"Contains mild peril..."

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Thu 20 Mar 2008

Someone was telling me the other day that a lot people they know think we make up the extra certification information that we publish in our brochure and on our website. You know, the short statement that adds some meat to the bones of the film’s certificate, as exemplified by the introductory line above. It’s not surprising people have thought this, for some of them read like us trying to be funny rather than the BBFC informing the public. We have been alerted recently to the fact that Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket “contains scenes of criminal activity” (no kidding!), and that Jezebel in our Bette Davis season “contains mild brief images of shrouded bodies and sick people”. The Orphanage contains “disturbing injury detail”, so be warned (because it really does!), and Golden Door from last year contained “natural nudity” which confused me because I was brought up to believe all nudity is natural... isn’t it? The truth of the matter is we have an obligation to print this information, when it’s available, on all 12A certificates and lower, though for completeness sake we just do it on all of them. So that clears that one up!

But what of April’s films? Happy-Go-Lucky is not a phrase you might readily associate with Mike Leigh, though you may have to review your opinion of Britain’s favourite auteur once you’ve seen his wonderfully entertaining latest; Chinese box office sensation, the Civil War epic Assembly hits our screens, and is accompanied by a six film season of contemporary Chinese cinema; more war, but this time Brian De Palma-style – to some audacious, to others repulsive, but whatever your take on it ‘mild peril’ Redacted ain’t; Garage, another small-but-perfectly-formed Irish film (after last year’s Once) gets a well-deserved cinema release; former Nouvelle Vague-er Jacques Rivette is still going very strongly indeed with his expertly told tale (from a novella by Balzac) of romantic oneupmanship, Don’t Touch the Axe; revolution and water polo (eh?) are in the air in Hungarian epic Children of Glory; riveting and quietly devastating, Out of the Blue tells the true story of the Aramoana Massacre in New Zealand when a lone gunman embarked on a killing spree in a remote seaside village; from Germany, the multi award-garlanded Four Minutes; and Park Chan-wook takes a deserved break from violence with the sweet (albeit, still Park-ian) romantic comedy, I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK.

We’ve the annual Triptych (music), Dead By Dawn (horror), ¡Viva! (Spanish and Latin American) Puppet and Animation and New Europe festivals as well; Hitchcock’s 39 Steps gets the digital re-release treatment; the La Scala Opera Series continues with Verdi’s Aida; and the wonderful Marcello Mastroianni gets a 9 film retrospective – the old charmer...

As the BBFC might offer by way of consumer advice: “Contains an almost gratuitous number of seriously good films.”

Rod White, Head of Programming

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