Fat Girl banned in Ontario

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Bill McA, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    Catherine Breillat's latest film A Ma Soeur (aka Fat Girl) has been banned for release in Ontario, Canada, despite screening in last September's Toronto Film festival.
    Ontario Film Review Board chairman Robert Warren stated:
    "We did not approve (the film). There is a scene where a 15-year-old is (shown in) full frontal nudity in a sexual situation and also a 13-year-old girl with partial nudity in a rape scene. This contravenes a section of the Theatres Act."
    Noah Cowan of Cowboy Pictures, which is jointly releasing the film with Lions Gate, said the board's decision would be appealed.
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  2. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    I haven't seen this film yet, but I think that they are making the right decision. IMO, filmmakers have no right to use children in pornographic/sexual scenes.
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  3. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    I haven't seen this film either, but I don't think that sexual scenes involving minors should be an automatic ban...that would depend on the intent of the scene, the context and how the scene is actually depicted in the film.
    I can think of a lot of good/great films that would be banned under the same criteria:
    Pretty Baby
    1900
    The Tin Drum
    Pixote
    L'Adolescente
    In a Glass Cage
    Luna
    Arabian Nights
    Kids
    even Romeo and Juliet...
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  4. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    Quick sidebar: my french is pretty bad, but doesn't "A Ma Soeur" mean "About My Sister"?
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  5. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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  6. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    There's a big difference between 'banned for public performance under the theater act' and 'utterly censored by the gov't.' Lets not get too out of focus here.
    I can understand why they don't want images of a 13 year old getting raped playing on public screens. Now, if it turns out they're also banning sales of VHS/DVD or whatever, then I start to have a problem with it.
     
  7. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

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    Shayne,
    Here in the UK we have the BBFC censoring the films we watch and their policy is actually more strict for home video than for a theatrical release.
    Films are often cut for cinema then cut further for video/DVD or sometimes uncut for cinema but cut for the home video release.
     
  8. Hugh Jackes

    Hugh Jackes Supporting Actor

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    I read where US law deemed it child pornography, hence illegal, when adult actors are portraying minors whose characters' have nude scenes.
    But, the same article (which mentioned The Tin Drum BTW), went to point out how this law is largely ignored, unless the nudity is real pornography, and not just skin shots. The article specifically mentioned a little movie called Titanic. The Kate Winslet portrayal of Rose was only supposed to be 17, remember?
    Wouldn't it be an interesting problem if the age of majority for this law universally was not 18? What if it were driven by the age of majority in the period in which the movie takes place? A period piece from the 40s, 50s, or early 60s would have the age of majority as 21.
    [Edited last by Hugh Jackes on November 15, 2001 at 09:31 AM]
     
  9. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    A recent example I'm surprised has not been mentioned:
    Thora Birch was 16 or 17 when American Beauty was filmed.
    AFAIK, all she needed was her parents permission.
     
  10. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    If the film uses minors, then it is truly abhorant. If it's a mature, LEGAL adult, then it is just disturbing and should not be banned.
    Does anyone know the truth aout the age of the actors?
    And don't we all think it's just wrong to "expose" children like this (if they were minors)? How low have we sunk when that is deemed OK?
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  11. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    How about Jodie Foster's role in Taxi Driver. It was pretty contraversial in its day, though I suppose it's child's play (no pun intended) comapred to Fat Girl.
    [Edited last by Richard Kim on November 15, 2001 at 09:52 AM]
     
  12. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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  13. Ross Williams

    Ross Williams Supporting Actor

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    I saw this film a couple of months ago at a film festival. I've never seen a more disgusting or disturbing film in my life. It's about a 13 year old "fat girl" who's on vacation with her family. The actress is certainly near 13 years old. Her pretty 15 year old sister meets a 25 year old guy, and they start "dating". All he is interested in, is getting in her pants. There are some pretty graphic sex scenes between these two. He pretty much rapes her, she agrees, but he forces it. (This actress also looks very near her age in the film.) They do this in the same room as the 13 year old, she sees the whole thing. Later, the guy breaks up with the girl. She's heartbroken, even though he's been an incredible jerk. This section of the film I felt was pretty boring.
    Major spoilers ahead, don't read if you don't want the movie ruined.
    Spoiler:So the guy, out of guilt I guess, steals his grandmothers ring or earing (I don't remember exactly) and gives it to the girl. The guy's mother finds out and talks to the girl's mother about it. The 15 year old gets in trouble and the mother forces them all to go back home. This is possibly the boringest scene ever in any movie. There is literally 15 minutes of just driving on the freeway, with the 2 girls and the mother looking pissed. No talking, just a lot of shots of the car driving.
    The mother stops to sleep at a rest stop. A few minutes of silence. When suddenly the front window is bashed in by an ax. The 15 year old girl gets her head smashed, the mother is choked to death, the 13 year old watches from the back seat. The killer drags the girl out into the woods, where he rapes her. It cuts to morning and the cops are on the scene. A policeman walks with the girl as she looks over her dead family. And she's smiling! The end.
    This was how I interpreted it. Because of the way her older sister had lost her virginity, she says something along the lines of; "I want to lose mine to somebody I don't love." Also earlier, when the older sister gets in trouble with her mother, she says something like; "I wish she was dead, and I wish I was dead." Both sisters get their wish. I guess this is happy ending for this filmmaker.
    To sum up for those who didn't want to read the spoilers. Both actresses, who are definately under 18, are shown in some very graphic sex scenes, including nudity. Neither scene is meant to arouse.
    I don't believe in censorship in any way. But I can understand why some wouldn't want to show this film. I have never left a movie more disturbed. I actually felt like punching the director, who is a woman, after seeing it. Obviously she is a very effective filmmaker to make me feel such a way.
    I think this is part of a new wave of filmmaking, that definately hasn't reached the states yet. I call it the: "bore 'em, then shock 'em". The filmmaker lulls the audience to near sleep with some very boring, everyday type scenes, and then finishes it off with a horrifying end. Also see the Japanese film Audition for this new genre.
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    [Edited last by Ross Williams on November 15, 2001 at 11:11 AM]
     
  14. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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  15. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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    quote: quote:
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    Quick sidebar: my french is pretty bad, but doesn't "A Ma Soeur" mean "About My Sister"?
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    English titles are not always literal translations of the original title.[/quote]
    In this case the English title came first. The movie was named Fat Girl, but French preview audiences objected to the English language title, so it was changed at the last moment for the French release.
    For those genuinely interested in the movie, this is a decently perseptive review:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/08/movies/08FAT.html
    quote: The 15 year old gets in trouble and the mother forces them all to go back home. This is possibly the boringest scene ever in any movie. There is literally 15 minutes of just driving on the freeway, with the 2 girls and the mother looking pissed. No talking, just a lot of shots of the car driving.[/quote]If you really think that, stay away from Hitchcock. I thought the scene was superb in creating mounting unease and dread.
    I don't want to engage in a debate with those who find movies (that they usually haven't seen) morally reprehensible and wish to have them banned. All I can say is, don't watch it and please don't dictate what the rest of us can watch.
    Ted
    [Edited last by Ted Todorov on November 15, 2001 at 01:38 PM]
     
  16. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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  17. Ross Williams

    Ross Williams Supporting Actor

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    Ted, I've seen plenty of Hitchcock, but I wouldn't even mention his genius in the same paragraph with this film. I realized at the time I was watching it, that the filmmaker was trying to build tension, but I was so bored by the first hour and a half, that I wanted to get up and leave. (Something I never do.) The car scene was probably the most bored I've ever been in a theater. (And I've seen some stinkers.) I knew, KNEW, something big was going to happen afterwards, I just didn't know what. I wanted to get to it and get out. It wasn't building tension, it was just prolonging my boredom.
    That last scene was so blatantly over-the-top offensive I should have laughed, but somehow it worked my nerves. Instead of walking out bored, I walked out pissed. Like I said before, obviously the work of an effective director, but don't go mentioning her in the same breath as Hitchcock.
    What do you think the filmmaker's point was? I felt like she was just trying to piss me off. But obviously there's more. Something about the correlation between losing your virginity and getting raped? I don't know.
    And even though I didn't like the film, I'm glad that I got an opportunity to see it. I'm happy I live somewhere that doesn't hold back art.
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    don't all bring you lasagna at work. Most of 'em just cheat on you." - Silent Bob
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    Optimus Prime Films
    [Edited last by Ross Williams on November 15, 2001 at 07:15 PM]
     
  18. Matty B

    Matty B Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Gary Tooze

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  20. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: Your logical fallacy (Begging the question in this case) makes me sicker than child pornography:[/quote] Well thank you, Matty B. for such a well written response. If not wanting children to be exploited makes you sicker than child pornography, one of the most disgusting things ever created by man, than I feel for you as a person.
    quote: A)At age 15 a girl knows what she is doing enough to know if she wants to be nude on film or not.[/quote] Says who? You? How about a 14 year old? Or a 12 year old? Or a 10 year old? Where do we draw the line? A minor is a minor. Period. When I was 15, I knew plenty of girls that thought they knew what they were doing and years later, they realized that they didn't. I do not know one women who lost her virginity before age 17 that does not regret it. My sister lost hers at 15 and thought she knew exactly what she was doing. Just one year later she was kicking herself for being so stupid, as all teenagers are.
    quote: B)This is pornography, and they aren't exposing themselves, they and their parents had to sign waivers to appear in the film. [/quote] Hmmm, I think you meant to say NOT pronography, but perhaps that was fate intervening. So what if the Parents signed waives? Robert Downey Jr's father smoked pot with him when he was a little boy, propelling him into a life of addiction. I see parents taking their 10 year olds to movies like SHAFT and GLADIATOR. How smart is that? Not very smart at all.
    quote: C)How low have we sunk when we even consider censorship? Laws are already in place so that child exploitation doesn't occur. [/quote] It is not censorship to prevent CHILDREN from being exploited and used to make money. That is what this film is about. Is it censorship to make child pornography illegal? Is it censorship to ban snuff films? Do we allow everything?
    quote: D)You shouldn't assume how anyone feels about any issue.[/quote] I didn't. But I also didn't get all angry and flip out, either. I am angry now, though. [​IMG] This thread should be closed. It's gonna get ugly and I want no part of it.
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    [Edited last by Richard_Huntington on November 16, 2001 at 09:25 AM]
     

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