have a 15 film rating for the comedy drama Pride

Link Here2nd October 2014
Pride is a 2014 UK comedy drama by Matthew Warchus.
Starring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West. YouTube icon BBFC link  IMDb

U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.

BBFC: Passed 15 uncut for strong language, sex references

MPAA: Rated R for language and brief sexual content.

Pride has been hailed by critics, winning acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival, but a film about gay activists who raised money to help South Wales families during the 1984 miners' strike has received a US rating pretty much in line with that of the UK

The Motion Picture Association of America has ruled the film was R rated, which would be noted as 17A in the UK (ie cinema customers have to be 17 and over to watch it in their own right, but there are no age restrictions for children accompanied by an adult).

Gay activist Peter Tatchell was offended by the R rating, or perhaps offended by the fact that the USA simply doesn't have a rating between its 13 and 17 ratings. He said:

It is outrageous, knee-jerk homophobia. There's no significant sex or violence in Pride to justify strong ratings.

The American classification board seems to automatically view any film with even the mildest gay content as unfit for people under 17.

On its website, the BBFC explains its 15 rating of Stephen Beresford's film as being based on occasional strong language and some scenes with sexual references. One shows men in a gay club wearing 'bondage' clothing .

Of course if people think that the BBFC rating of 15 is about right then it is inevitable and correct that it should be R in the US.

On the other hand perhaps the BBFC rating is harsh too. Other international ratings awarded so far are:

  • Canada:PG (British Columbia)
  • France: U
  • Germany:12
  • Ireland:15A
  • Netherlands:12
  • Switzerland:10



God the Father...

Film producers to appeal to a high authority to get the MPAA rating reduced

Link Here1st October 2014
God The Father is a 2014 USA documentary by Simon Fellows.
Starring Tom Benedict Knight, Amanda Fernando Stevens and Bashar Rahal. YouTube icon IMDb

It was rated R by the MPAA for violent images, but the producers will now appeal the rating, presumably hoping for a PG-13.

Summary Notes

Michael Franzese, the son of John "Sonny" Franzese, an underboss of the Colombo crime family, recounts his spiritual transformation.

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