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Here’s censoring you, kid

August 11th, 2009 Posted in Culture by

humphrey-bogartLiberal (sic) Democrat-run Liverpool City Council has opened a consultation on whether to impose an 18 certificate on films that feature the smoking of tobacco. The proposal is supported by the Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

Where to start?

Well, the good news is that historical figures who actually smoked would be allowed to be portrayed accurately. Any new movies featuring Winston Churchill will not need to  show the great man eating tofu and practising yoga to secure a prized PG certificate.

Also, portraying the “clear and umabiguous” dangers of smoking (and second hand smoke) would be acceptable. I think this means that Darth Vader can light up in a new Star Wars movie (that guy has one hell of a wheezy cough) but that a number of James Bond films would be seen as fit for adults only. One of the greatest epics of all time – Casablanca – would have become illegal to show to A-level students, if it was made now.

I’m fascinated by how “clear and unambiguous” the anti-smoking message needs to be. Imagine a gangster film set in the 1950s. If our hero smokes, that gets an 18 certificate. If, however, he is captured by the baddies and they threaten to kill him by exhaling their cigars in his face, I guess that’s family entertainment.

You can respond to Liverpool City Council’s consultation here. Please do so, and help talk them out of this ludicrous cultural vandalism.

5 Responses to “Here’s censoring you, kid”

  1. All major problems solved in Liverpool « What You Can Get Away With Says:

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  2. Ziggy Encaoua Says:

    Glad that you saw that story Mark I did send it to Julian to forward it to you.

    Anyways this isn’t the first time they’ve tried to pull this tbullshit that story is dated March 2008 but I’m sure I heard about it before then.

    Anyways this doesn’t do the Lib Dems any favours what so ever along with the proposals of Jo Swinson it just makes the Lib Dems look like a bunch of authoritarian nuts.

  3. Simon Goldie Says:

    Is ‘Casablanca’ an epic? I would have said its status as a classic is because it goes beyond its film noir genre.

    Alternatively, one might say it is a masterpiece of human drama that shines a light into the human heart… But an epic? Surely epics last at least three hours and normally involve Rome or invading armies.

    As an aside, have I missed the point of the post?

  4. Mark Littlewood Says:

    Simon, you’re quite right. I used the term “epic” to simply mean “slow and tedious in parts”. I think there were some invading armies, but certainly no Rome.

    You didn’t miss the point of the post at all :-)

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