Monday, May 16, 2005


The Brand New Naughty Days

According to this article, 'Deep Throat' has been passed at R18 for cinema screenings.

It's only the second film to be awarded this certificate, after a couple of years ago Michel Reilhac's French historical compendium 'The Good Old Naughty Days.' It will be screened alongside a documentary called 'Inside Deep Throat.'

So is this a good thing or a bad thing in censorship terms?

Well, it's good that it has a certificate for cinema, but it recalls the old arguments about the R18 category. Essentially, it's a ghetto category. Films have to be shown in cinemas with special licenses, in front of members who registered more than twenty-four hours in advance. A fairly large number of councils simply won't grant the licences, and in those councils that do, it's often not worth the bother of getting them because there are no financial rewards in doing so. Next to nobody goes to the cinema for sex any more, mostly because of the technological and social advantages of the home video. It's this reason, after all, that the BBFC passed '9 Songs' uncut for cinema release.

The lack of importance of the decision, and the financial irrelevance of it, can be seen in the press reaction to the decision. That most vehement of right-wing tabloids, 'The Evening Standard', mustered a pathetic 65 words on the news, here. This from the paper that published an article by Alexander Walker claiming that the decision to pass Gaspar Noe's 'Irreversible' uncut was basically the end of society as we know it:

'The fabric of daily life is already in a tattered condition. You don't have to be a victim of muggers, rapists or impulse killers to feel that not much more can be supported without a complete collapse of public decency and the law's protection.'

You know a decision is practically irrelevant when it totally fails to arouse the interest of someone quite so excitable. Incidentally, the Walker article contains the stunning sentence, 'All liberties are conditional; all freedoms are contingent.' It's when you read something like that that it becomes easier to remember that the Standard was one of the more enthusiastic supporters of fascism amongst the British press.

So what should be done about R18? It's hard to say. On the one hand, it hardly seems likely that much hardcore could come on to the 18 certificate, even with the forthcoming precedent of '9 Songs.' On the other, the situation at the moment is useless, as British sellers of hardcore have to have a sex-shop licence, while British puchasers can get the same videos cheaper from abroad and ship them into the country knowing Customs won't bother. If I really wanted to see 'Deep Throat' or 'The Good Old Naughty Days', why would I bother going to a sex shop or cinema, and dealing with the stigma, when I can pay a foreign person who I'll never meet to send it to me? Clearly, the situation is one of those peculiar British compromises that really please nobody, but only time will tell how it will resolve itself.

'Deep Throat' will be on at The Duke Of York's Picture House in Brighton soon.


It's just occurred to me that 'The Good Old Naughty Days' might well be the single best name for a film ever. It's not even it's formal name, which is 'Polissons et Galipettes', which I believe means 'Bad Boys and Somersaults.' 'The Good Old Naughty Days' is exponentially better. If anyone can think of a film close, just put it in the comments.

Censorship is good - it protects the proles from what may hurt them.
And while we're on about digging up the past let's not forget that someone in the nineteenth century tory party once called the Irish vermin. Why, we should clearly disregard anything that the modern Conservative party has to say. On a similar theme The Sun used to be a tory paper but at the last election they backed *shock, horror* Blair. The snivelling turncoats... we all know this was an underhand way of getting people to vote tory.
Now for the Standard; is it not right that someone should carry the flag for the non-libertarians? Not everybody has to follow your paradigm. At the same, not everybody has to think that being liberal is the height of intelligence and most people just haven't realised it yet - because they're indoctrinated into a right wing way of thinking courtesty of the evil Daily Mail and Telegraph. Disparity of opinion is good for stimulating debate. Where would we be if we all agreed with each other? Paul Dacre is not satan.
First of all - hello Matt, and welcome to my blog!

Now, to address some of the points you raise.

It may surprise you to learn that in fact I am not a liberal, or not under the modern meaning of the word. And, as you mention 'The Daily Telegraph,' I feel I should point out that that is, in fact, my daily newspaper.

I presume your use of the word 'proles' is ironic, given that would be an extraordinarily patronising thing to say if it wasn't.

I was not, as you put it, 'digging up the past.' I perfectly well understand that the 'Standard' fell for fascism, as did many other people. I hold no particular grudge for that - I was merely pointing out the rather authoritarian tone of Walker's writing, and placing it into context. And, let's face it, if they employ writers who adopt that tone, then they shouldn't be surprised to find people looking to their past.

I don't like 'The Sun' for censorship reasons that should seem obvious. I genuinely couldn't care less who they back at elections.

"Is it not right that someone should carry the flag for non-libertarians?"

Is it not right that I should argue for what I believe to be best? I'm not sure you understand how political discourse works - I'm saying what I feel, I'm not stopping anyone else from doing so. As should be evident by the fact that I have chosen to spend my time answering your comment, rather than simply deleting it.

"Not everyone has to think that being liberal is the height of intelligence . . . "

I don't think any one political philosophy is wholly correct, and certainly none are the "height of intelligence." As I stated above, I'm all in favour of debate, and I love to hear a dissenting opinion. However, may I please still be allowed to think I was right?

"Paul Dacre is not Satan."

I'm not of a theological bent, so consequently I don't believe anyone is Satan. If you mean, do I disapprove of his editorial stance, then the answer is yes I do.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I'm glad to see you read the telegraph - it's my paper too. And thank you also for your welcome.

My comment was not intended as an attack on your feelings; rather all of the people one sees in the town centres of a weekend while most people are working.
Anti-capitalist, vivisection, Bush and Blair sorts. I'm sure you understand. They don't understand my arguments, no matter what someones feelings on a subject are they should be able to listen to reasoned argument.

You seem like a reasonable guy who watches a few too many films. :-P
I mean you must have a fairly warped sense of humour if you support Chester City (as it appears you do from other comments). But you never know, what with Southampton going down you might get Rory Delap back...

So apologies if my rather glib interpretation of anything left of centre and attributing it to you upset you. I'm not that highfalutin.

Anyway least said, soons't mended. eh?
Alright Matt?

Good to hear you read 'The Telegraph' too - a man of taste! I do know exactly who you mean by your point about the 'Bush and Blair' types: I'm not a particular fan of that sort myself, a lot of the time.

"A reasonable guy who watches a few too many films."

Nearly right. I'm actually a reasonable guy who watches way too many films!

And yes, I would love Rory Delap back. We can't possibly do any worse with him than we did this season! We really were pathetic.

Anyhoo, thanks for the comment, as I said, welcome aboard!

Oh, and 'MattyG', I don't know what you wrote that was so bad you had to remove it, but (and it took me a moment) i've worked out who you guys are, and I've added you to the blogroll. I'll write you fellas a post specially to announce you.
I knew it; that was my mistake.
I thought it'd disappear
but it had a link to our blog.
I was planning to keep it going for months!
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