Monday, 28 March 2011

BBFC History: 2000

  • new classification guidlines folowed after extensive public and institutional consultation and gathering of views. this found the greatest concern to parents was drug use and violence in junior categories - whereas generally sexual activity caused less concern
  • european films challenged what was sexually accepted on the screen such as Seul Contre Tous - inwhich the scenes were deemed to explicit. however the consultation allowed the guidelines to be relaxed and show real sex in an 18 category.
  • sexual violence wasnt seen in such a forgiving light. the Last House On The Left was rejected by BBFC as it was concerned with its eroticised seual violence, particularly in video format. this strict view was upheld by Video Appeal Committee (VAC), but was eventually passed as the possibility of harm was thought to be reduced
  • government responsibility moved form the Home office department for Culture media nd Sport to Ofcom, but leaves the responsibility of film, video and DVD regulation to the BBFC (only one to see prepublication)
  • new 12A rating introduced in 2002 allowing under12s to be accompanied by an adult giving parents more control with the introduction of consumer advice.
  • consumer advice was always on website but appeared on posters and adverts for 12 A films being included by most film distributors
  • David cooke was appointed Director after Robin Duvals retirement
  • new guidelindes were made in 2005 and based on even more public opinion (7000 more)
  • introduction of educational websites for specifically cbbfc for children and sbbfc for students (and later pbbfc for parents) containing extented classification
  • some 18 films like Destricted contained explict images of real sex but were said to be justified by context and came very close to abolition of censorship but not classification
  • famous rejection of Manhunt 2 as was concerened about callousness and sadism. after numerous attempts and modifications, it was eventually cleared in 2008
  • new guidelines in 2009 were published with 8,500 people contributing - leading to 62% of public felt the BBFC was effective

BBFC History: 1990

  • continuing strict standards for videos as scenes can be seen out of context and its easier for younger viewers to access- concerns over viewing of violent videos flared up with the Jamie Bulger case. this lead the Board requiring to look at a films potential harm
  • at this time a flurry of violent drug filled films awaited classification - one of the most controversial being Natural Born Killers
  • 1995 saw increased concern over protection of children in films like Kids which was seen as child pornography but contained 18+ actors
  • lord Harewood resigned as President after 12 years. Andreas Whittaham Smith who replaced him wanted the BBFC to improve its openness and accountabilityby publishing its guidelines, introducing a website and gathering public opinions in roadshows
  • as computer games developed, the BBFC had to classify realistic games with cruelty to humans or animals or sexual activity. this introduced a new style of examining films and lead to a non classification for Carmagedon as it "encouraged antisocial behaviour"  This which was later overturned as had parental lock settings
  • Robin Duval replaced James Ferman as Director in 1999
  • public opinion was shifting and other media forms like internet and satellite were developing alongside video and film. this lead to the reexamination of the Exorcists, which was unlikely to be harmful to the increasing sophistication of young viewers
  • also saw removal of banning oriental weapons as were not very accessible, required training to use and were no longer the height of fashion
  • the emphasis changed from this to focusing on the glamourisation of weapons such as knives - especially in younger categories

BBFC History: 1980

  • establishment of stalk and slash genre
  • generally much broader and liberal content including politically controversial material
  • introduction of video recorders lead to a moral panic on "video nasties" concerned that children were going to watch adult only content as they did not have to be classified or "filtered " by BBFC. many films such as The Evil Dead were proscuted under obscene publications Act. this particualr film needed cuts to  violence and horror and eventually pleading guilty and was prosecuted and accquitted
  • this massive issue lead to the Video Recordings Act in 1984 - which gave the BBFC responsibility for classifying all videos. this massively increased their workload as they had to classify previous and current titles.
  • the Category system also got reformed as A was changed to PG, AA-15 and X-18. R18 was created for stronger sex films for exclusive members and licensed sex shops (which would have previously been unclassified). Uc was also created for videos to indicate that they were suitable for unsupervised young children. also a 12 category was created to bridge the gap between PG and 15, the first 12 film being Batman
  • Caligua had massive issues when coming over from the US as it was very controversial and in danger of breeching UK law with sexually explicit material. many cuts were made to 6 months later to give it an X rating

BBFC History: 1970

  • A category was split into A- (admitted children 5+) which, unlike a U, could contain potentially unsuitable material for pre 14s  - and the new AA- (admitted plus 14s only) to allow more adults material to be exhibited whilst still protecting children
  • the age for an X rating reaised from 16 to 18
  • new X rating in america raise concerns with the board that films might push the boudaries on sex and perversion
  • pressure groups like the Festival of Light, put pressure on the BBFC to harshly rate or cut contraversial films. this was contradictory to the percieved liberalisation and the efforts of anti censorship campaigners
  • Stephen Murphy was Secretary of the board from 1971-75 and was replaced by James Freeman. he permitted increasingly sexually explicit films but simaltaneously clamped down on sadistic violence.
  • His views reflected a wider shift in concern over whether a film could have any possibly corrupting influence eg enjoying a victims pain in (sexual) violence
  • both of the Secretaries agreed that violence and terroism espicailly towards women was unacceptable  - which lead to the unclassifcation of The Texas Chainsaw Masacre
  • Obscene Publications Act came into law in 1977 - this allowed for more flexibility when considering scenes as a whole/in context rather than in isolation
  • the Exorcist raised concerns over whether it had a psycologically damaging effects on youg people and A Clockwork Orange had a controversial rape scene and was linked to sex and violence

Sunday, 27 March 2011

BBFC History: 1960

  • with the sixties came a strong shift in public opinion which was reflected in new liberalism from the BBFC and John Trevelyan. they relaxed there responsibility over public morality and expressing minority opinions. public tolerance increased as films became more explicit
  • realism and kitchen sink drama emerged
  • however films like Saturday Night still expressed concerns over language violence and theme of abortion to the point where Warickshire Council requested that cuts be made to give it a local certificate
  • wolfden reports recommended relaxing the laws on homosexuality, which the BBFC thought would not be favoured by a British audience
  • Lady in A Cage generated concerns over violence as it was felt it might cause " invite and sitmulate juvenille violence and anitsocial behaviour" and recieved an X certificate

BBFC History: 1950

  • increasing afluence after wars
  • youth group became an attractive target for consumer goods (to brand teenager) as had disposable income
  • 1951 introduction of the X category which excluded under 16s (incoporating old H category)
  • board still holding on to role as protector of moral standards - giving films some restriction
  • growing concerns of teenage criminality and hooliganism - raised issues with and "the wild one" which took 13 years to recieve  a classification as was seen as hooliganism that was influencing riots in seaside towns 
  • BBFC longstanding policy on no nudity as thought would encourage sexual exploitation.
  • controversial film Garden of Eden which contained nudity which BBFC didnt like initially but gave in and gave it an A rating as so many local authorites overruled them
  • board still concerned over overall message of the film and its effect on society and how partents would react to films and still quite tight on language
  • theme of capital punishment on agenda
  • Arthur Watkins resigned and was replaced by John Nichols for 2 years, and the John trevelyan took over the role and wanted to shift the X category from horror and continental films to serious British Films
  • soical and class upheaval after war
  • introduction of Obscene Publications Act (1959)

BBFC History: 1912 - 1949

  • created in 1916 with TP Oconor as a president
  • first set of written codes/rules
  • 43 strict rules to gian public trust. these now seem quite unreasonable to a modern day audience but were more appropriate for the time
  • issues concerned horror and sexuality introducing "H" and beginging to be concerned about childrens viewings
  • Arthur Watkins and Sir Sydney Harris introduced advisory role in pre production
  • these focused on principles and messages such as "effect on children" - "impair moral standards" and likely to give offense" more subjective view of important issues of the time
  • particular focus on effect on children  - tempted to create adult category to protect bhildren, but also increases freedom of filmmakers to treat adults as adults
  • children banned from Frankenstein as too horific
  • Battleship Potemkin