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Concentrating minds...

Chinese censors order that local media remains silent about the western backlash to Mulan's Xinjiang connections


Link Here11th September 2020
Mulan is a 2020 USA / Canada / Hong Kong children's action adventure by Niki Caro.
Starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen and Li Gong. IMDb

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.

China is very much looking forward to the wide distribution of the new live action Disney film Mulan. But is not so keen on letting Chinese people know that the rest of the world is talking about the films links to the repression of muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Partly shot in Xinjiang, Mulan's credits included thanks to the authorities there, which prompted calls overseas for a boycott of the movie.

Now Chinese censors have told local media outlets not to carry any news stories about the western backlash to the movie.

 

 

Updated: Less Cuties...

Turkey's TV censor says it will block the movie Cuties from showing on the local Netflix service


Link Here10th September 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Cuties ( Mignonnes) is a 2020 France comedy drama by Maïmouna Doucouré.
Starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Esther Gohourou. BBFC link IMDb

Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.

The Turkish government has said it will order Netflix to block local access to the movie Cuties. The country's TV censor claims the film contains images of child exploitation. Turkey's Family Ministry had previously said the film may cause children to be open to negligence and abuse, and negatively impact their psychosocial development.

Cuties is due to launch in the country on September 9. The movie was at the center of a furor last month when Netflix launched the film's international poster, which was widely criticized for sexualizing children. Netflix quickly apologized and removed the offending artwork, but not before the film was lynched on social media.

Update: BBFC rated

10th September 2020.

The Netflix UK release has been BBFC 15 rated uncut for rude humour, threat, dangerous behaviour, bullying, violence.

Update: New Zealand rating

20th September 2020. See article from classificationoffice.govt.nz

The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification recommended Netflix make Cuties 16+ with a warning note: Violence, sexual references, bullying and offensive language.

 

 

Live action protest reaction...

Asian activists call for a boycott of Disney's Mulan over star's support for China in the Hong Kong democracy dispute


Link Here7th September 2020
Mulan is a 2020 USA / Canada / Hong Kong children's action adventure by Niki Caro.
Starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen and Li Gong. IMDb

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.

Disney's Mulan is facing calls for a boycott in some Asian countries. Liu Yifei, the live-action film's star, first angered fans last year with comments supporting Hong Kong's police, who have been accused of violence towards pro-democracy protesters.

Now Thai and Taiwanese activists are also telling people not to see Mulan.

During a period of unrest Chinese-born actress Liu Yifei - who's an American citizen - shared a post from the government-run Beijing newspaper People's Daily on Weibo saying:

I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong.

 

 

Unauthorised cuts...

Film censorship rather assumes that censors are more morally upstanding than the rest of us, but this wasn't the case in Lagos, Nigeria


Link Here6th September 2020
The Nigerian state of Lagos has its own film censorship board has suspended the chief censor for making claiming a non-existent 5% tax on digital platforms including Netflix and Iroko TV.

Executive Secretary of the State Film and Video Censors Board, Bamidele Balogun's suspension was handed down by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. In a statement, the government denied levying the tax explaining that the Executive Security acted alone without its authorization. The statement reads:

It reads in part: There is no levy on audio and visual contents of all physical and digital platforms in Lagos State. The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Bamidele Balogun, is said to have announced a five percent levy.

The government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media. The Executive Secretary, who was not authorised to make such an announcement, has been suspended, pending an administrative enquiry.

 

 

Updated: Warning: this product contains nuts...

Distributors of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure add ludicrous PC caption about outdated stereotypes


Link Here3rd September 2020
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 USA comedy Sci-Fi romance by Stephen Herek.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter and George Carlin. BBFC link IMDb

Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter), are in danger of flunking school most heinously if they fail their history exam, and if they do they'll have to break up their totally bodacious band, WYLD STALLYNS. No way!

Mark writes:

I've just bought the new Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure DVD and can report that there is a caption added to the film warning viewers of outdated stereotypes that some people may find offensive.

Basically, we can expect to see it more on DVD's and Blu Ray's, now.

The distributors are Studiocanal. And no doubt their virtue signalling will prove more divisive than curative of social ills.

warning contains nuts 

Update: Flash trigger

3rd September 2020. Thanks to Ben

Flash Gordon had the same warning which seems... extra unnecessary because it was already had a BBFC warning for discriminatory stereotypes. I don't see a problem with these warnings if it means the film itself is uncut.

The trigger warning seems related to the presumption that the Emperor Ming character is poking fun at the Chinese. The warning reads:

flash gordon warning caption

 

 

Cutting Edge Season Six...

The latest season of the video series which details notable censor cuts is starting soon... and we're taking requests


Link Here25th August 2020

Gavin Salkeld's excellent video series, that details censor cuts from around the world, is set to start its 6th season.

And this time round we are taking requests. So if there's a movie out there that you would like covered, get on over to the cuttingedgeseries Facebook Page to join the debate.

The series runs on YouTube, so ironically modern media censorship rules may restrict the scope for choice in highlighting the censorship of traditional media.

And if you have forgotten what films we've already covered, here's a reminder:

 

 

Commented: Miserable UK film and TV directors call for an end to sex scenes...

Trade association reminisces about the Hays Code.


Link Here 24th August 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Directors UK, the trade association for screen directors in Britain, suggested some miserable alternatives to avoid sex scenes with physical interaction while social distancing is required, in an update to its Directing Nudity and Simulated Sex guidelines.

The guidelines suggest that characters could be shown fixing their own clothes/re-dressing after the event or limbs could be depicted moving under bedclothes, while another option is to show the closing of a bedroom door and leave the action to the viewer's imagination.

Directors are encouraged to find inspiration by revisiting classic films such as It Happened One Night or Casablanca , which were made under the Hays Code that was introduced in the 1930s and prohibited the depiction of sex on screen in Hollywood.

Bill Anderson, who has directed episodes of Doctor Who and was part of the team who has worked on the guidelines. He said that directors and writers would have to come up with different ways to show intimacy, and he encouraged programme makers to question whether a sex scene is absolutely necessary.

For productions that require sex scenes, alternative ideas from the guidelines include motion capture and digital performances, green screen or animation to composite the required encounter and another suggested option is casting real life couples who won't need to socially distance.

 

Update: No Sex Please, We're British Filmmakers

We've said it before, and we'll probably say it again, but there is little doubt that moralisers and neo-puritans are rubbing their hands together at the possibilities that Covid-19 has presented them.

24th August 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Commented: Expelling hot air from their arses...

HBO Max prefixes the movie Blazing Saddles with a 3 minute morality sermon


Link Here22nd August 2020
Blazing Saddles is currently streaming on HBO Max, along with a preaching introduction that automatically plays before the Mel Brooks classic begins.

An HBO Max spokesprat told The Hollywood Reporter:

The intro was added to ensure that the film was put into the proper social context,

TCM host and University of Chicago cinema and media studies professor Jacqueline Stewart provides the intro to Blazing Saddles. She says:

As the storyline implies the issue of race is front and center in Blazing Saddles. And racist language and attitudes pervade the film. But those attitudes are espoused by characters who are portrayed here as explicitly small-minded, ignorant bigots. The real, and much more enlightened perspective, is provided by the main characters played by Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder.

Offsite comment: Don't even think about cancelling Blazing Saddles

22nd August 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Brendan O'Neill

HBO Max has put a trigger warning on the Mel Brooks classic. The philistine buffoons.

 

 

Cuties...

Netflix apologises for a movie poster highlighting the dangers of sexualisation of youngsters


Link Here21st August 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Cuties (Mignonnes) is a 2020 France comedy drama by Maïmouna Doucouré.
Starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Esther Gohourou. IMDb

Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.

Netflix has removed a promotional image which showed girls posing in skimpy outfits in a new film called Cuties. The poster for the French drama, along with a trailer, were received from a little online 'outrage' and a petition calling for Netflix to drop it. A petition claiming it sexualizes an 11-year-old for the viewing pleasure of paedophiles attracted 25,000 signatures.

The film itself is not a Netflix production, just a film that was set to be shown on the service. The award-winning drama follows an 11-year-old who joins a dance group. Its maker says it is meant to tackle the issue of sexualisation of young girls.

Netflix has now said it was deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork. Netflix told BBC News:

This was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated.

The company later tweeted:

We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We've now updated the pictures and description.

But director Maimouna Doucoure has explained that the story aims to highlight how social media pushes girls to mimic sexualised imagery without fully understanding what lies behind it or the dangers involved.

 

 

Offsite Article: Consent on Hollywood Sets:...


Link Here19th August 2020
Lessons From an Intimacy Coordinator

See article from xbiz.com

 

 

The Trouble with Being Born...

Is that you have to put with censors like those from the Melbourne International Film Festival


Link Here18th August 2020
The Trouble with Being Born is a 2020 Austria / Germany Sci-Fi drama by Sandra Wollner.
Starring Ingrid Burkhard, Susanne Gschwendtner and Jana McKinnon. IMDb

Elli is an android programmed with memories that mean everything to her owner but nothing to her. The story of a machine and the ghosts we all carry within us.

Film critic and anti-censorship campaigner David Stratton has attacked the Melbourne International Film Festival for its 'craven response' in dropping the movie The Trouble with Being Born, that features an adult man in an implied sexual relationship with a young android girl.

The movie was dropped from this year's online-only program after 'concerns' were raised by two forensic psychologists. Dr Karen Owen, a former manager of Corrections Victoria's Sex Offender Programs, last month said she was so disturbed by the film she ceased watching it and deleted the link, adding that because the festival was an online event this year, without question [the film] would be used as a source of arousal for men interested in child abuse material.

In announcing the decision to censor the film on July 30, the festival's artistic director Al Cossar said the safety and wellbeing of the MIFF community and the broader Australian public is the festival's paramount concern. While the Australian Classification Board had cleared the film to screen in this year's festival, we have decided to remove the film, he said.

Tom Ryan, former film critic for The Sunday Age , was similarly scathing, writing a day earlier on the same forum that the festival was guilty of meekly acquiescing in the face of a potential controversy. Ryan said:

A film that was selected by [artistic director Al Cossar's] team, approved by the programming committee, and passed by the Australian censor was then withdrawn because of what two psychologists who either hadn't seen the film or had only seen part of it had to say about it.

 

 

Tenet...

The latest cinema film suffering category cuts for its 12A rated UK cinema release


Link Here17th August 2020

Tenet is a 2020 UK / USA action Sci-Fi thriller by Christopher Nolan.
Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki. BBFC link IMDb

Armed with only one word -- Tenet -- and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

The film has been cut in the UK for a 12A rated cinema release. The BBFC passed the film 12A for moderate violence, threat, domestic abuse, infrequent strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts.

The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was advised it was likely to be classified 15 uncut but that their preferred 12A classification could be obtained by making small changes to one scene to remove shots of a man kicking a woman. When the film was submitted for formal classification, the shots in question had been removed and the film was classified 12A.
This comment refers to the scene where Elizabeth Debicki's character is on the floor and Kenneth Branagh's kicks her in the body several times.

In the US the film was MPA PG-13 rated for intense sequences of violence and action, some suggestive references and brief strong language. Presumably the US release is uncut, but as the film is a UK/US co-production it is remotely possible that the cuts have been made to a common version.

 

 

I Spit on Your Grave...

The original 1978 video nasty has just been cut again by the BBFC for 2020 UK DVD and Blu-ray release


Link Here13th August 2020

I Spit on Your Grave is a 1978 USA horror thriller by Meir Zarchi.
Starring Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor and Richard Pace. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The film was banned as one of the most notable video nasties in 1983. It was unbanned after massive 7m:02s of BBFC cuts for 2001 and 2006 DVD. These cuts were reduced to 2m:54s in 2010, and to 1m:41s for 2020 Blu-ray. Cut in the US for an R rating but MPAA Unrated releases are uncut.

See further details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: I Spit On Your Grave

Summary Notes

The film follows Jennifer, a writer who is working on a new novel and needs to get out of the city to finish it. She rents a riverside cabin in upstate New York to work on her novel, attracting the attention of a number of rowdy male locals. They catch Jennifer one day and strip her naked for the village idiot (Matthew) and rape her. Jennifer is later attacked and raped a further two times by the four degenerates, and her novel is also destroyed. But Jennifer recovers, and in her now-twisted, psychotic state, she begins to seek revenge on the men.

BBFC cut
cut
cut: 1:41s
run: 99:33s
pal: 95:34s
sub: 101:14s
18UK: Passed 18 for sexual violence, sadistic violence, nudity after 1:41s of compulsory BBFC cuts:
  • 2020 Kaleidoscope Special Edition RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 5th October 2020
  • 2020 Kaleidoscope Special Edition R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 5th October 2020
  • 2020 Kaleidoscope I Spit On Your Grave Complete Collection (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 5th October 2020
  • 2020 Kaleidoscope I Spit On Your Grave Complete Collection R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 5th October 2020
The BBFC commented:
  • Company was required to make cuts to scenes of sexual violence in order to remove potentially harmful material. Cuts were made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984.

 

 

Offsite Article: Depraved And Corrupting...


Link Here31st July 2020
The Complete Video Nasties

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Offsite Article: A two hour maximum...


Link Here22nd July 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
China dreams up another restriction on cinema films in the name of coronavirus suppression

See article from collider.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Monty Python's Life of Brian...


Link Here18th July 2020
Full story: Monty Python...Monty Python winds up the nutters
The BBC retells the censorship story about Life Of Brian noting that the BBFC rating was reduced to 12A in 2019

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

 

Commented: Somebody gives a fuck about the number of fucks...

Adapting the stage musical Hamilton into something fit for Disney


Link Here 14th July 2020
Hamilton is a 2020 USA musical music film by Thomas Kail.
Starring Jonathan Groff, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Lin-Manuel Miranda. IMDb

The real life of one of America's foremost founding fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Filmed live on Broadway from the Richard Rodgers Theatre with the original Broadway cast.

The original stage show contained three uses of the word 'fuck' but these were reduced to one so as to obtain an MPA PG-13 rating as required to make it suitable for Disney. See details from polygon.com

Comment: PTC to Disney: Zero F-Bombs when Hamilton Streams on Disney+

14th July 2020. See article from parentstv.org

The Parents TV Council (PTC) is a US TV morality campaign. The group writes:

The Parents Television Council is calling on Disney+ to reevaluate allowing even one f-word in the forthcoming PG-13-rated Hamilton. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda confirmed that two of three f-words were dropped from the streaming version in order to reach the broadest audience. The Motion Picture Association allows one f-word to be used in PG-13-rated films

PTC President Tim Winter said:

We applaud Lin-Manuel Miranda for wanting to reach the broadest possible audience for the film version of his epic and brilliant Broadway musical, Hamilton , and for allowing the removal of harsh profanity in order to do so. But Disney's decision to allow even one 'f-word' to be heard on its Disney+ platform is shameful. Even with the stated permission from the program's creator to remove them, Disney is choosing to keep an f-bomb in the film.

The MPA's own rating system that enables one 'f-word' must be reevaluated. Most families consider any usage of that word greater than zero to be vile and totally off-limits. And Disney needs to recall its swarm of lobbyists who are crawling all over Capitol Hill, working to prevent a legislative update to the Family Movie Act, and preventing parents from using content filtering technology to block explicit material that they find harmful or offensive.

 

 

Commented: Sky Recommends...

Sky adds PC disclaimer to 16 movies in its Sky Movies line up


Link Here3rd July 2020

The statellite and cable subscription service, Sky Cinema, has issued a political correctness disclaimer to its subscribers that some of its content contains outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today. Sixteen films have the warning:

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). The only non-white character in the film Mr Yunioshi is played by white actor Mickey Rooney. Pretending to be a Japanese man, he wears fake teeth and puts on a Japanese accent.
  • The Jungle Book (1967 and 2016 live-action remake). There have been suggestions the character of orangutang King Louie, which did not feature in Rudyard Kipling's original novel, implied inequality between African Americans and Caucasians. It has also been claimed the character's portrayal is based on what white people thought about black people at the time, such as his poorer linguistic skills and him wanting to be like the other men.
  • Aladdin (1992). Critics have expressed concerns over the story's use of Orientalist stereotypes, while casting decisions also came under scrutiny, with Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the genie played by white actors in the animation.
  • The Goonies (1985). The portrayal of Clever Data, a gadget freak who helps the boys in situations, speaks in a stereotypically Asian accent.
  • Dumbo (1941). Dumbo has been accused of containing racist stereotypes of African Americans at the time in the form of black crows, who use jive-like speech patterns. The main bird is even named Jim Crow, a nod to the racist segregationist Jim Crow laws of the time, and is voiced by a white actor.
  • Aliens (1986). The film has been accused of hi-tech racism and android apartheid due to the way in which humans in the film deal with the presence of other. It has been suggested the character of Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, treated them with fear and suspicion.
  • Trading Places (1983). The film was littered with controversies, including Dan Akroyd wearing blackface, continuous stereotyping of black people and women and frequent use of the n-word throughout the movie.
  • Flash Gordon (1980). The film's antagonist, Ming the Merciless, played by Max von Sydow, is viewed as a classic example of Yellow Peril xenophobia.
  • Gone With The Wind (1939). Gone With The Wind has been criticised for romanticising slavery and glosses over the horrors of slavery. The film also features the word 'nigger' throughout, which was used in the book.
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Some criticised the film for feeding on racial stereotypes and on Western beliefs that Arabs needed foreigners to guide them.
  • Tropic Thunder (2008). Robert Downey Jr appeared in blackface for the comedy blockbuster, while many considered use of the word retard, uttered 17 times in the film to denote a person with learning difficulties, as unacceptable.
  • The Jazz Singer (1927). The musical drama was criticised for Al Jolson's use of blackface, though many have since pointed to the fact the actor was a civil rights advocate, often backing projects by black artists, including playwright Garland Anderson.
  • The Littlest Rebel (1935). Perhaps Shirley Temple's most controversial movie, The Littlest Rebel, in which she appears in blackface, is also accused of glorifying Confederate ideals, with black slaves appearing unhappy to be set free.
  • The Lone Ranger (2013). Questions were raised over Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto, a Native American, as it sparked a debate over whether actors should play a race other than their own. The actor himself said he considered the role an attempt to try to right the wrongs of the past, meaning poor portrayals of Natives in Hollywood.
  • Balls of Fury (2007). The ping-pong based comedy starring Christopher Walken was criticised for caricaturing Asian characters and carrying racist jokes and a running gag making fun of blind people.
  • T he Last Samurai (2003). Tom Cruise's role as a captain hired to train the Japanese army to fight a Samurai rebellion is considered problematic by some for the sense of American superiority portrayed in the film.
Sky say that they are reviewing a number of their titles across their platform and are adding any warnings where they think it necessary to flag issues of cultural sensitivities and attitudes which may cause offence as part of its broader commitment to tackle racial injustice.

 

Update: Can art survive woke culture?

3rd July 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Nick Dixon

Sky's bizarre film warnings show we no longer trust people to make or consume culture unattended.

 

 

Bad Habit...

260,000 petitioners call for film to be banned over a female actor playing the role of Jesus


Link Here1st July 2020
Habit is a 2020 USA film by Janell Shirtcliff.
Starring Bella Thorne, Bria Vinaite and Paris Jackson. IMDb

The casting of Jackson, a model and actor who is the daughter of the late pop star Michael Jackson, opposite Bella Thorne and musician Gavin Rossdale in the film was announced in April .

The plot synopsis suggests that Thorne plays a street smart party girl with a Jesus fetish [who] gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out by masquerading as a nun. Jackson's gender-bending take on the religious figure was reported to include a nose ring, tousled waves and a traditional robe.

Echoing PC rules that selectively ban actors from playing roles based on a different ethnicity ('blackface'), the petitioners claim that it is unacceptable for a female to play a male role.The petitioners denounce the film as Christianophobic garbage, and call for the film to be banned. The petition has attracted about 260,000 signatures.

The petition, which names Warner Bros and Lionsgate as its targets, claims that Jackson will play Jesus as a lesbian, though there is no mention of this in any publicly available reports of the film. The petition also claims the film is blasphemous.

The project previously sparked protest from a christian organisation called One Million Moms , which claimed the film was sacrilegious and ridicules people of faith. It has started its own petition which has attracted about 69,000 signatures.


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