Archive for the ‘BBFC’ Category

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Poster Embrace 2016 Taryn BrumfittEmbrace is a 2016 Australia / Canada / Dominican Republic / Germany / USA / UK documentary by Taryn Brumfitt.
Starring Renee Airya, Jade Beall and Taryn Brumfitt. BBFC link IMDb

When Body Image Activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photo in 2013 it was seen by more than 100 million people worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. EMBRACE follows Taryn’s crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.

A few days ago the BBFC entry for the film read:

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language, nudity, brief surgical detail for:

  • 2016 cinema release

The entry has now been updated to:

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language for:

  • 2016 cinema release

There is no mention of cuts and the running times remains the same. The nudity and surgical detail could have been pixellated out. But it seems more likely that feminists have dreamt up a new rule of political correctness that nudity does not count in the context of a feminist film.

Perhaps the BBFC advice should read, strong language, positive body image, negative surgical body image augmentation

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bannedThe BBFC currently cuts about 15% of all R18 porn films on their way to totally ordinary mainstream porn shops. These are not niche or speciality films, they are totally middle of the road porn, which represents the sort of content on all the world’s major porn sites. Most of the cuts are ludicrous but Murray Perkins, a senior examiner of the BBFC, points out that they are all considered either be to be harmful, or else are still prohibited by the police or the government for reasons that have long since past their sell by date.So about a sixth of all the world’s adult films are therefore considered prohibited by the British authorities, and so any website containing such films will have to be banned as there is to practical way to cut out the bits that wind up censors, police or government. And this mainstream but prohibited content appears on just about  all the world’s major porn sites, free or paid.

The main prohibitions that will cause a website to be blocked (even before considering whether they will set up strict age verification) are such mainstream content as female ejaculation, urine play, gagging during blow jobs, rough sex, incest story lines (which is a major genre of porn at the moment), use of the word ‘teen’ and verbal references to under 18’s.

Murray Perkins has picked up the job of explaining this catch all ban. He explains it well,  but he tries to throw readers off track by citing examples of prohibitions being justifiable because the apply to violent porn whilst not mentioning that they apply equally well to trivia such as female squirting.

Perkins writes in the Huffington Post:

BBFC logoRecent media reports highlighting what content will be defined as prohibited material under the terms of the Digital Economy Bill could have given an inaccurate impression of the serious nature of the harmful material that the BBFC generally refuses to classify. The BBFC works only to the BBFC Classification Guidelines and UK law, with guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and enforcement bodies, and not to any other lists.

The Digital Economy Bill aims to reduce the risk of children and young people accessing, or stumbling across, pornographic content online. It proposes that the BBFC check whether

(i) robust age verification is in place on websites containing pornographic content and

(ii) whether the website or app contains pornographic content that is prohibited.

An amendment to the Digital Economy Bill, passed in the House of Commons, would also permit the BBFC to ask Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block pornographic websites that refuse to offer effective age verification or contain prohibited material such as sexually violent pornography.

In making any assessment of content, the BBFC will apply the standards used to classify pornography that is distributed offline. Under the Video Recordings Act 1984 the BBFC is obliged to consider harm when classifying any content including 18 and R18 rated sex works. Examples of material that the BBFC refuses to classify include pornographic works that: depict and encourage rape, including gang rape; depict non-consensual violent abuse against women; promote an interest in incestuous behaviour; and promote an interest in sex with children. [Perkins misleadingly neglects to include, squirting, gagging, and urine play in his examples here]. The Digital Economy Bill defines this type of unclassifiable material as prohibited .-

Under its letters of designation the BBFC may not classify anything that may breach criminal law, including the Obscene Publications Act (OPA) as currently interpreted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS provides guidance on acts which are most commonly prosecuted under the OPA. The BBFC is required to follow this guidance when classifying content offline and will be required to do the same under the Digital Economy Bill. In 2015, 12% of all cuts made to pornographic works classified by the BBFC were compulsory cuts under the OPA. The majority of these cuts were to scenes involving urolagnia which is in breach of CPS guidance and could be subject to prosecution.

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Project X Blu ray Region FreePodcast 59 gives a chance for BBFC boss David Austin to outline classifications guidelines for films that depict drug use, eg Now is Good, Project X and 13 .Austin also took the opportunity to speak about a slight change in BBFC terminology in the various forms of consumer advice. Previously the BBFC used the term ”drug use’ but will replace this with the term ‘drug misuse’. Austin cited that example that taking paracetamol for a head ache is ‘drug use’ and so does not always imply a classification issue.

Of course the term ‘ drug misuse’ is also a bit confusing if the drug is intended for use as a recreational drug. Eg does a beer drinker ‘misuse’ alcohol, or how do you ‘misuse’ a spliff? Stick it up your bum or something?

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BBFC logo The BBFC has signed an agreement with the U.K. government to act as the country’s new internet porn censor.

BBFC Director David Austin explained the censor’s new role regulating online adult entertainment to a committee in Parliament weighing the 2016 Digital Economy Bill. Austin discussed how the BBFC will approach those sites that are found to be in contravention to U.K. law in regards to verifying that adult content can’t be accessed by under 18s.

Austin said that the 2016 Digital Economy Bill now being weighed will achieve a great deal for the BBFC’s new role as the age-verification enforcer. The piece of legislation, if given the OK, could impose financial penalties of up to $250,000 for noncomplying adult entertainment sites.

Austin said that the BBFC will methodically start focusing on the largest offending websites, including foreign ones, and notifying them for breaches in the U.K.’s mandatory age-verification laws. Austin said that offending sites will face a notification process that may include the filing of sanctions against sites’ business partners, such as payment providers and others that supply ancillary services. Austin also mentioned that sanctioned sites could find web properties blocked by IP address and de-indexed from search engines.

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Poster Suicide Squad 2016 David Ayer Suicide Squad is a 2016 USA action crime fantasy by David Ayer.
Starring Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne and Will Smith. BBFC link IMDb

A secret government agency run by Amanda Waller, named A.R.G.U.S creates a task force comprising super villains, the “Suicide Squad”. They are assigned to execute dangerous tasks in exchange for shorter prison sentences.

Even the word ‘suicide’ is a bit much for our film censors. Having a belief that viewers are affected by the films they see, then ‘suicide’ in films appealing to children, conjures up the need to be ultra sensitive and cautious. It’s probably not possible to edit it out of the title, so perhaps it was always inevitable that the film would be at least 15 rated in the UK.And indeed that is the case, the BBFC have passed Suicide Squad as 15 uncut for sustained threat, moderate violence for 2016 cinema release in 2D and 3D versions.

The US MPAA had previously rated the film PG-13 for s equences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language.

And the world censors seem to have mostly sided with the American film censor. Australia (M=PG-15), Netherlands (12), Norway (12) , Singapore (PG-13) and Ireland (15A) all being lower than the UK. Russia opted for a higher 16 rating though.

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bbfc annual report 2015 The BBFC wrote in a press release:

In 2015 the BBFC classified 983 films for theatrical distribution, a rise of 2.7% compared to 2014. For the second year in a row, more films were classified 15 than 12A, with 383 films classified at 15 and 321 at 12A.

As well as an age rating, every film classified is given detailed BBFCinsight guidance, available on the BBFC website and free apps, which enables the public (particularly parents) to know when a film is suitable for them and their family. This is particularly helpful at the advisory categories of U, PG and 12A, where 2015 saw a number of high profile releases including Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A) and Inside Out (U).

David Austin, Chief Executive, BBFC said:

In 2015 we saw our range of services continue to diversify, reflecting public expectation for the same trusted guidance available for film and DVD/Blu-ray, to be similarly available online. We worked closely with the digital home entertainment industry to bring even more age ratings to VoD platforms and expanded our work with Mobile Network Operators in a new partnership with EE. Mobiles are useful for families that need to keep in touch and the EE ‘Strict’ setting, based on our PG rating, gives parents peace of mind that the mobile device they give to their child is safe and that protections are in place to help prevent their child seeing unsuitable content.

Alongside cinema releases, 1,143 hours of online content was classified for exclusive VoD release, with the BBFC receiving 74.5% more submissions in 2015 compared to 2014. This rapid growth demonstrates an appetite for BBFC classification guidance online. BBFC research reflected this expectation among families for BBFC age rating guidance when choosing a film or series to watch on major VoD platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. In 2015 85% of parents said it was important to have consistent classifications both online and offline, while three quarters of parents want to link parental controls to BBFC classifications and for more platforms to carry age ratings and trusted BBFC content advice.

A key improvement in protecting younger children online during 2015 was the appointment of the BBFC in March 2015 as the voluntary regulator of EE’s Strict setting. Under this new service, the BBFC determines what website content accessed via EE’s mobile network, is suitable for younger children, in line with the BBFC’s PG standard. Using the Strict setting, parents are able to restrict their children’s viewing to safe and appropriate content, suitable for under 12s. The BBFC also provides a free appeals and adjudication service in relation to individual cases of purported over- and under-blocking.

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Batman Superman Justice Ultimate Blu ray Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice [2D] is a 2016 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Zack Snyder.
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb UK: The Ultimate Edition Extended Cut was passed 12 for moderate violence, threat, infrequent strong language for:

  • 2016 Warner [2D Extended Cut + 4k Theatrical Version] 4k R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 1st August 2016
  • 2016 Warner [2D Extended Cut] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 1st August 2016

UK: The 2D and 3D Theatrical Versions were passed 12 uncut for moderate violence, threat for:

  • 2016 Warner [3D Theatrical + 2D Extended Cut] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 1st August 2016
  • 2016 Warner [Theatrical only] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 1st August 2016

Versions

A cut version was rated PG-13 in the US for Theatrical Release. There also exists an R rated Ultimate Edition Extended Cut for home video. Both versions were 12 rated by the BBFC.

Promotional Material

The Battle Intensifies in the Ultimate Edition

In this no-holds-barred Ultimate Edition, with 30 minutes of additional footage not seen in cinemas, titans of justice Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Superman/ Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) face off in the most anticipated showdown of our time. But while Gotham City’s formidable vigilante takes on Metropolis’ revered saviour, the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs… and a new danger arises to threaten all of humanity.

Includes over 2 hours of extras:

Uniting the World’s Finest – Glimpse the future of DC’s bold new cinematic superheroes
Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants – Become a witness to history as you discover how everything in Batman and Superman’s pasts have been leading up to this ultimate, epic showdown
The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder – Explore the origin, evolution and powerful impact on popular culture by the legendary Amazonian Wonder Woman
Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile – Batman’s newest ride is sleek, tough, loud, and fast as hell. Host Sal Masekela goes under the hood of the celebrated vehicle, then puts rubber to the road
Superman: Complexity & Truth – Experience the transformation as Henry Cavill goes from earnest journalist in glasses and tweeds to a powerful godlike being in a streamlined caped costume
Batman: Austerity & Rage – From cape to cowl and from rugged body armor to carefully-tailored suits, Batman’s outer gear perfectly camouflages and expresses the fury that simmers within
Wonder Woman: Grace & Power – From her gladiator-influenced costume to her shield and sword, she is the mortal incarnation of a warrior goddess
Batcave: Legacy of the Lair – Nature and technology exist side by side in Batman’s breath-taking and modernistic subterranean digs
The Might and the Power of a Punch – A dynamic and illustrative look at the power, physics and fascinating details that make the battle between Batman and Superman so formidable
The Empire of Luthor – Dive deeper into the inception of an entirely new interpretation of Lex Luthor, including an examination of his storied history in the comics
Save the Bats – Learn how the cast and crew gave back to the environment and brought awareness to a very real ecological problem