I posted recently about the role of the BBFC these days and you came back with some great responses. Here is my pick of your comments.

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by dangerb0b

    on 7 Dec 2012 11:49

    Some posters have mentioned here the need for the BBFC to be more specific in whether a film is "suitable" or not for kids when it comes to 12a rated movies. I have to say that I disagree. The guidelines are available for all to see when it comes to why the movie has received a 12a certificate, and the movies themselves can be viewed by parents before they take their kids to see them. The BBFC is not a better judge of what is suitable for my children than I am. The buck stops with me when it comes to what I let them watch.
    For example, I recently watched Thor with my 8yr old son. I watched it first due to it's 12a rating, was satisfied it was suitable for him, then we watched it together and we both loved it. He subsequently saw a tv spot for Woman in Black and asked me if he could watch that. I had my doubts based on the subject matter and rating, watched it myself, and came to the conclusion that it was in no way suitable for him (and would in fact scare the bejesus out of him). As a result he has not seen it. My decision was made on the basis of knowing my child and having viewed the film for myself. Surely the current system the BBFC has in place is better than the BBFC simply lazily "upping" the ratings of these movies to 15 certificates, or cutting them to ribbons to hit the PG rating?

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by George Canton

    on 27 Nov 2012 22:18

    The BBFC had just changed the look of the website. It may look modern and awesome almost like the format that the IFCO or CNC Film Classification system of France does. But does it look too new, flashy, and confusing that it kind of lost its way to trying to be looking too new. It only ruined the whole bland experience of knowing about film classification even more.

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by Gareth

    on 26 Nov 2012 10:27

    I always check the cBBFC before taking my child to see a 12A film,if it says its no good for him,he wont go even if he wants to see it,i wouldn't like to be bothered in a screening so there is no way i would allow my son to do it to others due to boredom

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by George Canton

    on 24 Nov 2012 22:22

    If you want to have a bit more leeway in a ratings system that doesn't involve age restrictions and you can use these ratings for your videos and other works, please visit YouTube and see TheVisualBureau channel to find the video "Film Ratings." You can use the following ratings (G, PG, PG+, and MA) if you want under the Creative Commons license.

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by George Canton

    on 24 Nov 2012 22:13

    ADDING ONTO THE PREVIOUS COMMENT:

    The BBFC is a little unusual in that gruesome acts of death and murder can be shown at lower categories but rape cannot and some depictions can get cut/censored. Murder, torture, rape, and suicide are all felonious criminal activities, why can't they be treated in the same way. Most audiences, in terms of violence, prefer to see it in an action form. When it is horror or thriller, people can get unsettled, frightened, or disturbed. Their policy on horror, in terms of non-gory horror, makes some sense but what will likely impact children (and teens) more if they see a creepy ghost making noises in the house or watching a maniac intrude in one's house using a chainsaw.

    On video games, their decisions are by-and-large consistent with the exception of Canis Canem Edit (15, which is one of the most offensive works ever. Should be 18) and Manhunt 2 (18 as censored/cut, don't ban it just don't let children play it. Also, the game Dead Island have the same kind of gore and weapons used). As well, let the whole PEGI v. BBFC battle end. PEGI, slightly more strict than the BBFC, ought to have no involvement in Britain. BBFC needs to reflect British sentiment, not European to give consistency just like Germany's system with FSK.

    On economic grounds, it does make sense that they do charge a fee to classify your work but don't let it deter off the smaller distributors. After all, it will only make money and a lagging artistic culture more powerful.

    My last word here, "A society should be free to choose as long as the parents and children know together that some things that might give them an impression to where they can waste tax money, their lives, get in trouble with the police, and cause bother is what needs to be taken into account. One gory image or sight of breasts shouldn't automatically result in a 15 or 18."

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by George Canton

    on 24 Nov 2012 22:00

    The BBFC is by far one of the most conservative rating systems in Europe (more closer to restricting certain content like Germany and Ireland). It isn't so hard to see that France, Denmark, and the Netherlands are much more liberal. Needless to say, the BBFC, like and should, have to understand people's concerns with showing certain kinds of ideas and imagery to younger audiences.

    The problem is, young people are likely to see something explicit online through pirate copies or inappropriate websites that cause spam and cookies. BBFC could be a bit more aware of a trend that is happening as of now as film attendance is seemingly lower than back in the 70s and past (by exception, with films like Skyfall, Avatar, and Harry Potter making big money).

    Also, the BBFC have TO BE MORE AWARE of films and TV shows on DVD with quite brutal violence like Kick-Ass (15, which you agree but I disagree but this film is just extreme), Elfen Lied (15, graphic, extremely gory, and disturbing to watch), Watership Down (U, like many, it was too violent), The Incredibles (U, pretty violent. Best for PG), Princess Mononoke (PG, gory and shocking at times), Casino Royale (12A/12 and 15, the 12A was too strong and borderline). No need to cut, censor, and ban films but let people if it's going to make themselves and their children feel uneasy.

    As well, films that have some controversial/debatable humour and ideas like The Dictator (15, very crude, bold, and threatening) and films that have rough/coarse language can be given some leeway if social/political/historical context that will help young people understand things is permitting in films like Sweet Sixteen (18), The King's Speech (12A/12 originally 15), and All the President's Men (15), Frost/Nixon (15, ridiculous. Just one use of "mf"). I'm sure many 13 year olds heard the f-word and probably the c-word during their 10-minute breaks, out at the football field, or eating lunch.

    Also, the 18 certificate is getting more like the NC-17 in the USA. In other words, it's getting rarer by the second and most of the 18 films today have the c-word used or show rape, a few ones here-and-there for graphic violence or sex. I'm not suggesting we need to go back to the 1980s or 1990s on these issues but being wise in the name of what will affect young people, especially when technology is out there (see videos that have f and c-word without age restrictions on YouTube) and dignity and moderation is getting thinner. I'm sorry Dr. Kermode, but like you, the BBFC has faired itself well by explaining what a film has and I like the way they function a lot but some of their decisions are a little offbeat and skewed. They don't have to be France (liberal) or Singapore (conservative) on this one!

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by The Concise Statement

    on 23 Nov 2012 08:52

    The BBFC has improved remarkably over the last decade, that's for sure. But the shadow that looms over them is still this rather sleazy act of collusion where the studio and the censor (and there's no way around that - that is still what they are despite the difference in emphasis) will cosy up together for advice screenings about how to butcher the film before the actual submission so as to target the most financially lucrative demographic. That has nothing to do with art or morality - that's just destroying films for money.

    With the release of the latest Bond film Skyfall remaining unscathed by the censors due to a shift away from the palpable nastiness of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and towards something approaching subtler melancholy, it's probably a good time to reflect on one of the least well known hatchet jobs in the Bond series history. Back in 1997, Tomorrow Never Dies was extensively revised through this pre-cut process to the point where the BBFC almost become a second directorial hand brought in by the producers to completely alter the tone set by Roger Spottiswoode. Now whether one agrees with Spottiswoode's decision to make a much bloodier Bond film in a series that has huge appeal to tweens, that is what the man ultimately intended as his final vision. To reiterate, these are not changes made at the conceptual script level, rather the BBFC invalidating the director's decisions more or less DURING his editing process, posing the question, then what is the point of a director?

    A very through analysis of the troubled history of Tomorrow Never Dies is featured on a fantastic video by Gavin Salkeld called Cutting Edge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UMURmZvFVlA

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by bux500

    on 22 Nov 2012 14:32

    Its interesting about how the BBFC charges £2,000, because ive been told by an independent film disturbutor that they have given up on cinema screenings because its too much hassle to get a rating from the BBFC. Not only that but the DVD etc also has to be given a seperate rating, and so does all the extra features of the DVD, so another few thousand pounds here and there has to be paid even though its the same film, and at the end its cost them £8,000 of which they then have to question is it worth it.

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by Andy

    on 21 Nov 2012 12:27

    I saw this The Master in the 70mm. I haven't seen it in the digital print to compare, but I was blown away by it.

    Always think its worth making the extra effort to see the film in the way the director intended it to be seen, to be able to truly judge the film.

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  • Comment number 17. Posted by lolaarcana

    on 20 Nov 2012 10:07

    I went to see Skyfall recently and there was a baby in the cinema and a few really little kids. I'm not in the UK at the moment (which mean the kids were trying to read the subtitles) but it reminded me of seeing Casino Royale and sitting through the torture scene with a child of about 6 and his brother of about 10 in front of me. They were not happy.

    If parents were responsible enough we wouldn't need to have age classifications, just a suggested age, but they're not so we don't. The 12A rating is just trouble for cinema staff and responsible cinema goers.

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