spoke with Richard Falcon about the work of the BBFC and some of the
issues raised by it. A senior examiner at the BBFC Richard Falcon proved
to be personable fellow and informative about his work and that of his
employers, younger than expected (in his early thirties I would say)
with a far more balanced approach that one might have expected given the
BBFC's negative image amongst the followers of horror film. He also
admitted to me to being a fan of horror movies himself [though
perhaps not of the mere extreme type] and a semi-regular visitor to
London's dear departed Scala Cinema.
did you become an examiner and what training did you undergo?
Iíve been here ten years now. 1 joined the board in
1984 after the Video Recordings Act was passed, just before the board
was designated and the BBFC advertised for part time examiners as it was
then in a series of newspapers. I was at Bath University at the time,
writing up my PHD on ĎThe New German Cinemaí, so I was kind of involved
with Film Studies. I saw the advertisement in The Guardian, applied and
went through a long interview process. Itís a tripartite interview
procedure. First of all I met the Director James Ferman, Margaret Ford
[the Deputy Director] etc and then was a viewing day where you see three
films. The films I saw were MOTHERS DAY, FEAR CITY-Abel
Ferrara and TURKISH DELIGHT.
(PL) A real test that, to start with.
(RWF) Yes [laughs].
(PL) MOTHERS DAY was rejected, FEAR CITY
cut and TURKISH DELIGHT passed.
(RWF) FEAR CITY was cut, I donít think any distributor
picked up TURKISH DELIGHT at the time, although it went out last
year on video distributed by Missing In Action.
(PI,) Right, thatís Rutger Hauer.
(RWF) Its Rutger Hauer yes, a Paul Verhoeven film, a
Dutch film, one of his early ones an interesting little movie.
(RWF) Then there was a third part to the interview
after the viewing day when we had written our reports when we had to
come in and justify various points and things, it was a long process.
(RWF) So really, that was the first time the board had
advertised in the press, youíre interested in what we look for in
(PL) Yes, that was the next question I had in mind.
(RWF) I was involved at one stage in the interview,
process for examiners, certainly there are professional qualities
needed, one of the most important ones being, strange as it may sound a
love of films. This is practical, if youíre going to be sitting through
three features a day as we often are, you have to like what youíre
doing. You have to be able to write quite quickly because at the end of
the day you are having to produce a kind of mini Monthly Film Bulletin
synopsis of the film, a series of comments relating to the film
and relating it against certain board ďpoliciesĒ
(PL) Do you work from a checklist?
(RWF) Yes, but it probably gives you the wrong idea.
The examiner will synopsis every film on a report and you go through a
process of discussion...
(PL) They work in duos donít they?
(RWF) Yes they do, after theyíve seen a film they tick
a grid [the checklist takes the form of a grid with a series of ratings
along the top ranging from "U" - "I8R", a column with "cuts" and a
series of listings down the side encompassing such areas as "sexuality"
and "violence," et al but that is just a series of ticks, again your
first impressions of the film as a whole are important. Also you
fill that in as soon as youíve seen the film, at the end of the day what
we do is we go back to out PCs and write a much longer report on the
film including synopsis, our views on it, our appreciation of the film,
try to give some idea of what the film means, what pleasures are in it,
what its all about. After that, we match it against various board
(RWF) If there is anything contentious about it, if
the two examiners disagree for example or if it is a film which is
obviously going to cause an amount of problems, NATURAL BORN KILLERS
for example, then it has to be referred up [the managerial
ladder] to canvass further views as appropriate. The next stage
will see a team of three examiners sitting in and their reports will be
added to the meeting and the management team will see it, their will be
a logical discussion. So this process can be long and unwieldy,
but I think what we have to do is to make sure that as many views
that are going to be expressed about the film out there by film
critics, by the public are canvassed in here first so we have as wider
view as possible and be able to say at the end of the day: "this is what
we are going to do with this film and this is how we are going to
justify the decision".
[ I will say at this stage that although I am not a
supporter of the BBFC, simply because I am not in favour of film
censorship, their more considered approach is at odds with that of the
MPAA in the USA. In taking the view that each film represents an
individual body of work and must be considered as such in its entirety
as opposed to literally timing or measuring acts of violence or
onscreen bloodshed with a stopwatch mentality, the BBFC are at least
basing a sense of perspective to a difficult task;
that we donít all agree with the conclusions they reach of the
decisions taken, but thatís inevitable]
(PL) So really there is no specific training, its
largely a matter of "on the job" acclimatisation.
(RWF) Yes, well you see examiner is a kind of
generalist job. The skills you have to have are writing skills,
analytical skills etc. Also youíve, got to be open to the film, to the
motion picture experience youíve got to be seeing film... . My own
particular area of expertise is "Film Studies". What fascinates me
about the job is all the abstract things going on in film. We
have had experts of all kinds here, psychologists and other professional
people covering a wide range of issues. Largely we are able to reach
decisions through a kind of consensual agreement. We have a
three-month training period during which a great deal of legislation has
to be learnt, board policies and other aspects of the job need to be
absorbed. The training is to give you a kind of "body of precedent"
which you can then work with so you know what films classifiable and
how. Its important in ensuring you know whatís at stake is such a
(PL) What hours do you work and what salary do you
earn (if that's not too leading a question)?
(RWF) Well, it is too leading a question. I worked
here part time at first, the salary was not wonderful but Iíve been here
ten years and Iím now a senior examiner. We have to get in for 9.45 in
the morning, which is quite good as I live in Tottenham and come in
on the Victoria line and we are not supposed to leave before 6.00, but
with the work we hardly ever could do that anyhow.
(PL) Roughly an eight hour day or thereabouts with an
element of "job and finish"?.
(RWF) It varies, if youíre writing up very long
reports on NATURAL BORN KILLERS, it could take up most of the
(PL) Does the board operate a rota system with regard
to the pairing of examiners?.
(RWF) We have to be aware that we are pushing material
through a system, but it should also be a kind of debating area. We
work with different people each day. Thereís three senior examiners now
and seven fulltime examiners, thatís ten, plus three members of
management who also examine. So you find yourself in a different
pairing each day.
(PL) To what extent would you regard yourselves at the
board as "The guardians of Public morals"?.
(RWF) John Trevelyan [one time head of the BBFC in the
Sixties used to say thatís ridiculous, "of-course the BBFC cant be the
guardian of public morals, were not here to represent the views of the
British establishment and all that represents. Sixties cinema cannot be
judged by these archaic standards".[quoting from memory, so by
his own admission the wording may not be exact]. The question of
morality is a problem, which does have a bearing on what we are doing to
a certain extent. The "likelihood to deprave and corrupt" is a very
severe moral test. The moral guardianship is not invoked in those terms
very often though, we deal in classification rather than censoriousness,
but where it is invoked is when it comes to things like sexual violence
and representations of sexual violence. If youíve got a likely audience
of men who are attracted to a film such as THE NEW YORK RIPPER
which this applies to pretty straightforwardly where you have a film
director in Lucio Fulci who, instead of making his usual splatterfest
makes a film in which a whole series of women who dress sexily get
slaughtered by a psychopath, there seems to be an offer of very
conscious, vicarious "revenge against women" going on with this film,
almost a venting, by a man of their (genders) anger against women in a
way most stalk n slash and horror films donít, or take a film like
DEATH WISH II with its rape scene- you can disagree with me in a
minute- you have I think, an argument which says this has the potential
at least to turn certain members of the audiences on. So that is the
moral test, to say that we are not moral guardians is wrong, itís a
question of balance. But obviously these are the exceptions rather than
the rule, these donít happen every day. [my own thoughts are perhaps
not surprisingly a shade different, THE NEW YORK RIPPER
is undoubtedly vicious
and open to charges of misogyny and DEATH WISH
II with its rape scene intact is pretty strong stuff, but I would consider both
acceptable viewing for an adult audience as is the case with ratings
boards all across Europe].
(PL) The mention of NEW YORK RIPPER and the
charges of violence against women bring me back to a film covered
earlier, MOTHERS DAY, in which mistreated women fight back and
turn the table on their tormentors and yet that was rejected, why is
(RWF) You are quite right, MOTHERS DAY was
rejected on its original submission on film and has never been submitted
(PL) What about MANIAC? it too was banned.
Why? (a heavily cut version of Lustigís
masterpiece was submitted to the board at the same time).
(RWF) MANIAC was withdrawn by the company after
As it would happen, a letter from my files confirms my
understanding of the situation. Dated 12th April 1983 and
signed by Ken Penry, it contains the following paragraph: "Films such
MOTHERS DAY and MANIAC have not been
given a certificate as the board tiles to reflect public opinion at any
one moment of time...']
(PL) As youíve mentioned THE NEW YORK RIPPER, I
have another question in relation to this film. As I understand the
situation, the film was submitted by Eagle Distributors. Not only did
the board refuse to make the expected cuts, but actually took the
extraordinary step of refusing to return the print to the distributors
and having it taken out of the country under customs escort. Is this
(RWF) Again the problem is, youíre interviewing me and
not James Ferman...
(RWF) THE NEW YORK RIPPER was in the late
eighties wasnít it?. I joined the board in I984, exactly what happened
on the day to the print I have no idea.
(PL) Iíve just never heard of that happening before
(or since for that matter).
(RWF) No, I think Itís very unlikely. I wasnít
involved in the NEW YORK RIPPER discussion.
(PL) Whatís the story regarding THE TEXAS CHAINSAW
(RWF) Well, Warner Brothers withdrew that.
(PL) I understood it was Cannon distributing it at the
(RWF) Yes, sorry it was Cannon.
(PL) They wouldnít accept the amount of cuts you
wanted and just never picked it up after that. It was never officially
rejected though, correct?.
(RWF) It was never officially rejected, it was going
to be cut, the opening sequence with Leatherface and the woman with the
chainsaw between her legs and some of the gore was going to be cut from
(PL) I've heard 22 minutes said to be the
amount the board wanted to remove!
(RWF) Yeah, there were a lot of cuts in that film,
which is a shame as itís quite an interesting film.
(PL) Thatís an awful lot...
(PL) Do you see the board as responding to public
opinion or as playing a more active role. How do you judge what is
public opinion anyway?
(RWF) [sighs] Thatís an impossible question.
Itís an extremely difficult thing to do. You have to read newspapers
sensibly, I think thatís very important. You have to be careful not to
take what the newspapers say on principal. You see thereís a piece in
The Guardian about Quentin Tarantino, which you have to read with a
certain perspective. We get letters sent in, we try to soak up as much
informed opinion as we can.
(RWF) We have to respond to it [public opinion].
Itís clear that what motivated the recent amendment in the criminal
justice bill was a huge amount of disquiet about childrenís access to
video and despite the fact that "certain campaigners" were not
particularly knowledgeable and couldnít care about it [film] and
were wrong about CHILDíS PLAY 3 as was the press, the fact that
all this was just a campaign of disinformation, the fact remains that
behind all this is a damn good public constituency message which
obviously appealed to them (the Tories). To write that off, to say that
the press just creates these things is actually wrong, behind these
campaigns in the press is a public disquiet, which we have to take on
board. It doesnít mean we have to act or be more censorious, but the
cinema and video are like anything else, it only exists in the public
mood and we have to be aware of such shifts...
(PL) Does the board then fear the tabloid press. Do
you fear the hysteria they are capable of whipping up, if they say too
much to the effect that the BBFC isnít doing its job properly as they
see it, the board may lose itís independence?
(RWF) I think the board has to be conscious of its
public image in the press, just like any other institution. The board
particularly is a controversial institution, but if it was truly afraid
of what the tabloid press said about it, it couldnít carry on existing
and continue, because the board is assailed from all sides generally.
So, no. Its informed opinion that is responded to, informed opinion and
copy, not tabloid nonsense.
(PL) What about Mary Whitehouse, by which I mean what
about her faction?. What about the lobbyists for total censorship.
Does the board listen to them, what influence do they have?
(RWF) Yes, they have influence, in that they have very
strong views when it comes to how film should be treated. Yes, we have
to listen, to canvass those views, to take them on board, we have to
canvass views from as many representatives of society as possible. But
again, Itís a matter of balance, we have to listen to them, but we canít
subscribe to a moralists view of the cinema, but neither can we accept
that everything is as valuable as everything else, we cant accept a
libertarian position that says that every film you see is worth so much
that you have no right to bring these questions about weather it is
going to harm society or children. So some kind of middle ground has to
be carved out between these two extremes, itís very difficult.
(PL) Itís a common conception amongst followers of
(RWF) You feel targeted by the BBFC.
(PL) Yes!, thatís a very common sensibility indeed and
the general feeling is that because moralists, the pro-censorship lobby
are much more vocal and have much more of a platform, they have a great
deal more influence. Is that a correct assertion?.
(RWF) Thereís a peculiar kind of dance involved here.
From what it means to be a horror film, is that there is this strange
kind of symbiotic relationship between horror films and censorship
anyway. The processes of censorship come out of the kind of notion of
what is taboo within a society, of what is difficult to deal with, what
is difficult to take. You have a genre, the horror genre that sets out
to speak the unspeakable, to speak about atrocity, death etc. So what
you are going to get is a whole series of fans who love the genre for
lots of different reasons, lots of reasons the genre should be loved;
they like the macabre, they speculate on the edges of human experience
and so on, then and very very important this is, they like taboo, they
like to be looking at the material that skates near the edge of where
that line is drawn. So now the problem with the way youíre formulating
it is that you make it sound arbitrary, as if there are these films
which the censor has decided are particularly problematic and sets out
to victimise this particular group of people, who read Fangoria and like
Lucio Fulci films and Italian exploitation films from the seventies and
particularly focus on these. But thatís actually untrue, its actually
within the nature of the films themselves to be controversial in that
way because of what they set out to do, part of what they set out to do
makes them of interest because they are approaching certain taboos. So
the board as an institution has to think about the impact of these films
upon society and is actually in this strange kind of relationship. But
I have some sympathy with people for example who feel that Dario Argento
is a really interesting filmmaker and want to be able to see and own his
films uncut, but I think a lot of what horror fans need to take on board
is possibly their own interest in why this is, because the films are
controversial and controversial for good reasons, because their to do
with certain pleasures, to do with mutilation and death etc. Also part
of the reason the horror genre's so interesting and is always going to
be, are films which because they tend to speak the unspeakable are going
to get peoples backs up, its why there of interest.
(PL) What screening facilities do you have here (at 3
(RWF) We have viewing rooms downstairs, video viewing
rooms with monitors in and we have two theatres, the larger of which is
in the basement in which we see films on 16 and 35 mill. We also have a
smaller dual-function theatre upstairs which is used as a meeting and
conference room as well.
(PL) So, do you ever venture outside the BBFC building
to see a film, perhaps in 7Omm?
(RWF) Yeah, occasionally weíve been to see films at
Pinewood [studios], special screenings.
(PL) Do you ever go to the movies yourself, just as a
(RWF) Oh yeah, all the time. The last one I saw was
LA REHNE MARGOT, very good film.
(PL) Do you consider the process of film censorship to
be subjective or objective?
(RWF) I think it canít be objective. It has to be as
objective as it can possibly be, I think it has to be argued through,
its no good saying "I feel this and thatís the end of it", it has to be
"I feel this because ... and because..." It is subjective and has to be
considered and discussed.
(PL) Are films as potential theatrical and
videocassette releases examined using different criteria?.
(RWF) Yes they are, films are examined basically
through this voluntary relationship between the board and local
authorities who licence cinemas and who as you know have the power to
overturn any of the boards decisions.
With video, its statutory of course and now we have
this extra test as a result of the amendment [this is the Alton
Ďinspiredí amendment Richard is referring to, whereby the BBFC
are compelled to examine the possible effects upon children of
videos designed and certified for adults!].
(PL) Are they therefore viewed twice and on their
(RWF) Yes they are. The film is seen first and
therein the video will be seen at a later date and considered under the
different legal tests.
(PL) How is a decision to request cuts or reject a
film entirely reached?
(RWF) By a series of discussions, viewings and
comparing its content with various board policies. If a film is
rejected, it would be because of the Obscene Publications Act, because
of our understanding of this phrase about having "a tendency to deprave
and corrupt" a portion of its likely audience. If a video is rejected
it is because we donít feel it is suitable for viewing in the home, but
only 33 videos have been rejected since 1984.
[for the curious, I can list all of them and give a few details about
(PL) Will NATURAL BORN KILLERS get a video
release?. (RWF) It hasnít been submitted yet, so I canít say.
(PL) What do you think about the calls for totally
(RWF) Iím not in favour of totally uncensored cinema,
certainly I can support a more lenient system of classification for
theatrical, but there are some films, particularly in the area of sexual
violence that cross that line and really shouldnít be seen at all.
(PL) Is there a list of "forbidden images", such as
nunchuckas, erections or eye gouging sequences for example?. (RWF)
Nunchuckas cannot be seen in a context in which their use is glamorised
in combat sequences in martial arts exploitation movies. They may be
allowed in other contexts. Board policy does not allow videos, in
particular to teach about weapons, which are easy to construct, conceal
and use. For this reason in certain glamorising contexts, the BBFC also
removes the sight of butterfly knives being twirled and the sight of
throwing stars in use. An eye gouging sequence might be different in
any one film, so we would look at a film as a whole before we took a
decision on this.
(PL) " Stalk n slash" pictures seem to have found a
particular disfavour with the board, why is this?
(RWF) Thatís not the case, for example HALLOWEEN, the
film that sums up the genre at its most interesting was passed "X" uncut
in 1978 on film and then uncut on video in 1986. It is not what a film
is about that is important, but how it deals with its subject matter.
(PL) What about the "violence against women" issue.
How do you respond to the claim that the "damsel in distress" has always
been a cinematic icon and as such this oft-stated concern is an
overreaction on the part of those perpetuating it (including the BBFC)?
(RWF) 1 donít accept that at all. The damsel may be
in distress, but there is no need to show her being cut up, raped or
mutilated as in the case of films like THE NEW YORK RIPPER. The
important thing is that violence to women should not be eroticised and
films should not offer, as their main source of pleasure, vicarious
involvement in the process of sexual violence against women and the
conscious gratification of the misogynistic impulses of some sections of
the male audience.
(PL) I see, why is it then that films featuring
pernicious and casual violence in the throwaway vein of the HOME
ALONE films and their ilk are favoured over films featuring
realistic violence showing the pain and price of such actions. Surely
this has the effect of suggesting to the impressionable that violence is
no big deal?
(RWF) I think that children should be credited with a
little more understanding, their tolerance for learning is higher than
we sometimes think. The HOME ALONE films are in any case related
in style to slapstick comedy and fantasy. Also we do often cut this
type of violence in major Hollywood films for home video, TRUE LIES has
just been through on video and we've cut back some of the violence in
that. Other major films cut for video include DIE HARD 2
and LETHAL WEAPON 2, so its not the ewe to suggest big budget
films receive preferential treatment.
(PL) Id like to get your thoughts on a few films that
have not been granted certificates, why?
(PL) THE EXORCIST.
(RWF) THE EXORCIST is available on film, but
has not been classified on video to date. The BBFC is concerned that
teenagers who would undoubtedly see it on video might be traumatised in
the way that some were when the film was first released. James Ferman
has also expressed his concern about the possible use of the video in
satanic abuse cases.
(PL) HIDDEN RAGE (aka: PERFECT VICTIMS).
(RWF) HIDDEN RAGE was submitted on video in
August 1988 and rejected after numerous viewings of it including one
involving the president and vice presidents of the BBFC. This video,
with its portrait of an AIDS victim as a twisted and sadistic monster,
seemed to the board to be contrived so as to provide titillatory rape
sequences for male audiences and cutting was therefore not an option.
(PL) I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (aka: DAY OF THE
WOMAN) (another instance of harsh realism, on this occasion the true
horror of the crime of rape being penalised?)
(RWF) This has never been submitted to the BBFC on
video, the rights holders probably being aware of its notoriety as a
so-called "video nasty" in the early 1980's. It is debatable whether
this film constitutes "harsh realism" as you suggest or an exploitation
of images of gang rape for some audiences who may be seeking not the
"true horror of the crime of rape", but the possible vicarious thrills
of sexual violence for predisposed audiences . It would therefore, be
unlikely to be passed in its original form.
(PL) CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (again perhaps, an
example of powerful film-making being penalised in a film with a
valuable message concerning mans inhumanity to man).
(RWF) CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST has also never been
submitted for classification. I imagine that distributors am wary about
investing in this title knowing its history of successful obscenity
(PL) THE DRILLER KILLER.
(RWF) THE DRILLER KILLER has never been
officially submitted to the BBFC , perhaps again, because of its
notoriety during the "video nasty" moral panic in the early 1980's.
(RWF) With the above three titles, the BBFC has no
discretion in deciding on their suitability for release in various forms
because of the obscenity decisions passed on them by British juries, as
the board cannot pass material which has been declared obscene by the
[This does strike me as confusing, simply because
other titles including "THE BEYOND, THE HOUSE BY THE
CEMETERY and 'Tobe Hooper's DEATH TRAP (to name
but three of many) were all caught up ill the 'video nasty'
hysteria, yet they later sufficed in BBFC approved versions. Were they
just never actually found "obscene'? (surely DEATH TRAP
was, It along with I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE formed the first two
videotapes Mrs Mary Whitehouse took action against in the test
case that proved the catalyst for the whole scandal) or was the degree
by which they were cut a factor? or is there another answer?]
(PL) DEATH WISH.
(RWF) DEATH WISH has had its video certificate
withheld by the BBFC since 1987 due to the sequence featuring the rape
and murder of the mother and daughter near the start of the film,
although a version of the film was passed by the board for transmission
on satellite TV. It was felt that it would be impossible to allow this
kind of exploitative sexual violence to be released on video under the
terms of the video recordings act and the company CIC felt it best in
the wake of Hungerford not to distribute it in any form.
(PL) What about A CLOCKWORK ORANGE?. Would it
be passed if submitted now?. Uncut?
(RWF) A CLOCKWORK ORANGE was as lm sure
you are aware, withdrawn by Stanley Kubrick in 1973 and has not been
permitted distribution in this country on film or video since then. It
would be unwise, given this state of affairs'. to speculate on what
would happen if he were to change his mind and resubmit it, but James
Ferman has stated on the record that he would have problems with the
rape sequence for video classification. [Yes, Iíve seen a comment
attributed to James Ferman saying of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, that he
would have to "cut deeply into the rape
(PL) THE TRIP.
(RWF) THE TRIP was rejected on video in 1983
because of its almost advocatory depiction of drug usage.
[extraordinary this, anyone who has seen THE TRIP
would know it to be both bogus and dated].
(PL) RESERVOIR DOGS.
(RWF) RESERVOIR DOGS has had its [video]
certification delayed in response to the recent outbreak of concern over
children's access to violent video images. A decision is pending on
this title and an announcement will he made soon.
(PL) THE NEW YORK RIPPER.
(RWF) THE NEW YORK RIPPER was submitted as you
say, by Eagle Films in early 1984 and rejected by the BBFC. It is one
of the few films ever to be unanimously considered obscene, in both the
legal and the personal sense, in its depiction of the mutilation of
women. Previously, HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK had been
rejected and had found its way into distribution as a bootleg video.
Given that the issue here was an extremely serious one, James Ferman did
take the action mentioned in the Video World piece in order to prevent
the film being copied and circulated.
[A real hornets nest here. Certainly James Ferman's
decision reflects minimal faith in the then management of Eagle
Films, also it raises the question of whether it is Skyline Video's
release of HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK referred
to as the "bootleg video' If it is, does that also mean that the many
similar rumours concerning Replay Video's release of Wes Craven's
similarly vicious THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and the majority of
VIPC0ís catalogue have some substance?]
(PL) What were the problems the board had with a
recent trio of films submitted by the Redemption Video label, namely
BARE BEHIND BARS, DEMONIAC (Franco's THE SADIST OF NOTRE
DAME by another name) and SADOMANIA. Company literature has
stated all three titles as being "Banned in the UK by the BBFC"?. (RWF)
With these three videos, as it is the case that this company is in the
process of appealing a decision on one of these titles [BARE
BEHIND BARS], 1 am not in a position at the moment to comment on
(PL) What about CURFEW?
(RWF) CURFEW was rejected in 1988. [James
Ferman has been quoted in saying of CURFEW; "thereís rape, forced
dancing on broken glass and repeated degradation and mutilation, all
presented solely for entertainment".]
(RWF) You should, I think, also be aware, of the
latest amendment to the Video Recordings Act contained in the Criminal
Justice and Public order Act, with which the BBFC now has to work when
making decisions on video. This requires the board to have special
regard to the treatment of certain depictions and their potential
viewers. [This is the execrable recent amendment which has the effect
of forcing the BBFC to rate adult (by which I do not just refer
to softcore) videotapes whilst considering the effect they might have
upon those of an age supposedly prohibited
by the rating from seeing the work(s) in question in the first place].
Well there, you have it. Basically slap bang in the
middle between the moralists and the libertarians, the BBFC is doing the
best it can to classify films amid the morass of legislation (some of
which we have reproduced for your edification)