Nanny Beyer censures the censors
Nanny Beyer is at it again. He wants heads to roll at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) because it’s revealed that it no longer cuts violent scenes from 18-rated movies.
It presumably believes that adults can make up their own minds, and treat fictional violence as fictional violence.
“The controversy was triggered by the board’s decision to approve the ultra-violent film Eastern Promises without any cuts,” reports the Daily Mail (well, it would be the Mail, wouldn’t it?). “Critics said the British Board of Film Classification’s members had adopted a policy of ‘anything goes’ and were a ‘law unto themselves’.”
The film, released this week, includes graphic scenes of throat slitting, child prostitution and a man having an eye gouged out. (Any King Lear fan will have seen that last trick done on stage several times – in front of kids, too, sometimes quite graphically, with a generous spattering of stage blood and a lot of screaming by the Duke of Somewhere-or-Other.)
But Massa Beyer – who would, by his own admission, and this is well known to MWW readers, no doubt prefer to watch a screening of The Black and White Minstrel Show – wants the lot of them sacked.
“The BBFC has become increasingly lax and ineffective and is completely out of touch with public opinion,” says the fount of artistic wisdom. “It needs to be replaced with another body which will show more responsibility on the issue of violence.
“Despite the latest statistics in gun and knife crime showing that the problems of violence are at an all-time high, the BBFC refuses to take action.”
And where is the evidence of a causal link?
One can’t help but wonder where Beyer was when the Mel Gibson gorefest The Passion of the Christ came out. Some Christians were even calling for its classification to be changed so that impressionable youngsters could see it.
Oh, but that’s religion. Scourging, crowns of thorns, nails through flesh and bone, much screaming – but that’s OK. It’s religion. A quick look at the Mediawatch-UK website reveals nothing on The Passion.
OK, let’s run a little competition. Who can come up with the best name that the initials BBFC might stand for, using “Beyer” for one of the two Bs (nothing libellous, mind)? A signed copy of John Beyer’s extremely slim volume, My Favourite Post-Watershed TV Programmes, will go to the winner as soon as he’s written it.