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Cinema premiere...

The BBFC prepares to present its new guidelines to cinema licensing staff on 15th March

Link Here22nd February 2024
The BBFC will present its new guidelines to cinema authorities on 15th March 2024. The BBFC writes:

The BBFC provides age ratings and content advice for cinema films on behalf of licensing authorities. In 2024, the BBFC will publish its new Classification Guidelines. These set out how it arrives at its age-rating decisions for all the films and other content submitted to it. The guidelines, revised every 4-5 years, are the result of a large-scale consultation, which this time has involved over 12,000 people in the UK. This pre-publication briefing for those working in cinema licensing will provide an overview of the research findings and the changes to the BBFC's classification standards.

Who should attend: Cinema licensing officers, elected members and all involved in permitting UK cinemas to show films.

What will be covered:

  • How the BBFC carried out the guidelines research -- the key topics it covered and how it ensured a diversity of responses

  • Key changes to BBFC classification standards under the new guidelines

  • New topics of concern to UK audiences




The UK 4K Blu-ray release of the Abyss has been cancelled as the BBFC are still insisting on censor cuts

Link Here28th December 2023

The Abyss is 1989 US adventure film by James Cameron.
With Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn. Melon Farmers link  BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some issues to work out. They are drafted to assist a gung-ho Navy SEAL with a top-secret recovery operation: a nuclear sub has been ambushed and sunk, under mysterious circumstances, in some of the deepest waters on Earth.

The Digital Bits reports that the 4K digital release of The Abyss has been cancelled in the UK because the BBFC is still insisting on censor cuts to the rat scene on grounds of animal cruelty.

The scene has been cut by 45s by the BBFC for all releases to date.

The Digital Bits reported:

We've learned from industry sources that the 4K Ultra HD release of James Cameron's The Abyss (1989) in the UK has been cancelled, and for exactly the reason you think204the scene in which the rat is made to breath underwater. UK censors asked for the scene to be cut, Disney apparently wanted to comply, but [producers] Lightstorm vetoed it. So if you want this title in 4K and you live in the UK, you'll have to import it from elsewhere. On the bright side, 4K discs are region free.

The BBFC still want the scene to be cut despite the fact that the rats involved in the shooting of the scene weren't harmed. As noted on Wikipedia:

The idea for The Abyss came to James Cameron when, at age 17 and in high school, he attended a science lecture about deep sea diving by a man, Francis J. Falejczyk, who was the first human to breathe liquid through his lungs in experiments conducted by Johannes A. Kylstra at Duke University. The breathing fluid used in the film actually exists but has only been thoroughly investigated in animals. Over the previous 20 years it had been tested on several animals, who survived. The rat shown in the film was actually breathing liquid and survived unharmed. Production consulted with Dr. Kylstra on the proper use of the breathing fluid for the film.



The Holdovers...

BBFC censors object to a retro MPAA R rating card

Link Here8th December 2023

The Holdovers is a 2023 US comedy drama by Alexander Payne
Starring Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Cut by the BBFC for cinema release in 2024.

Summary Notes

A cranky history teacher at a remote prep school is forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a troubled student who has no place to go.


BBFC uncut
MPA RUS: Uncut and MPA R rated for language, some drug use and brief sexual material:
  • 2023 release (rated 26/04/2023)
BBFC cut
run: 133:16s
pal: 127:56s
15UK: BBFC 15 rated for strong language, brief nudity for strong language, brief nudity after BBFC cuts:
  • 2024 Universal Pictures cinema release (rated 20/11/2023)

The BBFC commented:

This work had a compulsory cut made. A cut was required to remove a misleading category symbol.

Scott commented:

This 1970s-set Christmas comedy has been cut to remove what the BBFC refer to as a misleading category symbol. The film is styled like the films of the 70s, including opening with the era's Universal logo, and as part of this has an old MPAA R rating card at the start. This is clearly a creative decision made by the filmmakers to play up the retro tone, yet the BBFC think audiences are too stupid to realise and have cut it. They claim that even old BBFC cards are no longer allowed to be included in resubmissions of older films due to this unfounded misleading belief, yet the recent reissue of the 1960 Powell and Pressburger film Peeping Tom has the original X card at the start - did the distributor not include that upon submission?




Ludicrous BBFC cuts required for a 15 rating for the cinema release of Monica

Link Here16th November 2023

Monica is a 2022 Italy/US trans drama by Andrea Pallaoro
Starring Emily Browning, Patricia Clarkson and Trace Lysette BBFC link 2020 IMDb

BBFC cuts were required for a 15 rated cinema release in 2023.

Summary Notes

The intimate portrait of a woman who returns home to care for her dying mother. A delicate and nuanced story of a fractured family, the story explores universal themes of abandonment, aging, acceptance, and redemption.


BBFC cut
run: 113:09s
pal: 108:37s
15UK: BBFC 15 rated for strong sex, sex references, language for strong sex, sex references, language after BBFC cuts:
  • 2023 606 cinema release (rated 06/11/2023)

The BBFC commented:

The distributor chose to make a cut to a reference to erotic asphyxiation in order to achieve a 15 rating. An uncut 18 rating was available.

Thanks to Scott who noted that the "reference to erotic asphyxiation" was just in fact just someone saying "Choke me" during sex

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