PR, Films and Fantasies

Film censorship in the UK

Posted on: September 30, 2011

I found the link to this documentary last night on the FB page of my MA and I was really amazed. It’s aim is to:

Lift the lid on the world of cinema censorship, offering unique access to the files of the British Board of Film Classification. Featuring explicit and detailed exchanges between the censor and film-makers, ‘Dear Censor’ casts a wry eye over some of the most infamous cases in the history of the board.

From the now seemingly innocuous Rebel Without a Cause, the first ‘naturist’ films and the infamous works of Ken Russell, and up to Rambo III, this frank and surprisingly warm documentary demonstrates how a body created by the industry to safeguard standards and reflect shifts in public opinion has also worked unexpectedly closely with the film-makers themselves to ensure that their work was able reach an audience. (BBC)

What really got to me was not the correspondence between filmmaker and censor and the battle of the first to keep his film in one piece, to send the desired message, but the extreme shots in all the cut scenes. For exemple skip to minute 27 and watch little pieces of The Devils… I wonder  what the reaction of the viewer would’ve been if the film was left intact and allowed in public cinemas (especially in 1971!!!).

Do censors have the right to change the content of art in order to make it more “moral”? Can art be immoral? Or is it just a matter of knowledge and training of the viewer?


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