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  1. 1. Classification
  2. 2. <ul><li>British Board of Film Classification produces guidelines (, self-regulatory it is made up of film industry reps who can impose certificates on films. </li></ul>02
  3. 3. Recommendations <ul><li>BBFC can be overruled by local authorities, Westminster council banned screenings of Crash which played elsewhere with an 18 certificate? </li></ul><ul><li>BBFC has a ‘gentleman’s understanding’ with the Government, obviously decisions are altered depending on the party in power </li></ul><ul><li>Classification has an element of ‘gate keeping’ about it </li></ul>
  4. 4. Considerations for Classification <ul><li>Legal: material may break the law; obscenity, equality, incitement, child protection </li></ul><ul><li>Protective: material that may cause harm, although who decides who needs protecting and from what? </li></ul><ul><li>Societal: material is reviewed with broader public opinion, particularly with regard to language </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1912 Social changes Censorship changes 1920s 1930s 1940s British Board of Film Censors established Prohibits 'indecorous, ambiguous and irreverent titles', 'unnecessary exhibition of under-clothing' etc. 1932- introduction of 'U', 'A' and 'H' symbols Pre-war: Victorian values Inter-war years: General strike, Depression and decline of the empire
  6. 6. 1950s Social changes Censorship changes 1960s 1970s 1951- 'X' category introduced The Wild One (1954) Release delayed for 13 years for 'spectacle of unbridled hooliganism' 1960- Lady Chatterley's Lover trial Post-war prosperity & birth of the teenager! Baby-boomers come of age; sexual and social liberation The dream sours: economic downturn and social unrest 1970- 'X' raised to 18 1974- 33.9% of films cut
  7. 7. <ul><li>1980s </li></ul><ul><li>Home video takes off </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Video nasties’- DPP list </li></ul><ul><li>Video Recordings Act 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>Name changed to British Board of Film Classification </li></ul><ul><li>‘ A’ becomes ‘PG’, ‘AA’ changes to ‘15’ and ‘X’ becomes ‘18’. ‘R18’ introduced for films to be shown in private members clubs or sold in licensed premises </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 12’ rating added in 1989 ( Batman ) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>1990s to present </li></ul><ul><li>Juvenile crime and video violence </li></ul><ul><li>CJPO Act 1994 </li></ul><ul><li>1998- Andreas Whittam Smith becomes President and steers Board towards greater openness and transparency (published guidelines) </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation led to relaxation of sex restrictions at ‘15’ and ‘18’. Portrayal of real sex was allowed at ‘18’ provided it was ‘exceptionally justified by context’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 12A’ replaces ‘12’ for film- parental responsibility </li></ul>
  9. 9. Classifications Today <ul><li>U: suitable for all </li></ul><ul><li>PG: Parental Guidance </li></ul><ul><li>12 and 12A: responsibility lies with adult </li></ul><ul><li>15: suitable for 15 years and over </li></ul><ul><li>18: suitable only for adults </li></ul><ul><li>R18: only in specialised cinemas or sex shops </li></ul><ul><li>The introduction of 12A was to show BBFC have become stricter with children’s viewing, however R18 legalises pornography. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Classification – does it work? <ul><li>Did you watch 18’s even though you may not be that age? </li></ul><ul><li>Does classification work for home viewing? (DVD, YouTube, TV, Online, OnDemand TV) </li></ul><ul><li>Should adults have the responsibility of monitoring children’s viewing? Can they be trusted? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Mechanics of classification <ul><li>Films are submitted by distributors and classified for a fee </li></ul><ul><li>They are viewed by two examiners, who write a report recommending a classification </li></ul><ul><li>Others are involved if decision is not forthcoming or likely to be controversial </li></ul><ul><li>There is no automatic right of appeal for film decisions ( Honest , 2000, End of the Affair , 1999, This is England , 2007) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Challenges <ul><li>Pro-censorship reforms </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of unclassified works (e.g. piracy, grey imports etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>New formats that bypass the system (e.g. downloads, mobile applications etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Media literacy is seen as one solution </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li> </li></ul>