Censorship films (to children) because of graphic or obscene content or censorship because of political/religious beliefs, or no censorship at all?
I don’t believe in censorship at all.
Of course that is the other side of the argument I was fishing for.
I’m curious to hear the reasons you think religious/political beliefs in films should be censored. I’m not putting you down for thinking this; I just want to know your thinking behind the suggestion.
I don’t but some do. The Exorcist was banned by some religious groups, in fact, harry potter is the most abnned book in america.
No form of censorship is ever justifiable.
“Censorship films (to children) because of graphic or obscene content”
There are movie ratings and guidelines. Don’t let kids watch films that are not intended for kids.
Don’t like the beliefs portrayed in the movie – don’t watch it!
Funny in the case of The Exorcist because its probably one of the most pro-religious movies out there. Funny in the case of Harry Potter because you’d have to be a at least a bit funny to be theatened by a children’s wizard story.
Extreme religious people don’t like the magic.
I understand that, but it worries me what else they may not like.
On the broader issue, Salem sums it up well.
“Funny in the case of The Exorcist because its probably one of the most pro-religious movies out there.”
I never really considered The Exorcist to be about religion at all. In my opinion what makes the film truly scary is that at its heart it’s really a story about a child with an incurable disease/mental illness. The Devil is merely a symbolic representation of that fear.
No censorship whatsoever.
If you don’t like deep-fried Mars bars, don’t buy them. If you don’t like death porn, don’t watch the Final Destination films. I think it’s that simple. Case in point, I don’t like death porn and I don’t watch the Final Destination films.
Its a great example of creative tension leading to great results, Salem. Your view is pretty much how Freidklin interpreted it, but Blatty wrote the story as a literal battle between God and the devil.
I’m completely against censorship. It’s the responsibility of the parents to enforce what they’re ok with their kids watching.
I remember when I was in high school, my freshman year to be exact, my English teacher showed us the film version of 1984. Now there’s hardly anything explicit in the film other than a brief scene of nudity. The average age in the class is roughly 16 so breasts weren’t something that were particularly surprising to any of the students, except of course one particularly sheltered student. Anyways, as we were watching the film, this scene came on and as expected there were some giggles here and there, but unexpectedly there was a scream. This scream was not coming from the sheltered student as you might think, but from the young girl sitting next to him.
What had happened was that when this nude scene came on, the sheltered kid fainted and fell into the crotch of the girl who was wearing her field hockey skirt. She then began to beat him with her fists about the head and face because she thought he was trying to look up her skirt.
This incident stayed with him for the following 3 years of his high school career. Now, you ask which kind of censorship is more justified. I say neither.
Censorship these days has often more to do with business than with morals or “codes of decency”!
These Crooks see that a lot of money is being made by films and music and they want their part of that cash, so they prey on gullible fools and Christians in order to have their censorship committees and ratings boards and get rich and fat destroying works of art.
The BBFC is a private organisation, not connected to the government, yet they have to full power to tell adults what they can or can’t watch and expect film makers and production companies to pay them for destroying their films. Not only is this insulting and an infringement in our personal freedom but also harms small production companies and labels in the UK. In the age of Torrents and amazon there are many alternatives for movie fans to view films Uncut, and smaller companies are struggling because of it! The BBFC is fully aware of this but do not care.
Censorship must end now!
Sadly, my younger sister told me a story about how when she was a senior in high school, her class was reading passages from the famous Vietnam story collection “The Things They Carried”. Keep in mind, this is mandatory reading assigned by the school’s curriculum.
The teacher would censor all of the curse words in the story by saying “darn” instead of “damn” and “butt” instead of “ass” and “shoot” instead of “shit”. A story about men at war, about life or death. Serious topics and serious literature.
This is a classroom of 17 and 18 year olds we’re talking about. The teacher finally relented and said that when students read it- IF THEY FELT COMFORTABLE- they could read the curse words out loud. This entire anecdote sickened me.
It reminded me of this news article I read a while back about how a school summer reading curriculum in my state included Murakami’s Norwegian Wood for highschool seniors. This was chosen by teachers and librarians for the students to read based on its popularity among young adults and highly regarded position in modern literature.
Of course, many parents revolted and complained once they learned that there was- gasp- a lesbian sex scene in the book. Oh no!!!! They didn’t want their kids reading such smut, apparently. Of course, the school folded and the book was taken off the required reading. This was in 2010, I think.
It’s almost always the parents doing this crap. They know nothing about literature, film or art in general, and they shelter their kids from things they think they aren’t “Ready” for at ages 16-18.Bad news parents: kids have the internet. 11 year olds are watching videos of people getting their heads cut off. The lesbian sex scene in a book is not the thing you should be worrying about.
No censorship is the best censorship. The more this shit becomes powerful, the more afraid we will become of the stuff censored.
^ Well said John!
The more this shit becomes powerful, the more afraid we will become of the stuff censored.
That’s not the only reason why I hate censorship. I think Art is the last real way we have of genuine communication. It’s personally the only way I have left of talking and meaning something. And I know it’s the same for many if not the majority of artists working today.
To take that away from someone is to basically take away their life and take away a piece of the general public’s life- and this is especially true for young people (specifically teenagers). I think teenagers are the most sensitive, honest, open people there are and it’s such a crucial time in a person’s life. And this country we shelter them and help fill their head with safe, meaningless, mindless bullshit. So by the time they’re in their 20’s, they’re completely jaded and dead inside.
It’s not even that bad in America, not at all. More of an annoyance. I think of places like Thailand and Iran where it’s absolutely disgusting. But here in America there are definitely people that would go that far. And stopping young people from experiencing a work of art is almost the same as throwing the artist in jail. Like I said, you take away the one thing no one is supposed to be able to take away from them.
It’s really disgusting and perpetuated by people who have no clue what they’re talking about. And it not only hurts the audience but it spits in the face of the artist who has dedicated his life to this one thing.
Censorship is a terrible idea, often associated with dictatorships, not democracy and freedom. (Besides, rating films could be considered a type of censorship). It often leads to ridiculous/absurd situations and it’s an offense to the artistic integrity of the director. For instance, in Franco’s Spain, during the 1950’s, film censorship stated that adultery should be banned from films, so the married couple in Mogambo (Grace Kelly and D. Sinden) became sister and brother….only that they were shown in bed together (LOL). For most people here in Peru, “Last tango in Paris” is an 80’s movie, because it was banned by the military government in 1972….and it was only seen in 1980, with the return to democracy.
Say no to censorship…although you sometimes think otherwise.
(p.s. when i see things like “Caligula” or “Cannibal Holocaust” i am tempted to say yes, but really no, it’s not a good idea…)
Nice work so far, John. And I’m really loving the anecdotes here.
I’ve had people tell me to their face that they don’t let their kids read (let alone watch) Harry Potter because they don’t worship wizards. I actually said to this person, “Who’s talking about worship? It’s a work of fiction.” This obviously made her uncomfortable and the conversation ended (it was at work, so I didn’t press).
“It’s always the parents.”
Yep, and it’s usually the same side that’s coming out for censorship, producing overly-sheltered children that will have dificulty adjusting to the real world. Life isn’t censored people, and shit happens. Life is difficult, sometimes brutal, sometimes obscene (yes, sometimes beautiful, sometimes wonderful, too) and the experience of the Human animal is quite varied.
Censorship, rating, and this kind of stuff are very important. How can I let myself get confused by weird ideas. I need someone to tell me what to watch and what not to. I also want someone to tell me what my kids should watch and what not to. I don’t know how to make decisions for myself or my kids. It’s really hard. It is as important as the government. How can we live without a government?!
It should be up to an individual what they alone see and don’t see, but the things you do see you do not wish to see I feel end up being the things you probably needed to see most.
It is because I did see a lot of violent and sexually explicit films at an early age (starting mainly at 10 to 11 years old, usually late at night when the rest of my family would be sleeping) that I became aware of such things and was aware of what to do and what not to do socially and eventually, the more I was able to see, the more I became able to understand my own psychology and emotions; to eventually become self-aware.
Can’t really recall my first R-rated film, but I know my first NC-17 was Bad Lieutenant on the old IFC Channel at the age of 12, and I do feel I’m a better person for having seen it then. I would’ve said “Requiem For a Dream” on the same channel about a year earlier but technically it was the “Unrated” version, and I must say it is one of the reasons the only drug I take is the most widely used psychoactive in the world: caffiene. Though I have to say seeing De Palma’s Scarface at 13, I think I may have been the only one of my age that I knew of back then who saw the film as anti-drug and anti-gangster, and of course having seen things like Insomnia, Heat, Scent of a Woman and People I Know back then I fell in love with Al Pacino.
@House: Personally, I’ll take a sheltering, overprotective parent who doesn’t really understand Harry Potter/fiction over a parent who basically neglects their children and then blame all of their childrens’ problems on the schools any day. Though I’ll take Julie Andrews over both of them :)
Also, I don’t exactly understand the OP. "Censorship films (to children) because of graphic or obscene content or censorship because of political/religious " Are you comparing “parental censorship” (which I don’t personally consider “censorship”) to governmental censorship?
I don’t but some do. The Exorcist was banned by some religious groups, in fact, harry potter is the most abnned book in america.
Oh, you’re talking about self-censorship—not government censorship. I think you were thinking about government censorship. If individuals or groups want to boycott certain films or art, I don’t have a problem with that. When you’re talking about religious groups, families or individuals, a lot of this is going to be personal and depend on the values of the groups/individuals in question.
“they prey on gullible fools and Christians in order to have their censorship committees and ratings boards and get rich and fat destroying works of art.”
I don’t know who the ‘gullible fools’ are meant to be but Christianity is a small niche market in film production, not a widespread one. Yeah you can read something ‘religious’ into The Matrix or Superman or the intentionally Christian based Narnia series, but frankly when the content is explicitly religious, it’s rare that it makes tentpole rates.
The Passion of the Christ is an exception but it had several other factors running along with it, such as controversy, Gibson’s unexpected change (in retrospect, part of a longer, protracted breakdown), and so on.
Anyway my point is that Christian movies don’t sell great.
no censorship at all, parents need to do their job, talk to their children, pay attention to what they are watching
Institutional censorship, that is to say, the MPAA rating, is America’s problematic relationship to controlled discourse. America’s censorship of the modern era is a censorship of omission, as opposed to a censorship of oppression.
The difference is significant. Live for a year in the United Arab Emirates and watch the movies with all the sex and most of the violence cut out and report back to me about how you feel about ‘American censorship.’
I do wish special interest groups would get off the backs of various works. At the very least, they’re really annoying, but of course their influence stretches further than that.
Finally, one of my most sickening first-person experiences was how Ye Locale Independent Theatre had to drop its annual Pornatopia festival funded by many local sexual education stores (yes these are a thing and no, they are not porn stores) and with a pretty high attendance rate, that topically featured nostalgia porn and sex education documentaries alongside stuff like John Waters and Jess Franco flicks, because ‘protestors’ called the local television news stations to report on it and when the city got involved as a result, shut it down because the theatre didn’t have an adult entertainment license.
I know the theatre owner. About a year after the shutdown I asked him about it, asking if he ever got a chance to talk to the ‘protestors.’
“Protestors? No. There was one protestor. This one woman who lived nearby was offended, picketed by herself, all the news media pictures just showed her and everytime I had to go talk to some city committee it was me against her.”
THAT there is the danger of censorship, One woman can dictate what basically just over a thousand people were watching and discussing and several independent businesses had direct monetary investment in.
A real lesson to me.
Then there’s the line in The Last Bolshevik where Market talks about the bureaucrats, and how they ask the artist, “Yes, I see what you intend, but can a person conclude that it means this instead?” It is the job of the bureaucrat to worry about what someone might perceive, as opposed to what the content actually represents.