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Censorship Kills Films
Member Name: icetsunami
Advantages: Protects lsd crazed psychos chained in cellars, and old ladies
Disadvantages: Repression of the people, Kills films, annoys me
Right let's get down to business. I don't want to bore you with lengthy rants, legal precedents and historical details about censorship but it is a subject I feel strongly about.
Generally I disagree with censorship as a whole as expression through art and media is equally valid to expression through free speech. I think it's fair to say that music and video games have almost broken free of censorship and adopted a sensible rating system in terms of the latter.
Film however continues to be subject to strenuous cuts which do on occassion ruin the experience. Some have become notorious and made classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which incidentally I didn't like at all, others driven underground to 'secret fan clubs'.
I often have cause to wonder, as you probably have, who has decided that we are to be 'protected' from content which is deemed 'harmful' and more importantly what criteria has been used to assess our capability to view these films. Opinion on the content, message and philosophy of a film is a very divisive but also a subjective matter. It is akin to big political decisions being made 'in the interest of the people' where we have no option to discuss or vote the issue and, invariably, there ends up a situation in which we are financially at a loss!
I think films should be screened in their entirety as the director intended but there should be very strict controls on the sale and distribution of these items as and when they become commercially available to the public. We currently screen excessively violent films when the narrative or character development demands it, so how do we decide at what point we have to intervene and censor a film?
My feeling is that it just seems irrational. There is no consistency in the editing decisions. Do we specify a body count? Do we allow blatant and repetitive blasphemy? Do we show full intercourse with climax?
A classic example is the recent Japanese horror film Grotesque. It has been refused a certificate at all as cutting the film would have no significant effect on reducing the level of violence. This means it is not legally available anywhere in the UK or even as an import. Now I have seen this film, with Japanese audio, and it is extremely violent and sadistic and would no doubt leave you feeling pretty sickened.
So at some point between the mainstream releases of Hostel and the Saw series and the ultra nasty torture porn of grotesque there is a point which is getting progressively harder to find. So I ask you, who holds the moral compass and who decides it's pointing the right way?
Summary: Who makes the decisions? Not you!