Letting Off Steam…Mr Turner heads the near empty list of public complaints about BBFC decisions

Posted: 16 July, 2015 in BBFC
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Read more BBFC News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Mr Turner DVD Timothy Spall It seemsto be something of a tradition for the press to pick up on the handful of complaints about film classifications as the only thing worth reporting from theBBFC Annual Report.There are hardly any complaints presumably because the age categories are set more or less in line with most peoples expectations. In addition people have positively elected to go to the cinema or watch the DVD, so are less likely to be surprised at the contents, than for more passive viewing medias like TV.

Anyway the top films that attracted a few whinges are:

  1. The film Mr. Turner , classified 12A, generated the most feedback in 2014: nineteen members of the public complained about a sex scene in the film, though it needs to be kept in mind that this is a very low figure for most complained-about film, and is a tiny proportion of those who will have seen it. In the scene in question, Turner’s clothed buttocks are seen clenching vigorously, before the scene cuts to a close-up of his face and his thrusting head and shoulders. The scene is relatively brief and does not contain any nudity, but Turner does appear rather distressed. The act ends with shots of Turner sobbing, almost in an exhibition of self-loathing.
  2. The 15 classification of 12 Years A Slave generated a total of twelve complaints about the violence, including sexual violence, in the film. 12 Years A Slave tells its story in a considered and responsible manner, and contains very little in the way of blood or injury detail. The scenes of violence in the film are strong but are contextually justified. With very few clear images of the injuries inflicted, the depictions of violence serve to illustrate the very real brutality suffered by many slaves at the hands of their masters. The rape of a female slave is shocking but is shown in a discreet manner. There is no nudity and the focus of the scene remains on her impassive face.
  3. The 15 classification for Bad Neighbours received eight complaints. Correspondents raised the language, drug references and sex scenes in the film as problematic to them at 15. There is one use of the word ‘cunt’ as a man laments the fact that his baby has heard someone swear and worries that soon the baby will begin using the c-word .
  4. 300: Rise of An Empire is the sequel to the film 300 and was classified 15. Seven members of the public contacted the BBFC about scenes of violence, a strong sex scene, and sexual violence in the film. Although 300: Rise Of An Empire does contain strong violence, the sequences are presented in a very stylised and unrealistic manner. For example, scenes of decapitations and slow motion plumes of blood are exaggerated and very clearly rendered using computer generated images. This gives the film a visual style similar to that of the comic book the 300 films are based on.
  5. The Equalizer generated seven complaints from the public for its 15 classification. Correspondents raised the violence in the film as problematic at 15, while others complained that the film had been cut to achieve a 15 classification. Although the violence in The Equalizer is strong in places, particularly during hand to hand fight scenes, it does not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury, nor do any of the scenes qualify as the strongest gory images of the type that would require an 18 classification.

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