Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
Television viewers in China were shocked last Friday
when state broadcaster CCTV
aired V for Vendetta
unedited in prime time. Previously, Chinese search engines would not even return results for the anti-totalitarian 2006 film
; CCTV-6 did at least harmonize the title by translating it as "V Special Forces", rather than the more common translation given in pirated DVD editions, "V the Revenge Killing Squad". [more inside]
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code
from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness
(1935), Reefer Madness
(1936) and The Cocaine Fiends
(1938). [more inside]
In October 1963, the Brazilian movie writer, director, and actor José Mojica Marins was having trouble with a movie he was working on, and fell asleep at the dinner table. He dreamed of being dragged to a cemetery by a creature in black, who showed Marins his own tomb stone, with the dates of his birth and death (YT: 9 min)
. That dream lead to the creation of Zé do Caixão
(anglicized as Coffin Joe
), the main character in Brazil's first horror movie, and Marins' first big movie success: À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma (YT: 1hr 22min w/English subs)
(At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul
). This was one of the up-ticks in a life of some ups and lots of downs for the South American Roger Corman or Ed Wood
(NYT), and the birth of a character who would become Marins public persona. [more inside]
(1926 - 2006) was a Korean movie writer, director and producer, who studied film in Japan and returned to South Korea, where he gained fame and became the uncontested leader of the film industry
in the 1960s, in a time when regulations on the industry limited other studios. In the 1970s under the Fourth Republic of South Korea
, the film industry was even further limited, which lead to Shin's studio being closed. Things went from bad to worse, when "the Orson Welles of South Korea" was kidnapped by request of Kim Jong Il
, the son of North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The reason? Kim Jong Il wanted the nation's film industry to promote the virtues of the Korea Workers' Party to a world-wide audience. After being imprisoned for four years, Shin was reunited with his ex-wife (who was also a captive of North Korea) and the given relative freedom, producing seven films in North Korea. While setting up a distribution deal to share Kim Jong Il's vision with a broader audience for a Godzilla-like monster movie, Shin and his wife escaped and sought political asylum in the United States. Their freedom was possible because of that last film for Kim, entitled Pulgasari
. But Shin's life in movies was not over yet. [more inside]
There's a new sing-a-long
version of Grease
coming out... pity there's a few things
missing from it.
has been discussed before
here in the blue, but last week the Australian Classification Review Board
determined that the DVD release can be classified R18+ (available, but with sale restricted to adults), if it includes 3 hours of additional material proposed by the potential distributor, Shock
. In the decision, the Board notes that the additional material "facilitates wider consideration of the context of the film."
While this decision is a win for anti-censorship campaigners and film buffs, it may not be the final chapter. The film has had a checkered history
The Board's media release is here
'Ten years ago, while working on The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler. “Ken,” he said, “if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched.'
That film has been made
. The story behind it
The Return of a Clockwork Orange
- Writers, artists, directors, UK film censors and starring actor Malcolm McDowell discuss Stanley Kubrick's classic film A Clockwork Orange
the outfit that digitally sanitized films? The Directors Guild of America recently won their lawsuit
against them and companies like them for copyright violation. Prev
Birth of a Nation:
one of the most controversial films in american history
The film "...was banned in more than a dozen localities (and furthermore has been the most banned film in American history) because of its white supremacist sympathies, racist stereotypes, and glorification of the Ku Klux Klan..." Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy
Given the recent controversy over Gibson's film, where do we draw the line between freedom of expression
? when are these debates influenced by politcal agenda rather than sincere concern?
Seen any St***n S***rb**gh films lately? CleanFlicks
, a Utah (US) based company, is using digital editing to "clean up" popular films by removing the sex, nudity, profanity and extreme violence (for example, the edited natural born killers runs approx. 2.5 minutes, while the CF version of Resevoir Dogs is titles and credits only).
Recently the Colorado licensee of Cleanflicks got wind of a potential lawsuit by the Directors Guild of America. Deciding not to wait for this to even get off the ground, Cleanflicks has decided to sue 16 of the directors
that are apparently most offensive to them.
The movie censored in France opens in the US this week. Base-Moi
is being translated by the newspapers as "Rape Me" but a better translation would be "Fuck Me," which better indicates that sexual power that the main female characters have. They use sex as a weapon, as the gateway firearm to murders and massacre. Violent, bloody, aggressively sexual, even pornographic, filled with "chic amoralism," as the New York Times
says, and perhaps difficult to redeem. Gratuitous everything.