I was reading the paper today when I came across an article that irritated me. It was regarding a recent decision by the film censorship board to ban the Japanese film titled 'Grotesque' due to "risk of harm" to the audience. To see the write-up on the Telegraph website click here
To see the trailer for the movie click here - but beware it is certainly NOT for children and definitely not safe for work (NSFW). You've been warned!
Now, if you ask me, the movie looks like crap. I enjoy a good bit of gore and cheesy horror, but watching people getting mutilated for no purpose doesn't really entertain me.
I will credit movies of this type for pushing boundries and having realistic special effects (like Eli Roth's Hostel).
But back to the point, despite it's disgusting special effects and wanton senseless violence, I don't agree with the decision to ban the film. At its core element it is a form of expression, no matter how gruesome. All over the world you can attend live freak shows where people stick wires through their cheeks and hang themselves from hooks. Some might even go so far as to say it is art.. I think most people in this world are aware that the world is full of all sorts of sick things. What I enjoy, is the freedom to make the choice of whether I want to see these sick things or not. Living in a 'free' country where freedom of speech and expression is valued, it seems wrong that the freedom of the film maker to screen his film, and my freedom as an individual has been taken from us by bureaucrats on the film board. The board's has stated that the movie's "...violence is so extreme that it could cause psychological harm to audiences." I am glad they are looking out for my psychological well being, but where has it been scientifically demonstrated that watching violence on film has caused psychological harm to people?
On this basis, should we censor the news? Better still, should we have a rapid response censorship team to rush out to car crashes and natural disasters to quickly shield onlookers from any destructive psychological effects.
In spite of the board's decision to ban the film I will guarantee that pirated DVDs will be floating around local pubs by the end of the week. In fact, it will probably be more popular due to the curiousity the film board has generated around the movie, and the media hype surrounding their decision to ban it.
Well, that's my rant on this 20th August. Drop me a comment and let me if you think the film board are right to protect our mental health, or if they're stepping on our freedoms