Mainstream film with unsimulated sex?

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发表于 2004-10-24 00:33

From The Telegraph website

'This will open the floodgates to hardcore porn'
By Chris Hastings, Media Correspondent
(Filed: 24/10/2004)

Viewers groups and MPs are calling on the Government to prevent a new film depicting real sex being screened in Britain's cinemas.

Viewers groups and MPs are calling on the Government to prevent a new film depicting real sex being screened in Britain's cinemas.

The British Board of Film Classification announced last week that it was giving an "18" certificate to the film Nine Songs and would not be insisting on any cuts.
Home Office: 'The British Board of Film Classification is independent. This is not a matter for us'

The film, made by the British director Michael Winterbottom, features penetration, masturbation and oral sex between the actors Kieran O'Brien, 31, and Margot Stilley, 21. It had been expected that it would be heavily cut or receive an R18 certificate, which would have confined its sale to licensed sex shops.

The classification board's own guidelines state that scenes of consenting sex should be given an R18 certificate.

Campaigners last night said that the board's decision would open the floodgates to hardcore pornography on the big screen.

Ann Widdecombe, the Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald, urged David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, to force the board to reconsider. "It seems to me that the British Board of Film Classification has thwarted the will of Parliament and disregarded its own guidelines," she said.

"It is not the board's role to allow pornography to enter the mainstream. This is something that David Blunkett should take a look at."

John Beyer, the director of Media Watch UK, an organisation that represents viewers and listeners, said: "I think this is yet again a case of the board moving the goalposts on its own guidelines.

"The Home Office does need to take a look at what has happened here."

Ann Atkins, the broadcaster and columnist, rejected claims that the film was moving forward the boundaries of artistic freedom. "I think it sounds really boring, really stupid and really pathetic," she said. "I do not think this director would know artistic merit if it hit him on the head. What on earth does this man think people's imaginations are for?"

Some in the acting profession felt that the film had gone too far. Isla Blair, the actress who has performed simulated sex scenes in television series such as The History Man and House of Cards, said: "It can already be pretty difficult to do a sex scene.

"I think if you are now expected to have sex with people, that is one step too far. However good the actors and the film, it might be hard to escape the impression that you have been in a porn film."

Three other films - Ai No Corrida (1991), Romance (1999), and Intimacy (2001) also feature images of real sex. None of these, however, are as explicit as Nine Songs, which features 35 minutes of unsimulated sex.

Michael Winterbottom, whose previous films have included Welcome To Sarejevo, Jude and 24 Hour Party People agreed that other directors might follow suit with real sex scenes but insisted that this did not mean there would be hardcore pornography on screen.

He said that the inclusion of real sex had given the film a depth and relevance that it might otherwise have lacked.

"There is nothing in the film which I think people should not be allowed to see. I did not want to make a film that was only available in a sex shop or alongside pornography. I wanted to make something an audience could engage with.

"It seems to me that if you want to do a love story, you also have to show the physical side of that," he said.

Michael Winner, the director of Death Wish and The Wicked Lady, said that adults should be free to make up their own mind about the film. "No one is going to suffer from seeing this film. No adult is going to be debased or harmed," he said.

"I remember in the 1950s there was a 20-minute film that featured nothing but nude women throwing snowballs at each other. People queued around the block and everyone said, 'Where will it end?' When you think about it, things actually haven't gone that far."

A spokesman for the British Board of Film Classification said that the board's consumer advice will make it clear that the film contains frequent, real sex so that anyone offended can avoid going to see it. "Some people may find such explicit images shocking or unexpected in a cinema film," he said.

"The board has concluded, however, that in this case adults should be free to choose whether or not to see the film. The film does not raise issues of harm or sexual violence.

"The film's exploration of the relationship provides sufficient contextual justification for the Board to pass the work uncut at '18'."

A spokesman for the Home Office said: "The British Board of Film Classification is independent. This is not a matter for the Home Office."

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