UK: Film certificates 'could go in decade'

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neil White, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. Neil White

    Neil White Supporting Actor

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  2. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    It's funny, whilst I don't agree to many of the BBFCs descisions as far as censorship goes, I like out certificate system.

    An 18 year old hyped to see a film like Fight Club could have been told to babysit 5 year old little Jimmy, but kills two birds with one stone and takes the kid to see the movie. It's thoughts like that that don't sit well with me. The comments there in that article would make out that the parents descision is the only factor in deciding what to let a kid see, as if the buck stopped with them but that is so totally untrue.

    That said... Am I surprised? Not entirely, especially given the recent discussion over dropping our 12 certificate in favour of a possible PG-13 like certificate. We'll see...

    BBFC make me angry as far as censorship goes when they demand alterations to a film that isnt made for kids, like The Matrix or Fight Club for example. And in recent times, when they have requested a cut for Star Wars Episode 2 and no cuts for Spider-Man... the mind boggles, it truly does.

    Thanks for highlighting the article.

    Dan
     
  3. Iain Jackson

    Iain Jackson Second Unit

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    Personally, I think they should replace the 15 and 18 certificates with one '16' certificate. After all, 16-year-olds in Britain can leave home, get married, have sex and raise a family, so why shouldn't they be allowed to see what they like in the cinema?

    And I wish that they would stop cutting films (even films for adults) for headbutts, ear claps and martial arts moves because they are "imitable techniques". After all, picking up a knife and stabbing someone is an imitable technique (and likely to be far more dangerous), but they don't cut those out of films...
     
  4. Russell_Lengthorn

    Russell_Lengthorn Auditioning

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    I have to agree with Iain regarding the 18 certificate. I've always found it laughable that in the UK a 16 year old can have sex but can't watch people having sex in a film.

    I hadn't heard about the potential change to the 12 certifiacte, has this been brought about because of what happened to Spiderman?
     
  5. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    Any decent parent will keep sharp knives out of young children's hands.. and also, most films show the intense nature of these actions. Even FOTR had Lurtz screaming in pain as he pulled the knife out of his leg. Anyone else who is stabbed is dead, or seriously wounded. Another recent example, Minority Report's bloody stabbing was brief and artfully cut together to horrific effect. Imitable techniques... If someone was to seriously headbutt you, it'd mess you up good, never mind getting back up and continuing the fight. Is it responsible to show quick and easy dangerous technique to kids? I'll pass on that one.
    Or perhaps an additional classification "PG-8"? [​IMG] (for 8 year olds, equivalent to PG but younger children are allowed in with an adult)
    Debate away!
     
  6. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    The PG-12 idea was raised last year, but yes it's fair to say the Spider-Man incident has furthered thought on it at the BBFC. I honestly thought Spidey's rating, with no cuts was spot on.

    I saw nothing for under 12s in that movie. Kids cried over it because childrens TV programmes had the mentality to promote a movie the majority of their viewers could not see. You didn't see kids getting all in a huff over X-Men (also a saturday morning tv cartoon at the time) being a 12 a few years ago.

    Dan
     
  7. andrew markworthy

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    I've got to say that I prefer the US ideas on censorship and the UK ideas on age limits, though come to think of it, a 16 rather than 18 barrier is an excellent idea.
     
  8. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    The US's infamous R rating has got to go. Ebert has said many times it should be split into two separate ratings, and I'm inclined to agree. I mean, under the current system "The Insider" and "Natural Born Killers" have the same rating. This is ludicrous. Parents (soccer moms, especially) will think both films are equally inappropriate for children. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Insider is in no way inappropriate for children to the extent that a guardian is necassary to see the film. Natural Born Killers is at the opposite extreme. I was thinking maybe a PG-17 (for stuff like The Score and Man who wasn't there) and R (for Goodfellas, Se7en).
     
  9. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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  10. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    Regarding the BBFC, it seems as if they are finally beginning to let self-censorship come to the fore. They are letting joe-public actually decide what they want to watch - and what their kids can see - rather than do the 'nanny state' thing and cut the hell out of anything that moves, or just banning it outright. We're not quite there yet, of course, but the advisory notes that have accompanied recent UK cinema releases, eg LOTR, Spiderman, MIIB (and not forgetting Jurassic Park) mean that this change is coming.

    And the BBFC have been mulling over a possible PG-12 rating for the UK for years, using BBFC 'roadshows' to gauge children's reactions to certain material - ranging from the banned-by-Sky Simpson's episode 'The Cartridge Family' to scenes from Jurassic Park. A new PG-12 rating will not be a leap in the dark, as some right-wing British newspapers have protested, but a considered light through the British censorship gloom.
     
  11. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    The Matrix sequels next year will be interesting. I've never seen the UK version of The Matrix, I saw it twice theatrically in the US and got the R1 DVD from then on.
    They are getting better, but we'll see. A headbutt cut from Ep2 and 6 seconds gone from Scooby Doo still seem rather silly to me (though I avoided Scooby like the plague).
     
  12. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    While it's true that in Britain there is the BBFC, we have stuff get R ratings for the stupidest reasons

    Gay sex is always R, straight sex of the same content can be PG-13

    If you have fluffy bunnies in a field that say the F bomb 4 times, you have to be 17 to see it

    At least the BBFC has guidelines, "These depictions will get you an R". Meanwhile Basic Instinct carries an R while Orgazmo, which shows nothing except a few butts carries NC-17
     
  13. Neil White

    Neil White Supporting Actor

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    I've been gone from the U.K. for 5 1/2 years now. To be honest, I'd forgotten about the hatchet job the BBFC does all too often.

    Personally, I'm all in favour for ratings but not one's that outlaw a particular individual from seeing a movie at the cinema. The ratings are useful and even more useful are the additional indicators like you get before a movie shown on HBO, (for example, "nudity", "mild language", "graphic violence"). That additional information, if provided along with the rating, would arm parent's with enough information to decide if they want their kids seeing a movie. Of course, you've got the kids that go on their own to the flicks. In that case, you do need some kind of bottom line that the cinema folks can use to prevent a young nipper from seeing what he really shouldn't. On the other hand, anyone that young shouldn't be out on their own anyway.

    Like others here, I am absolutely opposed to the BBFC, or any other organization, cutting movies to suit what they feel is right. It wouldn't be half as bad if they seemed to use some kind of consistent logic (of course, that's my opinion).

    My 2 pennies.

    N
     
  14. andrew markworthy

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  15. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    They seriously gave Spider-Man a 12? Over here in the West, four-year-olds saw it without getting into spontanious kung-fu fights...
     
  16. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Lay off the BBFC! :) Censorship is not entirely their fault. In 99% of cases (I suspect), the BBFC will offer to give a film one rating, but the studios' marketing departments insist on a lower rating to get a larger audience/sales, and hence the cuts.
     
  17. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Good call Philip.

     
  18. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    Andrew : D'oh! Silly me. Never mind. [​IMG]
    PhilipG : Love the signature.[​IMG] And I'm with you - Film Classification is useful and the BBFC does have it's uses, and noone was bashing them really. (Not even Neil.) We're just bitching about the cutting of films in the UK.
     
  19. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Age restrictions = good.
    Censorship = bad.



    Doesn't the 15 rating mean "noone under 15 admitted"? The R rating means "Everyone admitted, if you're under 17 you have to be accompanied by an adult".

    /Mike
     
  20. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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