Every film fan seems to complain about the censorship of movies. So the question arises - Is censorship good? I say, damn right it is. If you think it isn't you're a fuckwit, plain and simple. I know you film fans sneer at censorship, but come off it, if you believe censorship is bad then you're as ignorant as that twat, Charlton Heston! He says guns are not a problem in relation to crime in the US, whereas in countries where there are no guns, crime is tiny in comparison. Didn't he learn anything from 'Planet of the Apes'?
Let's get this straight first, to believe in movie censorship, you believe in protecting the public from certain things shown in films. And to not believe in censorship, you are saying that everything should have the right to be seen as it was intended. That to not be able to view it is an invasion of freedom of speech. But if censorship didn't exist, a neo-nazi could make a film of Jews and black people being evil and the holocaust not happening. Do you want to see that? No? So I am sure you see here, some views must be censored, not just to protect the public but to stop these asses getting a free forum. That is one aspect.
Next is why do the public need protection? Well as you know, movies are extremely powerful things. Some people believe what is told to them via the screen. In general, people are as dumb as shit and so impressionable that they are ready to believe anything that is put in front of them. Movies have the ability to influence some of these people's fragile minds, whether to a degree of mental upset or something even more tragic. Now I'm not saying people kill because of a film, I am saying that film can become a strong guiding force for an already unstable mind. Agree with me? Yes? Well, this is the idea that is censorship, and if you agree with anything I just wrote, then you are a believer in censorship.
Now to the parts that affects film.
Lets take 'The Matrix' in the UK for example. 10 Seconds were cut in order for it to achieve a '15' certificate, this included the some of the more graphic violence. This is the main reason films are censored; to make the film more accessible to the younger ages, thus making the company more money.
So some stuff has to be trimmed. Does it make it a worse film? No. Is it noticeable that footage was cut? Only to someone who has seen the full version. Does it matter? Not unless you are a very anal person!
I mean things can be released without a certificate if the company wants it, but they don't do this. Why? Because the film will fail. In the US, an NC-17 rating is the kiss of death for the cinema release of a film, so they need these age guides to give it a better chance of making money. The lower the age rating, the better it is likely to do. So the company is sometimes going to edit a film to get a lower rating. So what? Does it really matter? If so, get help, you do not have your priorities in order.
Having said that, I am the first to say that censors overreact at times, and have done very silly things. (For example the knee-jerk reaction of banning many films in the UK in the early 80's). But now it seems censors are becoming better at their job. They realise that there is a small niche market that demands original uncut versions, so they release a lot of unrated versions on DVD. (Yes it is a VERY small niche, Most people don't care if a film has one second worth of a stabbing re-instated as a directors cut).
Look at 'Bats' That was a PG-13 in the cinema, on DVD they made available the uncut R rated version. What was the difference, a clear sight of a half eaten body. Did it make the film better? No... Well coming to think about it, nothing could have made that film better.
Anyway, I have heard film geeks say that it is an insult to the public intelligence when a film is cut. I say, sod off you overweight ginger virgins. A film is cut for the public. You are not in the majority. The public don't care about a few scenes being trimmed in a film. Really! What they care about is seeing a film. So it seems you film geeks complain so much because you feel they are more important than the legions of people who make up the cinema going public.
I say that films are a commercial medium and that is it. Anything that falls out of the realm 'commercial' is a film that is not distributed or represented by a company. Therefore, if commercial, it needs to generate funds. To do that it needs a decent rating for its target audience. They might tailor it to get this certificate, but this is part of the process. So what if a film loses a bit of sex or violence in exchange for the added revenue, it just sounds like good business to me!
So, in summary, with censorship around, you geeks can keep showing your latest uncut bootlegged copy, that should keep all your fellow geeks in awe.
How sad you are.
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=294
originally posted: 12/13/00 02:43:53
last updated: 12/14/00 18:54:05