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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Censorshipped: I was tired of watching porn

Kaiju Shakedown’s got an anecdote-rich rundown of the role of the censor worldwide: “It’s the worst job in the world… You watch hundreds of movies for a living, burning out the part of your brain that once found movie going pleasurable. Your career is a dirty little secret because it’s practically an insult… Maggie (not her real name) left Malaysia to attend graduate school in the U.K. She returned to Malaysia to become a university professor but unable to find work she wound up at one of Malaysia’s few private television companies, sitting in a windowless room and watching movies… Her job is to make sure that Muslims in these films are not shown doing “haram” things: drinking, smoking, or encountering pork products. She has generated hundreds of pages of notes…: “Scene in which the Koran is discussed in relation to belief in the supernatural needs to be further looked into.” baise-toi.jpg…While Malaysia seems to operate on the principal of “when in doubt, cut it out” the truly tormented censors live in the UK and Canada… What the BBFC spends much of its time watching is porn. Every single porn film must be classified and Robin Duvall, the BBFC Director from 1999 – 2004, says that while the [UK censorship] offices are already “Dickensian…demoralized…and a little bit paranoid” he feels that regulating porn is the “least attractive and most exhausting task of an examiner.” Psychological counseling services are provided for those who have a hard time with it. [Explicit anecdotes follow.] … Probably the most hated censorship organization in North America, the Ontario Film Review Board has publicly put its foot in it more than once. In 1999 it ordered cuts in Toronto documentarian, Ron Mann’s… Grass. The charge was cruelty to animals, and the material in question was… archival footage of restrained monkeys being forced to smoke pot. The distributor took the case to the media, the ruling was overturned and the Ontario Film Review Board became a laughingstock…” Baise-Moi was one of their tougher nuts, “a French rape-revenge [film] that was too pornographic to be classified under the mainstream guidelines, but had too much violence to be classified as a pornographic movie. After much soul-searching the Board ordered a 13 second rape scene removed because they worried that if allowed, it would set a precedent for violent rape in porn. “13 seconds of someone’s art wasn’t worth an explosion of explicit rape scenes in porn flicks,” Devine says. Soon after, she retired from the board. “I was tired of watching porn.”

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“There are different signs that this is not stopping. I don’t think that anger and frustration and those feelings can go away. I hope they don’t. The attention and support for the victims needs to be continued, more than people worried about these abusers and what’s next for them, how are they going to move on — shut up. You know what? If any of these people come back, I would say, “I can’t wait to see who is actually going to support them.” That is going to be the glaring horror. Who is going to be, like, “This is a pressing issue, and we need to get them back?” If a janitor was so great at cleaning the building but also tended to masturbate in front of people, would the people at that building be like, “Yes, he masturbated, but I’ve never seen anyone clean so thoroughly, and I was just wondering when he’s going to get his job back, he’s so good at it.” No, it would be, “That’s not acceptable.” It’s fame and power that people are blinded by.”
~ Tig Notaro in the New York Times

“It’s never been easy. I’ve always been one of the scavenger dogs of film financing, picking up money here and there. I’ve been doing that all my life. This was one was relatively easy because certain costs have gone down so much. I made this film in 20 days whereas 30 years ago, it would have been made in 42.”
~ Paul Schrader