Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Are Film Censors Going To Far?

Turning 18 is a right of passage here in the UK - but when you do enter into adulthood your usually presented with a few new opportunities in life. The most anticipated of which is going down the local for a pint, where you can proudly present your I.D. - rather than quiver at the thought of hearing those dreaded letters!

However another less thought of "life opportunity", is the ability to watch 18 certificate horrors and other movie genre. As an adult we are given the right to watch what we want, when we want - however this isn't always the case...

The BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) is the body that is responsible for what we the public are eventually allowed to see. They bare the power to have film content cut and re-spliced (to exclude scenes that are deemed unacceptable for public viewing), or they may choose to reject a film for classification altogether!

One of the more recent instances where the BBFC have chosen to exercise this power was witnessed with the Japanese horror "Grotesque". The film was declined an 18 certification due to its "unacceptable content" which was reported to be "little more than an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism".

Declining a certificate is kept as a last resort, and the board will usually opt to cut excessively graphic, or offensive content. In this instances the BBFC's director David Cooke said that cutting the film "was not a viable option", due to the extreme nature of the film.

Some are now asking why the BBFC still chooses to mollycoddle us Brits? The horror portrayed on the big screen is universally recognised as fictional, and most people are educated enough to understand this. A 16 year old can opt to fight in war for they're country - where I'm sure real-life and on-screen violence doesn't begin to compare!

Decisions of this nature seem so frivolous in today's online society. The true hardcore horror geek will not be stopped by the likes of the BBFC, and I'm sure we'll see people in they're thousands turning to internet sources to fulfil they're need for fictional blood and gore. The BBFC needs to recognise that people are living in an age where they can see almost anything they want whenever they want - just by the click of a few buttons.

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