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2021: Jan-March

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Best Short Docmentary...

Hong Kong bans broadcast of the Oscars Award Ceremony as China is sensitive about a nominated film about the Hong Kong democracy protests


Link Here29th March 2021
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids
Do Not Split is a 2020 Norway / USA documentary short film by Anders Hammer
Starring Lucie Fouble and Colette Marin-Catherine IMDb

In 2019 Hong Kong was rocked by the largest protests since Britain handed back the area to China in 1997. This is the story of the protests, told through a series of demonstrations by local protesters that escalate into conflict when highly armed police appear on the scene.

For the first time in more than half a century, Hong Kong movie-lovers won't be able to watch the Oscars. The city's largest TV network TVB won't broadcast next month's ceremony after China asked media to play down the awards, following the nomination of a documentary on Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests and concern over the political views of Best Director contender Chloe Zhao .

Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the Communist Party's propaganda department told all local media outlets to scrap live broadcasts of the Oscars and focus coverage on awards that aren't seen as controversial.

China is wound up by Do Not Split, which chronicles the 2019 demonstrations against China's tightening grip over the former British territory and was nominated for best short documentary.

 

 

More cunning linguistics...

Mrs. Doubtfire director speaks of unreleased R rated jokes


Link Here22nd March 2021
Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 US comedy by Chris Columbus
With Robin Williams & Sally Field. Melon Farmers linkYouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film was originally released in cinemas with an uncut 12 rating in 1984. However the rating did not go down well with viewers. Family groups were turned away and some local councils overruled the BBFC rating to allow for family viewing. So distributors had a rethink and BBFC category cuts were then made for a PG rated 1994 cinema re-release, and for the subsequent VHS release.

The film was later passed PG uncut for 2000 DVD but this wasn't released and the distributors continued with the cut PG version until 2003 when the film was released uncut on DVD with a PG rating. In 2013 the classification was uprated to 12 uncut for Blu-ray.

Director Chris Columbus says he's open to making a documentary about the creation of the film, showcasing some of Robin Williams' hilariously funny R-rated material. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Columbus said:

There are three different versions of it, including an R-rated cut. The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was, he'll do one or two, three scripted takes. And then he would say, 'Then let me play.' And we would basically go on anywhere between 15 to 22 takes, I think 22 being the most I remember, the helmer recalls.

As a result, Williams came up with new versions and new lines in every take. He would sometimes go into territory that wouldn't be appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but certainly appropriate and hilariously funny for an R-rated film.

 

 

Don't mention the gay scene...

Russian film distributors cut gay scene from the Colin Firth movie Supernova


Link Here12th March 2021
Full story: Film Censorship in Russia...Censorship in the guise of banning strong language
Supernova is a 2020 UK gay drama by Harry Macqueen.
Starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth and Pippa Haywood. IMDb

Sam and Tusker partners of 20 years, who are traveling across England in their old RV visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have.

A gay sex scene was cut from Supernova in Russian cinemas. The film was self-censored by film distributors there. At least one scene where the characters try to have sex after a dramatic dialogue has disappeared from the story.

World Pictures, the film's Russian distributor, cut the scene due to concerns that theaters would not screen Supernova and it may spark controversy due to excesses, according to critic Konstantin Kropotkin. These fears are rooted in Russia's gay propaganda law, which prohibits LGBTQ+ visibility in venues accessible to minors. This law has been used to penalize people and productions for a broad and often vague range of violations.

In addition to cutting a scene, World Pictures reportedly asked critics to remove any mention of gay from reviews. That intent backfired, the Times noted, as critics stressed how the censorship only further enhanced the film's love story and the heartfelt performances of its actors.

 

 

Uncancelling classic movies...

US cable channel assembles a collection of movies that have offended the politically correct


Link Here7th March 2021
The cable TV channel Turner Classic Movies has kicked off Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror , a series where it says it examines the troubling and problematic aspects of the classics, which were released from the 1920s to the 1960s.

18 selected movies include Breakfast at Tiffany's, Psycho, Gone With the Wind, My Fair Lady, Stagecoach, The Jazz Singer, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. 

Several hosts will take turns holding roundtable introductions before the start of each movie where they will discuss the history and cultural context of the movie. They will also provide trigger warnings about depictions of racism, sexism, and LGBTQ issues.

Among the 'issues will be white actors portraying non-white roles or blackface. This includes Mickey Rooney's performance as Mr Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sam Jaffe playing the title role of Gunga Din, Al Jolson donning blackface for The Jazz Singer.

For Psycho, the hosts talk about transgender identity in the film and the implications of equating gender fluidity and dressing in women's clothes with mental illness and violence.

During the My Fair Lady conversation, they talk about why the film adaptation has a less feminist ending than the stage play, and Henry Higgins' physical and psychological abuse of Eliza Dolittle.

For the discussion of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, the hosts will look at aspects of black actor Sidney Poitier's films that are oriented primarily to white audiences.

The movie list is:

  • Gone With the Wind - Romanticized portrayal of antebellum life before the Civil War and portrayal of slaves as happy and content
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - Sexism controversy over plot of the film of kidnapping women and forcibly confining them to marry
  • Rope - Portrayal of two queer characters who have just committed a murder
  • The Four Feathers - Racist views including the term Fuzzy Wuzzies to denote Arabs and take on British imperialism in Arabia
  • Woman of the Year - Sexism and the idea that a woman can only be successful in the workplace if she lacks femininity
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - Aspects of black actor Sidney Poitier's films that are oriented primarily to white audiences
  • Gunga Din - White actor Sam Jaffe playing the title role of Gunga Din, who is an Indian character
  • Sinbad, the Sailor - White actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr playing the Arab role of Sinbad and portrayal of Arabs
  • The Jazz Singer - Al Jolson's blackface routine
  • The Searchers - White actor Henry Braydon playing Native American character and abuse of Native American woman by white character.
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's - White actor Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Japanese character Mr Yunioshi
  • Swing Time - Fred Astaire's blackface routine
  • Stagecoach - Portrayal of Native Americans and their being seen as a threat
  • Tarzan, the Ape Man - Portrayal of Africans including one attack by ;a tribe of aggressive dwarfs'
  • My Fair Lady - Sexism and Henry Higgins' physical and psychological abuse of Eliza Dolittle
  • The Children's Hour - Portrayal of LGBTQ issues when two female teachers are accused of sinful, sexual knowledge of each other;
  • Psycho - Transgender identity and the implications of equating and dressing in women

 

 

Offsite Article: The Silencing Of Dangerous Ideas: Britain's Shameful Free Speech History Is Not About To Change...


Link Here20th February 2021
Full story: University Censorship...Universities vs Free Speech
Some activists are now claiming that their free speech will be oppressed by no longer allowing them to silence voices. By David Flint

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

If Music be the food of love...ban it!...

Campaign groups calls for Sia's movie, Music, to be banned over the depictions of an autistic character


Link Here8th February 2021
Music is a 2020 USA drama by Sia.
Starring Kate Hudson, Hector Elizondo and Maddie Ziegler.   IMDb

Zu is newly sober and finding her way in the world when she receives news that she is to become the sole guardian of her half-sister named Music, a young girl on the autism spectrum. The film explores two of Sia's favorite themes -- finding your voice and what it means to create family.

The cancel culture lynch mob has turned its sight on a well meaning movie, Music, directed by pop star Sia. Its PC crime is to not use an autistic actor to play the autistic main character of the film. The movie then relates how music helps her cope.

A particular scene seems to have wound up the activists showing the autistic character in restraints. Zoe Gross, Director of Advocacy at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, said in a statement:

Music doesn't just promote harmful stereotypes about autistic people -- it shows restraints that have killed members of our community as necessary and loving acts. This film should never have been made, and it shouldn't be shown.

Sia acknowledged that she had heard the complaints and said that she would add a warning label before the restraint scene. She said in a statement:

I promise, have been listening. The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie: MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people,. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help with meltdown safety.

Later, she went further and said:

I plan to remove the restraint scenes from all future printing. I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough.

 

 

Zack Snyder's Justice League...

New extended Director's Cut has been rated R by the MPA


Link Here4th February 2021

Zack Snyder's Justice League is a 2021 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Zack Snyder
Starring Jared Leto,Henry Cavill,Gal Gadot IMDb

Rated R for violence and some language.

Zack Snyder's Justice League is a significantly different extended Director's Cut  that was based on his original cut but was released several years later. Only about 30 minutes of the original material survive in the 2021 version.

Summary Notes

Determined to ensure Superman's ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.

 

 

Offsite Article: The Masque of the Red Death...


Link Here1st February 2021
Revisiting the original US and UK censor cuts and reviewing the uncut restoration

See article from denofgeek.com

 

 

Circus of Life...

Film banned in Pakistan for blasphemy is nominated for an Oscar


Link Here30th January 2021
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Zindagi Tamasha (Circus of Life) is a 2019 Pakistan drama by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat.
Starring Arif Hassan, Ali Kureshi and Samiya Mumtaz. IMDb

A devout Muslim who writes composes, and even records hymns praising the Prophet, Muhammad Rahat Khawaja is a respected elderly man who works in real estate and takes care of his bedridden wife. One day, he attends the wedding of a friend's son, where he inadvertently shows off a dance in front of his friends and family. His dance gets recorded and then uploaded to all social media platforms, which then also gets broadcasted on television. And the chaos begins to ensue in his quiet life.

The film was banned in January 2020 over fears of blasphemy but the ban was overruled in July 2020 by Pakistan's Senate Committee for Human Rights. The film was banned after workers of the hardline Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) vowed to hold a countrywide protest against its screening.

The film has now gained further prominence in early 2021 after it was nominated for the Best International Feature Oscar.

 

 

Commented: The BBFC's Latest Orgy of Censorship...

The British board of film censors bans the video nasty re-release of The Gestapo's Last Orgy


Link Here27th January 2021
The Gestapo's Last Orgy is a 1977 Italian prison film by Cesare Canevari.
With Adriano Micantoni, Daniela Poggi and Maristella Greco. Melon Farmers link BBFC link 2020 IMDb

In the tradition of THE NIGHT PORTER, SALON KITTY and SALO only far more depraved comes perhaps the most notorious Nazisploitation epic of them all: Daniela Levy  stars as a beautiful young death camp prisoner forced into a nightmare of brutality, torment and sexual degradation. But will a Commandant's vilest urge trigger her ultimate vengeance? Marc Loud co-stars in this fetid slice of filth-strudel

The BBFC has just banned a Blu-ray re-release of the notable Video Nasty The Gestapo's Last Orgy. The video was banned as a video nasty in 1984 and has never been released in the UK since. The video is available uncut in the US though.

The BBFC seems to be embracing more politically correct language in its rating explanations and consumer advice lately, so it is getting hard to distinguish the reasoned explanation form exaggeration and propaganda. Anyway the BBFC explained the ban as follows:

THE GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY is an Italian exploitation film, from 1977, in which a Jewish woman revisits the site of a concentration camp in which she was formerly imprisoned and subjected to torture, terrorisation, humiliation and sexual violence.

BBFC Guidelines state that: As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work --.where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on rape, other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour or sadistic violence.

THE GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY is largely composed of scenes of strong sadistic violence, humiliation, degradation and non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, all of which occurs within a clearly anti-Semitic context. Its central concept is therefore unacceptable, and the sadistic and sexually abusive material it contains is too pervasive to be effectively addressed by cuts.

Accordingly, the BBFC has refused classification to this work.

Offsite Comment: Still Too Outrageous For Britain's Censors

27th January 2021. See article from reprobatepress.com

The very idea that a work of fiction -- a very clear work of fiction -- can somehow deprave and corrupt an otherwise normal person (and make no mistake, the idea of corruption is one of unbalancing the normal individual, not tipping an already morally disturbed individual over the edge) is one that belongs in a past that we have long left behind. There's no scientific evidence to back it up, and the whole idea belongs more to the enforcement of morality -- the prevention of bad ideas entering the public sphere -- than stopping actual harm to anyone.

Read the full  article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Economically censored by the BBFC...

As markets shrink for Blu-ray releases, so BBFC fees make releases unviable


Link Here7th January 2021
Full story: BBFC Fees...High censorship fees censor niche market releases
I was earwigging on a Twitter conversation about the possibility of a film being released by the distributors Third Window Films. It revealed that declining sales for physical disks coupled with pay per minute film censorship fees by the BBFC were leading to longer niche market films being unviable for release in the UK.

Third Window were asked about the possibility of the release of the two and a half hour film Red Post on Escher Street . Third Window responded:

To be honest, the only things putting us off is the fact that the BBFC charge by the minute (making it an expensive release) and are raising their prices again, plus the fact it's been bootlegged big time already

[it's] Not the cuts as much as the costs! It's why we try to release short films as much as possible!

And referring to a previous release of a long film, Third Window said:

BBFC was a little cheaper back then, but the market was much better so you could take chances on longer films. Yes, with dwindling sales, expensive costs of bluray production and BBFC, it's much harder nowadays.

 

 

Nabab LLB...

A film is banned in Bangladesh for making the police look bad


Link Here7th January 2021
Full story: Banned Films in Bangladesh...Rana Plaza banned for releasing dire factory conditions
Nabab LLB is a 2020 Bangladesh thriller by Ananyo Mamun
Starring Shakib Khan,Mahiya Mahi,Orchita Sporshia IMDb

On 25 December 2020, film director Anonno Mamun and actor Shaheen Mridha have been charged with making a film with pornographic content . Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested the artists the day before due to a case filed against them under the Pornography Control Act for allegedly insulting the police in the film Nabab LLB .

The film Nabab LLB was released on 16 December 2020 and is set in a fictional courtroom, treating about rape and the treatment of victims.

According to Al Jazeera , the report released by Dhaka Metropolitan Police points to making and acting in a film containing such offensive and obscene dialogue as a reason for the artists' arrest. The report also highlights that the police was poorly represented in the film and that the representation of the police officer using offensive gestures and obscene language during the fictional interrogation in the film could cause negative perceptions about policing among public.

There is a petition calling on the Dhaka Metropolitan Police to drop all charges against Anonno Mamun and Shaheen Mridha has been circulated online. Sign the petition here .

 

 

Suffer Little Children...

Gav Crimson details the overblown press coverage of the seizure and legal actions against a horror film featuring child actors at the time of the Video Nasties moral panic


Link Here4th January 2021
Suffer Little Children is a 1983 UK video horror by Alan Briggs.
Starring Colin Chamberlain, Ginny Rose and Jon Hollanz. Melon Farmers linkYouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb
The film was cut for an unofficial BBFC 18 rating issued prior to the implementation of the VRA. The film was seized by the police anyway and the film got caught up in the tabloid hysteria around the video nasty era. The film was passed 18 uncut for UK DVD release in 2017.

The DVD version has a significant number of variations from the VHS. version.

See Gav Crimson's detailed history of the censorship of Suffer Little Children and the timeline of newspaper coverage .

Summary Notes

This amateur video production, (not particularly well regarded), is claimed to be a reconstruction of events involving child demonic possession which took place at 45 Kingston Road, New Malden, Surrey, England in August 1984. None of these events were reported to the press though, not the to mention the fact that the film was conceived and shot in 1983, well before the supposed baseline event.

The video was submitted to the BBFC for a pre-VRA unofficial rating in December 1984. The BBFC asked for about 2 minutes of cuts. However the distributors suffered a police raid on the day after the submission and the police seized the film. The police seemed to think that the uncut version was illegal and would not give the distributors the opportunity to implement the cuts that would make it legal. The DPP considered the film for 3 months before deciding that no further action would be taken as long as the film was only distributed in the BBFC approved version. The film was caught up in press frenzy at this time, with the inevitable calls for a ban and worse.


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