12A• The 12A classification only exists for films that are shown in the cinema.• It was introduced in 2002, for The Bourne Identity, which was the first film to be classified a 12A.• There was much debate surrounding the classification of Spiderman in 2002, as the characters and storyline were originally conceived with younger children in mind.• It was made a 12A, and over 200 people complained to the bbfc. However, in comparison to the millions of people that went to see it, this figure is very small.
Film classification• From the point of view of the distributor, they want as many people as possible to see and enjoy their film.• This means creating a film that still entices and excites the target audience, without being mundane or inappropriate.• I think that kids nowadays are growing up a lot faster, and therefore I fully support the 12A classification, as it allows parents to decide for themselves whether a certain film is appropriate for their children.
The dark knight• The Dark Knight, like Spiderman, was adapted from comic books, originally aimed at younger readers, and therefore younger viewers.• It was given a 12A rating, and the bbfc stood by their decision, and the rating was never changed. They argued that the majority of violence took place off-screen, but many viewers complained that the Joker character was psychopathic and sadistic, whereas previous Batman Villains were surreal.• However, compared to how many people went to see it, and the estimated $1,001,921,825 final gross, the complaints had little or no effect on the film’s final success.
Recent controversies• The Human centipede trilogy caused a lot of controversy in 2009 when the first film was released.• The film was originally banned, but 32 cuts later, the bbfc decided it was fit for release under the 18 classification.• The bbfc commented: "There is little attempt to portray any of the victims in the film as anything other than objects to be brutalised, degraded and mutilated for the amusement and arousal of the central character, as well as for the pleasure of the audience."
Casino Royale• Upon classifying Casino Royale as a 12A, the bbfc received the most complaints about a single film there has ever been.• The bbfc decided upon this classification for ‘one scene of torture and several scenes of moderate violence.’• Personally, I believe the 12A classification was justified and I don’t think it was too inappropriate for viewers under 12.
General classification• It is important that films are able to reach the widest possible audiences that are suitable for the themes included.• However, one must remember how easily people, especially young children can be influenced by the media, especially films.• It’s not always the physical things that are being portrayed in films, but also the ideas that are put forward, such as discrimination, which can have a harmful effect on younger viewers.• It needs to be taken into consideration how literally ideas, characters, and themes can be taken by certain viewers.