BBFC rejects GROTESQUE
Posted by James Dennis at 6:56am.
Posted in Film News , Exploitation, Horror, UK, Ireland, Australia & New Zealand.
The BBFC has made the now rare decision to reject new Japanese horror Grotesque (reviewed here only a couple of weeks back) for an 18 certificate classification. Although local councils still have the power to overrule BBFC decisions on what can be shown theatrically, it means widespread distribution is almost impossible, and video distribution illegal and liable for prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act. The film was due a DVD release by 4 Digital Asia, who’ve previously brought the likes of Tokyo Gore Police to the UK and clearly didn’t expect this decision given the marketing activity that’s already kicked off.
BBFC director David Cooke has stated: ‘‘Unlike other recent ‘torture’-themed horror works, such as the Saw and Hostel series, Grotesque features minimal narrative or character development and presents the audience with little more than an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism. The chief pleasure on offer seems to be in the spectacle of sadism (including sexual sadism) for its own sake… Rejecting a work outright is a serious matter and the board considered whether the issue could be dealt with through cuts. However, given the unacceptable content featured throughout cutting the work is not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.’’
The issue here (as aired in the comments section of Onderhound’s review) seems to be intent and overall scenario, rather than specific instances of violence, towards which the board has been increasingly lenient in recent years. Whilst I’m not in favour of film censorship for the most part, I have to question the artistic integrity of this effort. Or rather I would, if only I could see it…
Why is the endless barrage of torture okay for films like SAW and HOSTEL, but not okay for a film like GROTESQUE? because the cliched narrative and music video bullshit of the former reminds you that's it's only a movie, and therefore fun, where as the latter does away with all the mystery/thriller pretenses and just delivers the murder, torture, and gore, which is what people are seeing these kinds of movies for anyway?
It's not so much fun when there's no comic relief or sexy fun times to break up the brutality, huh? all your left with is your blood lust, and you've just found out that perhaps your eyes were bigger than your stomach. Fair enough, but that's not the film makers fault. and they shouldn't have to prove to anyone that there's really some profound message to their work. not when they've made no allusions to it being anything more than a grisly splatter film.
why does every creative endeavor have to subjugate itself to a notion as vague as "artistic integrity"? why must everything prove it has some sort of fucking "message" in order to validate itself? why can't something just exist out of prurience? Out of that need for the creative force to expunge demons from his/herself, ensnaring them in a prison of an art form of his or her choosing (in this case, film)?
It's like the Max Hardcore trial. He was sentenced to five years in a federal prison for distributing what people considered "obscene" material... even though the only way you could find said material is if you were seeking it. It's not like Max Hardcore had banner ads on Myspace or infomercials in between children' programming. It was there for the people who wanted to see it. Now true, his videos went farther than your typical porn videos, but again, he's not forcing it down anyone's throats (no pun intended). It's not like those who participate in the videos don't know what they're getting themselves into, and if they don't... well that's their problem. i don't mean to sound cold, but the guy's got a reputation for producing rough stuff. Do your research... but i digress.
The point is, If you don't wanna see it, you don't watch it. simple as that. I'm not at all interested in Max Hardcore's stuff, cause it just doesn't excite/entice me... but it's not like i think it shouldn't exist. He's not killing people, or exploiting children or animals or anything. He's making rough porn videos. Big deal. Some people like girls kissing eachother's vaginas, some people like girls drinking eachother's poo. different strokes for different strokes (n'yeah). But because his videos aren't as slicked out or because they don't feature the same kind of sex as Suze Randall or Jill Kelly Productions or whatever, it's considered a threat, exploitative, CRIMINALLY OBSCENE. but again, it's only criminally obscene because it's out of your comfort zone. some might find an Andrew Blake movie where Julia Ann sensuously drives an ice-dildo into Janine's willing orifice to be horrifyingly obscene.... they'd be crazy asshole homos for sure, but should Andrew Blake get thrown in jail because some people don't understand how what he does can arouse? is it OK because his production values are better, his women more attractive, the sex softer etc?
Before i get too far off topic, let me say that all Max Hardcore did was supply those with the demand. It's stupid to assume what turns you on should turn on everyone, but it's even worse to condemn those whose interests you don't understand as being criminals when they haven't hurt anyone. And to force those people to concoct some bullshit psychological/philosophical excuse as to why their output is valuable to the other 90% of the populous that thinks it has no merit is unfair, unjust, and just plain ignorant. All they want is to be coddled, comforted, and reassured that there has to be some reasonable explanation behind why people would wanna ruin their day. They can't understand that not everything is about them... their wants and fear and desires. that there are some of us out there who have no where to turn, because we've been made to feel like our impulses, fetishes, and interests are twisted and wrong.
It's fruitless to explain to these people; it's just who we are. it's just what we're interested in. we have these desires, fantasies, and so forth, and watching others act them out in a controlled environment is cathartic... sometimes even inspirational with regards to our own creatvity. I know for me personally, much of my creative output is about letting off some steam. i'm not much of an intellectual... it's more instinctual and visceral. it's nightmares being trapped under ink and pulp.... typeface and glass. It's so i don't rot away in an asylum or in a jail or under the fucking ground.
Now i love it when an artist has something to say... something to impart on the audience. but i also love it when an art is used as a canvas for exorcisms... a therapy for pain. a way to explore fears and fetishes in a controlled environment, where no one can get hurt. Art should not have to make excuses, or adhere to pseudo-intellectualism to placate those it leaves discomforted.
No Likey? No Watchy.