Axe wrote: MaxRenn wrote:
Axe wrote:But it does seem like the council do not want to give the ok to films that are likely to recieve cuts.
I think it is specifically an issue because FrightFest is a horror festival and one that has become a roaring success. I highly doubt that the BFI London Film Festival faces similar scrutiny. The LFF screened 2009 film Kinatay
described by the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw as "having no prospect of a UK cinema release" due to its graphic depiction of the rape and murder of a prostitute. I suspect this played at the NFT (thus out of the Westminster Council area of control), but had it played at the ICA I doubt it would have caused a fuss.
Raindance screened the Serbian Life and Death of a Porno Gang
to zero fuss in 2009. Read the synopsis of that film and tell me how it failed to catch Westminster council's eye.
http://www.raindance.co.uk/site/index.p ... 43,0,0,1,0
The BBFC ruling is a seperate issue to Serbian Film being pulled from Frightfest, most everyone I know who has seen it did not expect the film to pass uncut. The real issue is that Westminster Council believes that we as the FrightFest audience are more likely to be depraved and corrupted than the audience of Raindance or the LFF. It's all about perception vs reality.
To paraphrase David Cronenberg, Westminster Council are doing what only psychotics do, they are confusing illusion with reality.
Well wether Kinatay would have censorship issues with the BBFC remains to be seen. I've heard this before even from Brad Stevens in the Darkside stating that a film (can't remember the name) would be cut here if submitted but when it was submitted it was passed uncut. Could be the same with this film. Only the BBFC can really answer this question. As for The Life and Death of a Porno Gang, well reading that review it doesn't sound like a big deal to me. No mention of sexual violence for a start. The reviewer says that it contains scenes that quite possibly breach the laws on obscenity. Now it's entirely possible that it does but until the BBFC have seen it we really won't know for sure. So just speculation. Perhaps these films were given the OK by whatever council viewed them ( that is of course they were submitted). The thing is about Serbian and I Spit is that they did breach the BBFC's strict rules on sexual violence and the council were able to spot this straight away. The question is has a film festival in recent years shown a film uncut that has gone on to have serious problems with either the BBFC or our obsenity laws?
With respect you are missing the point by a country mile.
The BBFC ruling re: Serbian Film is not the fundamental issue over the pulling of the film. That was that Westminister Council demanded ASB and I Spit were passed by the BBFC before they allowed them to be shown. Why did Westminster Council do this? They have not made this demand on the LFF or Raindance (although after this debacle who knows?) despite both these festivals having screened extremely transgressive films in the past. My point is that Westminster Council view FrightFest and the horror genre as disreputable and the wider media, including liberal broadsheets, is happy to either support this or stand back and let it happen. This was key to Jake West's Nasties documentary and to Prof. Barker's comments in the doc and the panel discussion.
My opinion is that rather than definitively block the screening of the film they played a smarter game and essentially passed the buck to the BBFC knowing that (at least) ASB had little chance of being passed without major cuts. Nearly four minutes of cuts puts FrightFest in an untenable position, they could not have shown the film in this form when it is playing widely uncut in many respected festivals.
This episode put the BBFC in a difficult position, but whether ASB should be cut for general release is another debate. The point here is, we as a responsible adult audience, attending a specialist film festival, fully forewarned about the nature of the film, were prevented from viewing it by petty bureaucrats (at Westminster Council, not the BBFC).
As to whether a film screened in recent years at a film festival has gone on to have problems with the BBFC:
A Ma Soeur!
by Cathering Breillat - cut 1m 28s, screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival
There are plenty of other examples, but then there are the films no distributor wants to pick up and submit in the first place (such as Kinatay
, which was I think what Peter Bradshaw meant).
For loads of background and info I recommend checking out http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk
and the BBFC itself http://www.bbfc.co.uk/