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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

We Are One!

Welcome back, Everyone!

I trust you've all had a good winter's holiday. Alas, I start the New Year on a downer, at least on a personal level. Sadly, I have now joined the ranks of the unemployed, here in the UK, as I was made redundant at the end of December 2011. On top of this, I also have to start looking for new accommodation as well, as my current flat is being sold to make way for a new business that wishes to start-up in the area. All-in-all, not the best way to start off 2012, and with all of the other economic doom-and-gloom, it seems that like many of you, this year will not be that much fun for anyone. All I can do, is wish you all the best, and hope that you will continue to come visit my little part of the Interweb, for more interesting little tidbits and nuggets of censorship information.

And talking of censorship, We are celebrating my first year of the Cinema Extreme blog! We've been in existance since Jan 1st, 2011, and whilst I accept that I've not been able to write half as frequently as I was originally intending to do so, that what I have written and posted online for you all, I hope has been worth your time and mine.

Our readership is small, but dedicated, and we've only just broken the 1000 readers barrier. However, we are still here, and I am determined to make 2012 as interesting as I can.

On a side-note, the British Board of Film Classification celebrates its own Centenary Anniversary this year too! Various films are being screened at the National Film Theatre in London, including the very first ever, fully uncut screening of the blockbuster INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984, Steven Spielberg), which we Brits have never been allowed to see until this year. (It's always been cut for DVD release!)

To celebrate their Centenary, the BBFC are going to replace their usual Black Board title cards, like this one...

...with ones taken from each of the past ten decades, like this one...

The retro cards will be applied to all theatrically-released films shown and classified throughout 2012, and will feature designs based on those used in 1913, the 1940's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's and the present day. Each card will be released as a series with each design appearing for two months at a time.

Whilst it may seem odd for an anti-censorship blog to be celebrating an organisation that exacts censorship, the BBFC are an inconic British institution, with a long and very interesting history. As much as I loathe film censorship, the BBFC has certainly been one of the more progressive organisations around the globe, and they certainly have a tiny part to play in every UK film-fan's heart. Those of us who grew up in the 1980's, and went through the Video Nasty era of 1983/84, know that the BBFC are a defiant organisation, and yet, despite their job and role in banning and censoring films for UK audiences, there is a part of me that actually admires them for what they have to do - trying to please everyone, all of the time. Whatever you may think of them, they are at least an open body, willing to engage with their fans and their critics, and are happy to discuss and debate with us as to their role and their decisions. You can't say that of the MPAA in the US, or the OFLC in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, the MPAA are notoriously cagey about the staff they employ, the way they operate, and how biased they are towards big, mainstream studios, and smaller, niche independant companies. Anyone who has seen the excellent Kirby Dick documentary film THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED from 2006, will show just how shadowy and cagey they are, in comparison to organisations like the FBI. Secrecy and privacy is something the MPAA seem to insist upon. I'd heartily recommend my readers seek this documentary out, as it is essential viewing.

And on that note, I have to bid you a temporary goodbye. I will return with more news, opinion, debate and articles, throughout 2012, and I suspect that this year will be just as contentious as 2011. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II: FULL SEQUENCE is still on everyone's lips at the moment, as it has been cut in the US for DVD and Blu-Ray release there, and Bounty Films have announced that they are releasing the film uncut online, for people to legally stream or purchase! A first for the UK, especially as the uncut version is technically classified as "obscene" material!

For now, though, Be Seeing You!