Film Censorship: I #2


 

 

 

 

Infrasexum

Directed by Carlos Tobalina / 1969 / USA / IMDb

In January 1977, a 2441.27-meter (88:59) print of INFRASEXUM was censored by 62.70-meters (02:17) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Lestrig Trading was the applicant.

 

In July 1979, 14th Mandolin had a 1924.00-meters (70:08) version passed with an R-rating. They released it on their King of Video label in the early 1980s.

 

Infrasexum (1969) - King of Video [au] VHS Infrasexum (1969) - King of Video [au] VHS tape label


 

 

 

 

Inhumanities 2: Modern Atrocities

Directed by Wesley Emerson / 1989 / USA / IMDb

In 1990, a 76-minute VHS of INHUMANITIES 2: MODERN ATROCITIES was Refused Classification by the OFLC. The applicant was the inappropriately named, Family Home Entertainment.

This shockumentary was another in a long line of examples of the genre that have been banned by the Australian censor.

 

 

In April 1991, Family Home Entertainment made an unsuccessful appeal to the Film Review Board.

Here they explain why they chose to uphold the decision of the Film Censorship Board

 

Inhumanities 2 is a compilation of newsreel footage of atrocities, murders, natural disasters, aircraft accidents, and other spectacles involving violent death or extremes of human suffering. Much of the footage has been shown previously on television, where this kind of material is distressingly familiar; some of it, so the Board was told, had not been seen before. The extracts seem to have been chosen solely for their shock value and strung together at random. There is a commentary of more than the usual banality and sententiousness. The Film Censorship Board determined by majority that the video should be refused classification because of its prolonged and relished depictions of violence and cruelty.

The applicant, Family Home Entertainment Ltd argued that because the material had already been shown on television it should not be restricted on video; it was an honest and unvarnished depiction of certain harsh realities , admittedly unpleasant but none the less part of real life. Similar videos were available in other countries and at least on (The Worst Crimes of the 20th Century) had been circulated in Australia. Inhumanities 2 was no more shocking than much of the material regularly seen by TV audiences and should not be banned. The applicant offered to remove from the video any portions which the Board found especially offensive.

The Board of Review was unanimous in concluding that the video had no documentary or artistic value. We acknowledged that viewing such material might be a necessary part of training police officers, rescue workers or others in similar occupations, but felt in this case that such considerations were not relevant. We were in no doubt that Inhumanities 2 was intended to exploit a prurient appetite for violence, and that the depictions of killing, corpses, death and putrefaction was meant to be relished and enjoyed.

Nor were we impressed by the argument that most of the footage had already been shown on TV. The depiction of atrocities in bona-fide news programs could, in our view. be justified (within limits), especially when the events were of topical interest. But the repetition and concentration of such depictions ran the risk of trivialising the events and desensitising viewers' reactions. There is a body of evidence to suggest that when violence is made to seem routine-or worse, an acceptable form of entertainment-emotional reactions are dulled. What ought to be normal and humane responses to the suffering of others-pity, shock, compassion, indignation-are diminished by familiarity and over-exposure. To some extent this is inevitable in a violent world, and no member of the Board would argue that people should be sheltered from the knowledge of ugliness and cruelty. (Given the growing diligence and intrusiveness of the media there is little chance that they will be) But seemliness and a decent respect for the feeling of others demand that human suffering should not be gloated on or exploited by others for gain. The Board of Review accordingly upheld the decision of the Film Censorship Board to refuse to classify the video Inhumanities 2
11 April 1991

 

 

New Zealand release

Family Home Entertainment did succeed in getting the film passed the New Zealand censors.

A 76:11 VHS was passed with an R18-rating in January 1990, while a 70:33 VHS of the first INHUMANITIES (1989) was passed with an R18-rating  in October 1989.

 

 

INHUMANITIES 2 review

Review by Simon
76:07 (this includes a 02:06 trailer for INHUMANITIES 2: MODERN ATROCITIES)
Platinum Productions [us] VHS
The Film Review Board’s report tells you all you need to know about INHUMANITIES 2: MODERN ATROCITIES. It is the usual collection of news footage, with an over earnest narrator talking nonsense over the top.

You probably would not see some of this material on TV back when this was banned. However, it now looks somewhat tame against the atrocity footage that is now but a mouse click away.

The closing credits mention that INHUMANITIES 3 would be coming soon; however, I do not believe it was produced.


 

 

 

 

Initiation

Directed by Denis Heroux / 1970 / Canada / IMDb

In May 1972, an 8653-feet (96:09) print of INITIATION was censored by 230-feet (02:33) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'. Filmways Australasia was the applicant.

 

In August 1987, Roadshow Home video had a 90m tape passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

 

In 1973, Denis Heroux's THE AWAKENING (1970) also had censorship problems.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Initiation (1970) - Filmways Australasia [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Inmu: DVD Box Set

aka Inmu: Feast of Victims

Directed by Misumi Ran / 1999 / Japan / IMDb

There is a confirmed customs confiscation of this hentai DVD Box Set from 2002. The reasons given were:

"The goods are considered by the Office of Film and Literature Classification to fall within Sub Regulation 4A1(d) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations."

 

This box set of Japanese Hentai from NuTech Digital consisted of two DVDs. Disc one contained the episodes FIRST NIGHT and SECOND NIGHT, whilst disc two has THIRD NIGHT and FOURTH NIGHT.


 

 

 

 

Inmu 2: DVD Box Set

1st and 2nd Night aka Fruit Flesh Feast Of Shame
3rd and 4th Night aka The Wandering Flesh Slave

Directed by Takeshi Yamaguchi / 2001 / Japan / IMDb

There is a confirmed customs confiscation of this hentai DVD Box Set from 2002. The reasons given were:

"The goods are considered by the Office of Film and Literature Classification to fall within Sub Regulation 4A1(d) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations."

 

This box set of Japanese Hentai from NuTech Digital is made up of four episodes. These are titles FIRST NIGHT: ILLUSION, SECOND NIGHT: EXCESSIVE LOVE, THIRD NIGHT: THE SHADOW CARD, and FOURTH NIGHT: DROWNING IN SUMMER.


 

 

 

 

Inquisition

Directed by Jacinto Molina / 1976 / Spain / IMDb

Thorn-EMI Screen Entertainment had an 88m videotape of INQUISITION Refused Classification in November 1985. The reason given for the ban was 'gratuitous violence, cruelty'.

 

Review by Matt
It is very easy to guess which scenes caused INQUISITION to be banned. Like MARK OF THE DEVIL (also originally banned in Australia), that other famous witch-finder film, this features scenes of women being tortured to extract confessions. The print that I viewed was uncut and ran 89:24. There are apparently two versions of the torture scenes, a clothed one, and a nude one. The print under review was the nude version, though who knows which one Thorn-EMI submitted to the censors.

From 26:00 to 28:00 there is a shot of a topless women being stretched on a rack, followed by a second girl having her chest cut by a blade on a wheel

From 39:00 to 41:30 there is the infamous scene of the topless women being burnt with hot coals, followed by her nipple being cut off.

Although it was never resubmitted, it would have been very easy for Thorn-EMI to remove these scenes and get an R18+ rating. Speaking of Thorn-EMI, what the hell were they doing in 1985 submitting this obscure title? Today an uncut version would easily score an R-rating.


 

 

 

 

The Insatiables

Directed by Noribumi Suzuki/ 1971 / Japan / IMDb

In January 1973, a 979-meter (89:13) 16mm print of THE INSATIABLES was banned because of 'indecency'.

Pacific Telecasters was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Inside Jennifer Welles

Directed by Jennifer Welles / 1977 / USA / IMDb

In July 1978, a 2212.30-meter (80:38) print of INSIDE JENNIFER WELLES was banned because of 'indecency'.

A 2043.00-meter (74:28) 'reconstructed version' was refused for the same reason in September 1978. A failed appeal was made to the Films Board of Review in November 1978.

In all cases, 14th Mandolin was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

In the Cut

Directed by Jane Campion / 2003 / Australia - USA - UK / IMDb

This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included as an example of classification policy.

 

Sony Pictures Releasing had a 119m 35mm print of IN THE CUT passed in September 2003 with an R18+ (High Level Sex Scenes, Medium Level Violence) rating.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was awarded the same rating in March 2004 for a DVD of the film, though it was Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment who released the film on disc.

 

This was quite a controversial title as it contained an explicit scene of (fake) fellatio. So although it was not 'Actual Sex', it still looked very convincing.

 

 

IN THE CUT: Sex and the R-rating

The following is taken from the REPORT ON THE REVIEW OF THE OPERATION OF THE 2003 GUIDELINES FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES. It includes information about the classification of this title.

 

REPORT ON THE REVIEW OF THE OPERATION OF THE 2003 GUIDELINES FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES

Prepared by Kate Aisbett, Entertainment Insights
December 2004

Executive Summary
Review process
A review of the first twelve months’ operation of the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games 2003 (the 2003 Guidelines) was promised by the former Attorney General, the Hon Daryl Williams AM QC MP, to ensure that the decisions made under the 2003 Guidelines align with those made under the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Videotapes – Amendment No. 3, 2000, and Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games – Amendment No. 1, 1999 (the previous guidelines). The review of the 2003 Guidelines has been conducted and is the subject of this report.

The principal object of the review is to assess whether the combining and recasting of the previous guidelines into the 2003 Guidelines has had the effect of changing the level of content that falls into the various classification categories for film and games.

7 Examination of Board decision reports

7.6.1 Actual Sex
In the Cut was another example of an R18+ classified film with brief depictions of actual sex content classified in the first year of the operation of the 2003 Guidelines. This was a high budget Hollywood studio film directed by Jane Campion and starring Meg Ryan. The scene was described in the Board report:

At 8.50 minutes there is a brief close-up of explicit fellatio, with the female lips seen around the shaft of the male’s penis… at 9.10 there is another brief close-up of explicit fellatio.

The Board report explains the decision in relation to the actual sex scene as: In the Board’s opinion, the general rule provided for in the R classification is sufficiently flexible to allow limited actual sexual activity in a mainstream film if it is not gratuitous and is appropriately situated within a mature and serious work aimed at an adult audience. (The Board notes that the X classification is a special and legally restricted category which contains only sexually explicit material and that the content of this film does not accord with the content parameters for the X classification).

… The brevity of the two explicit shots, their treatment within a dimly lit and shadowy setting and the oblique close-up camera angle (which all helped reduce the impact).

 

Attachment D – OFLC responses to titles referred to in the report
In The Cut
On 29 August 2003, the Board classified the film In The Cut R18+ with the consumer advice ‘high level sex scenes, medium level violence’. The Board noted in its report that:

A New York teacher, Frannie Avery, witnesses a sexual act in a bar. Shortly afterward she is questioned by a detective, James Malloy, about a brutal killing that has taken place in her neighbourhood. The pair begin a sexually charged affair as the lonely and confused Frannie increasingly comes to believe that Malloy is the killer (due to a tattoo he has in common with the perpetrator). After Frannie’s sister, Pauline, is murdered the serial killer’s identity is revealed.

… The classifiable elements are high level sex scenes and medium level violence, neither of which exceeds a high viewing impact.

… The Board notes the wording in the classifiable element paragraph relating to sex in the Guidelines at the R classification category which state: ‘Sexual activity may be realistically simulated; the general rule is ’simulation, yes - the real thing, no.’ In the Board’s opinion, the general rule provided for in the R classification is sufficiently flexible to allow limited actual sexual activity in a mainstream film if it is not gratuitous and is appropriately situated within a mature and serious work aimed at an adult audience. (The Board notes that the X classification ‘is a special and legally restricted category which contains only sexually explicit material’ and that the content of this film does not accord with the content parameters for the X classification.)

The Board is of the view that while this film is likely to be offensive to some sections of the adult community, it is not offensive to the extent that it warrants an RC classification. For the following reasons the Board is able to accommodate the film within the legally restricted R classification: The brevity of the two explicit shots, their treatment within a dimly lit and shadowy setting, and the oblique close-up camera angle (which all help to reduce the impact).

The Board also believes that the sex scenes are contextually justified by the framework of the plot and characterizations within a seriously intentioned adult film, and are not gratuitous in their treatment. In the Cut is a restrained adaptation of a literary work of the same name by author Susanna Moore, and the director, Jane Campion, is a widely respected and serious director of films intended for a mature audience, with such previous credits as The Portrait of a Lady, Holy Smoke and The Piano.

 

 

Foxtel's censorship of R-rated films

The film premiered on Foxtel's Showtime Channel in 2005 in an MA15+ version that toned down the fellatio scene. This was due to R-rated content not being allowed on Pay TV channels such as Showtime. So called narrowcast channels such as World Movies are allowed to screen R-rated content.

 

In the Cut - Columbia Tristar [au] DVD


 

 

 

 

Intimate Games

Directed by Tudor Gates / 1976 / UK / IMDb

In July 1977, a 2699.6-meter (98:24) print of INTIMATE GAMES was banned because of indecency. It was awarded an R-rating in November 1977 after being censored down to 2386.41 (86:59).

Blake Films released this version theatrically.  

 

 

INTIMATE GAMES: Censored DVD

In August 2011, Beyond Home Entertainment released INTIMATE GAMES on DVD as part of their BEST OF BRITISH collection. This was the same as the UK Odeon Entertainment DVD.

The running time was 80:17 (PAL), or 83:38 when converted to NTSC. This was approximately fifteen minutes shorter than the July 1977 submission to the Australian Censorship Board, and nearly four minutes shorter than the November 1977 R-rated version. Beyond Home Entertainment put the original R-rating on the cover.

Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Intimate Games (1976) - Blake Films [au] Daybill     Intimate Games (1976) - Beyond Home Entertainment [au] DVD


 

 

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