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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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“Would I like to see Wormwood in a theater on a big screen? You betcha. I’d be disingenuous to argue otherwise. But we’re all part of, like it or not, an industry, and what Netflix offers is an opportunity to do different kinds of films in different ways. Maybe part of what is being sacrificed is that they no longer go into theaters. If the choice is between not doing it at all and having it not go to theaters, it’s an easy choice to make.”
~ Errol Morris

“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant