Archive for the ‘BBFC’ Category

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Wind River DVD At a conference organised by the NSPCC, BBFC director David Austin gave the keynote speech and spoke of early results from the organisation’s five-yearly public consultation.In previous consultations, the BBFC commissioned an in-depth survey of a panel of members of the public, and presumably have repeated the exercise this time. Austin reported increased concern about such sexually violent scenes, meaning certification guidelines may become stricter.

The BBFC asked the panel to review its decisions on 15-rated films featuring sexual violence including Don’t Breathe , starring Jane Levy, Wind River and The Innocents, a French drama about brutalised nuns during the second world war. They were asked if these titles might have been more appropriately restricted to 18.

In a statement to the Guardian, the BBFC said that a number of the films might have been more appropriately restricted to 18. In the case of The Innocents — which was given a PG13 certificate in the US — the initial conclusion was that a 15 certificate was correct. The BBFC statement says:

It is premature to say what adjustments might finally be made to [our] guidelines but it is certainly fair to say that the [research] suggests heightened public concerns about the issue of sexual violence and some desire for a further tightening of our already strict standards at 15.

A BBFC spokesman told the Telegraph:

A general trend we found was that people seemed to find the fact the scenes occurred within recognisable ‘real world’ settings an aggravating factor, because it made them feel as if this was something that could happen to them.

The BBFC is now partway through the second stage of its consultation, which surveys around 10,000 members of the public, asking them if the BBFC is doing a good job and whether its age rating decisions are generally about right. This larger survey does not address detailed issues such as whether sexual violence should be restricted to an 18 rating.

The press is reporting that the BBFC will automatically award 18 ratings to films with depictions of sexual violence but this is surely bollox, the BBFC will perhaps make a few tweaks to its guidelines but will still take final decisions based on the content of the film.

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Death Wish DVD Death Wish is a 2017 USA action crime thriller by Eli Roth.
Starring Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Elisabeth Shue. BBFC link IMDb UK: BBFC details not yet published for the promised Uncut Version for:

  • 2018 Universal Pictures UK R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 6th August 2018
  • 2018 Universal Pictures UK R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 6th August 2018

Ireland: Passed 15 uncut

Thanks to Ben who spotted that the same DVD and Blu-ray release shared with the UK has been rated 15 uncut by IFCO. The running time tallies with the uncut version and IFCO comments passed 15 uncut for Strong violence, threat and gory injury. See rating from ifco.ie

UK Censorship History

BBFC category cuts were required for a 15 rated cinema release in 2018. Uncut and MPAA R rated in the US. The UK home video will be uncut and has been rated 15 by Ireland’s IFCO.

Promotional Material

Bruce Willis stars in Director Eli Roth’s reimagining of the 1974 revenge thriller Death Wish. Dr. Paul Kersey (Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as it’s rushed into his ER — until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts for his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grab the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadly avenger is a guardian angel…or a grim reaper.

Fury and fate collide in the intense action-thriller Death Wish.

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BBFC logo Classification Guidelines – Public Consultation 2018 – 4 June – 31 August 2018

The BBFC makes classification decisions in accordance with our published Classification Guidelines. It’s important that these Guidelines reflect public opinion, which we know evolves over time. In order to ensure our Classification Guidelines are still relevant and in line with public opinion, we undertake large scale public consultation exercises every four to five years. The current Classification Guidelines were introduced in 2014 and we intend to publish new Classification Guidelines in early 2019.

As part of the public consultation process that will lead to those new Guidelines we’re asking visitors to our website to take a short survey to let us know their views about classification. The survey should take no more than six to eight minutes to complete.

But be warned the survey is a bit crappy. I tried it out and was underwhelmed. It asks a few questions about whether you think age ratings are very, critically or overwhelmingly important and whether you think the BBFC is doing a prefect, brilliant or exceptional job.

Then it asks which films you have watched from a list of children’s, superhero, blockbuster, and a few worthy films selected by the Guardian’s high priestesses of PC. Then you are asked how much you agree with BBFC ratings: a lot, mostly or spot on. If you do happen to disagree there is no way of explaining what you disagree about.

The survey concludes with a load of divisive impertinent personal questions about your class and religion etc. Why ask about religion for a survey on film classification? It either gives the impression that the BBFC want to prioritise the views of certain sections of the population, or else they want to tick all the boxes to say how ‘inclusive’ the survey has been. Either way it comes across as a dodgy survey like what Cambridge Analytica would design.

And to cap it all it failed with an internet 404 error: Page not found just as you submit all your efforts.

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larsvontrier duckA letter to the Guardian responding to an article inspired by faked animal cruelty in Lars von Trier’s upcoming The House That Jack Built:

Anne Billson asserts that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) still cuts non-faked animal abuse, although it is more lenient on arthouse than horror . The article goes on to cite Sátántangó (1994) and Oldboy (2003) as examples of our alleged leniency towards “arthouse” films, in contrast to our long history of intervention with The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978) and Cannibal Ferox (1981). I am afraid this statement is incorrect and no preferential treatment is given to “arthouse” films.

Sátántangó was only classified uncut after we received detailed assurances from the film-makers regarding how the scenes with the cat were prepared and filmed in such a way as to avoid cruelty to the animal involved. Those assurances were consistent with the onscreen evidence. Oldboy was classified uncut because the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937, which is mentioned in the article, only applies to “protected animals” as defined by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Currently invertebrates, such as octopuses, are not covered by the 2006 act and we therefore had no grounds on which to intervene.

By contrast, The Mountain of the Cannibal God and Cannibal Ferox both feature scenes of animal cruelty that are clearly real, that involve vertebrate animals and that certainly appear to have been deliberately orchestrated by the film-makers. Indeed, the makers of those films have confirmed that this is the case.

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BBFC logo Age verification has been hanging over us for several years now – and has now been put back to the end of 2018 after enforcement was originally planned to start last month.

I’m enormously encouraged by how many people took the opportunity to speak up and reply to the BBFC consultation on the new regulations .

Over 500 people submitted a response using the tool provided by the Open Rights Group , emphasising the need for age verification tech to be held to robust privacy and security standards.

I’m told that around 750 consultation responses were received by the BBFC overall, which means that a significant majority highlighted the regulatory gap between the powers of the BBFC to regulate adult websites, and the powers of the Information Commissioner to enforce data protection rules.

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avsecure age verification cardAdults who want to watch online porn (or maybe by adults only products such as alcohol) will be able to buy codes from newsagents and supermarkets to prove that they are over 18 when online.One option available to the estimated 25 million Britons who regularly visit such websites will be a 16-digit code, dubbed a ‘porn pass’.

While porn viewers will still be able to verify their age using methods such as registering credit card details, the 16-digit code option would be a fully anonymous option. According to AVSecure’s the cards will be sold for £10 to anyone who looks over 18 without the need for any further identification. It doesn’t say on the website, but presumably in the case where there is doubt about a customer’s age, then they will have to show ID documents such as a passport or driving licence, but hopefully that ID will not have to be recorded anywhere.

It is hope he method will be popular among those wishing to access porn online without having to hand over personal details to X-rated sites.

The user will type in a 16 digit number into websites that belong to the AVSecure scheme. It should be popular with websites as it offers age verification to them for free (with the £10 card fee being the only source of income for the company). This is a lot better proposition for websites than most, if not all, of the other age verification companies.

AVSecure also offer an encrypted implementation via blockchain that will not allow websites to use the 16 digit number as a key to track people’s website browsing. But saying that they could still use a myriad of other standard technologies to track viewers.

The BBFC is assigned the task of deciding whether to accredit different technologies and it will be very interesting to see if they approve the AVSecure offering. It is easily the best solution to protect the safety and privacy of porn viewers, but it maybe will test the BBFC’s pragmatism to accept the most workable and safest solution for adults which is not quite fully guaranteed to protect children. Pragmatism is required as the scheme has the technical drawback of having no further checks in place once the card has been purchased. The obvious worry is that an over 18s can go around to other shops to buy several cards to pass on to their under 18 mates. Another possibility is that kids could stumble on their parent’s card and get access. Numbers shared on the web could be easily blocked if used simultaneously from different IP addresses.

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iwf 2017 The Internet Watch Foundation released its Annual Report covering 2017 on April 18, 2018 The The IWF searches for and removes online child sexual abuse imagery and the report shows that more of this disturbing material is being found than ever before.Whilst the IWF concentrates on its commendable work against child abuse images it does have a wider remit to censor adult content deemed to be criminally obscene, and also to censor cartoons and other non-photographic imagery sexually depicting under 18s.

However in this annual report the IWF has announced that it no longer has any remit over adult porn. It writes:

6.4 Wider remit work

5,439 reports of alleged criminally obscene adult content were made to us. Almost all were not hosted in the UK, so they were not in our remit.

3,471 reports of alleged non-photographic images of child sexual abuse were made to us. None of these images were hosted in the UK, so they were not within our remit.

One URL depicted criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK received from a public source.

On 1 August 2017, criminally obscene adult content hosted within the UK was removed from IWF’s remit.

Presumably that role now belongs to the new internet porn censors at the BBFC. Anyway it is surely good for the IWF to rid itself of that toxic task, so it can concentrate on its good work that is supported by more or less everyone.