• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What Censorship Exists For Feature Films In the UK?

Extracts from this document...


19 February 2002 ND MEDIA PRODUCTION YEAR 2 FILM STUDIES MODULE JOHN LOUGH ASSIGNMENT: WHAT CENSORSHIP EXISTS FOR FEATURE FILMS IN THE UK? To explain what censorship exists in our country today, the definition of the word censorship needs to be stated. It means to ban or remove anything regarded as harmful, but of course what may be harmful to one person may not to another and so laws were devised to distinguish what age groups could see what films, judging on mental maturity. There are arguments about these groups but they are deemed the fairest way to prohibit offensive material being seen by someone for whom it was unsuitable for. In the past regulations were very tight and films were frequently banned, today this is very rare. In 1998 the BBFC (the board that enforces the Video Recordings Acts in the UK) said it had become "a board of classification rather than censorship". Censorship tends to insinuate patronisation, that the public can't handle certain images, but today a lot of old films are being released uncut and generations mature quicker and find the certifications required by law very restrictive. ...read more.


The revised guidelines published recently indicate that such cutting of an 18 should not happen. Criminal techniques cannot be too detailed or demonstrative because the BBFC believe scenes of this nature contravene the Criminal Justice & Public Order Amendment to the Video Recording Act 1994. Thus scenes depicting use of slim-jims and hot-wiring are cut. Scenes using exotic weapons, such as a butterfly knife seen in John Woo's Face/Off, have often been cut accused of glamorising and encouraging imitation. This area was revised in 1999 and led to the release of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon passing uncut for the first time. The Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937 prohibits exhibition or supply of a film if animals are harmed in the film making process by the cruel infliction of pain or the goading to terror to fury of any animal. Films affected and cut include Werner Herzog's Even Dwarfs Started Small and The Long Riders. Only one film has ever been banned purely because it was deemed blasphemous (offensive to Christianity), that is Nigel Wingrove's Visions of Ecstasy. ...read more.


Extremely high fines (up to �5000) and up to 3 years in gaol are the penalties for breaking this law. Censorship is there to protect the general public, especially young children who cannot make firm distinctions between fiction and reality. Music is censored so as not to encourage children to swear, be violent or abusive in any form. This is so in film, the brain is very sensitive to imagery especially in early stages of growth and film companies don't want to be blamed for damaging someone's psychological growth. For example the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons as well as Marilyn Manson's music has been blamed by murderers for encouraging adverse behaviour. Censorship is very relaxed today as society becomes more, but it is the safety net that stops the F-word before 9pm, the would-be criminals from learning how to steal cars, the 7 year old from seeing full on intercourse etc. There are debates who say it is pointless, but in the end a line must be drawn, the film industry cannot be anarchy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. Ireland has a long history of censorship but this has been employed for different ...

    The Association sowed the seeds for future disparagement of the press which ultimately led to the founding of the Committee of Evil literature. The Committee on Evil Literature 1926 Composition: The committee was composed of three laymen and two clergymen (one Roman Catholic and one Church of Ireland)

  2. Hitchcocks Psyco - An examination of the film which reflects the censor's code of ...

    In the end Hitchcock got to keep both because on the day of the re-shoot of the first scene when they were going to get rid of the embrace the censors never showed up. Hitchcock also used devious tactics like at one point the censors said the shower scene was

  1. The History of Censorship

    beliefs of the city in which one lived, and if they did not they would likely be discriminated against by the government and possibly even ostracized by society. There could be repercussions, supported by legal sanctions, for those who spoke improperly about religious issues in public.

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Censorship.

    their entirety adopted the motto of 'Monkey See Monkey Do' and so continuing to censor implicit expressions of love may just insult the viewers. But when that one person comes home from the hardware shop, who's to say that he won't switch on Titanic and drag some unsuspecting girl into the back of a cab?

  1. Moral Panic and media folk devils.

    The reason people think there are so many of them are because they live in areas where there are high concentrations of them. Also they go everywhere with each other and don't mix with white people much so there seems to be more than there actually is.

  2. Censorship is necessary to protect the public

    of Prince William, by not reporting on anything that could be construed as a breach of privacy. Often, organisations are censored by self-regulation first, and then independent bodies. This is generally true of newspaper corporations. Assessing the evidence available, it is very apparent that a certain degree of censorship is

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work