15 July, 2006

The BBFC: Protecting the world from Jess Franco here....

The infamous BBFC provides rating "guidance" and basically decides which films will recieve one of their several ratings or will be passed with cuts. That's the best I can give in a way of explaining the-to me-mind bogglingly complex task of monitoring everything everyone will be seeing in theaters or at home. Of course, the days of the "video nasties" are long gone (or are they?) but type in Jess Franco's name in their search engine [www.bbfc.co.uk] and you'll get the history of over 40 Jess Franco titles as they were submitted and rates by the BBFC from the 60s up to the present day. An example is THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU which is "passed with cuts" for theatrical viewing in 1968 and resubmitted and gets rereleased with various cut times in subsequent time frames up to present era. Some, like SADOMANIA, get passed with "substitutions", whatever that exactly means. It all happens "...because we serve a socially useful function" according to their "vision statement". I'm still not sure if any Franco films are banned outright in the UK, but what's available right now on DVD is sometimes in cuts which are abbreviated due to the BBFC's specs. If anyone has any corrections, clarifications or additions please feel free to comment. I believe it's always good to keep an eye on those who are keeping an eye on everyone else.

4 comments:

Tim Lucas said...

Passed with substitutions means that the objectionable footage was replaced with extant alternative (ie., softer) footage.

I've been reading that the BBFC standards are today more liberal than they've ever been, so if some of these once-censored Franco titles were to be resubmitted, say, for a home video rating in their original form, chances are they would be passed without too much difficulty.

This online BBFC information is of interest, though, to scholars and fans curious about how the films fared against bureaucracy at the times of their original release.

Robert Monell said...

Welcome Tim and thanks for the clarifications. Actually, this could be more problematic than just cutting these scenes. Who would be doing the replacing and would the footage be chosen and approved by the director as would its placement? It's an interesting site and worthy of study for those of us interested in cultural history.

mike said...

Hey, just read through what you have up here on the blog and it's very good stuff! As a dedicated Franco fan it's nice to find a blog dedicated to the man.

Robert Monell said...

Welcome Mike and thanks for your positve feedback. Hope to see you here often...