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  #211  
Old 11th July 2014, 04:21 PM
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Just saw it, so I'll share my review I wrote on my Facebook profile and my anti-censorship group The Censor Fighting Collective https://www.facebook.com/groups/1436811173225463/



"So I just saw Video Nasties: Draconian Days- An anti-censorship documentary by Jake West and Marc Morris (who signed my copy so thank you both very much in advance!) and sequel to Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape.

It was similar in tone to the first one, however this time the target of attention was the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). This surprised me as I was expecting more humiliation of notorious censor-lovers like Mary Whitehouse and Graham Bright (they are in it at brief moments, one scene in particular displays Whitehouse in a debate against the Rambo movies where the people sitting behind her are dressed up as Rambo, further displaying how stupid and out of touch with society she really was) , however this new focus was actually very interesting so it was a welcome addition.

James Ferman (former head of the BBFC) is the main topic of discussion. I always knew he was incredibly strict with film classification, notoriously censoring and banning many films. However this documentary reveals his particular pet hates in films. If a scene had ninja stars or nunchuks for example, it was mandatory that that scene had to be cut. So both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies and Bruce Lee movies had extensive cuts to them, as well as many other martial arts movies. It is also revealed that he would actually take scissors and physically remove scenes from film reels and in addition, totally re-edit the films!

He also used the power of the censor to create propaganda. For example while showing an audience how "depraved and corrupt" a film was, he wouldn't actually show the film in full. Rather he would edit the most disgusting and censored scenes from multiple films and put them all as one slideshow so to speak. This was used to brainwash the masses (as far as they knew, this was in fact all these films had to offer: gore and sex and violence) and have them believe all he was doing was right, whereas they were in fact taking scenes out of context and showing them not in the way they were meant to be shown in feature length films. He attempted to justify his ban on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre by saying it was perfectly fine for festival-going ‘middle-class cinéastes’ to witness its depravities, “but what would happen if a factory worker in Manchester happened to see it?” And that to me can be summed up like this: "I can see it, because I am INTELLIGENT. However all you working class people of the public are to ****ing stupid to see it and thus I am banning it." We do not need decision making like that in our life and this sums up the hypocrisy of the censor.

However in a lighter portrayal, he is seen going against censorship. He defended First Blood (Rambo 1) when it was linked to the Hungerford Massacre by the press all due to the killer wearing a headband (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and he also defended Childs Play 3 when it was linked by the press to James Bulger's murder. I have already wrote essays and done videos on this Bulger case so I will leave to you to find my videos on Youtube about it as opposed to explaining it here.

In essence he is an interesting figure of sorts. On one hand he comes across as a power hungry dictator deciding what we can and can't watch, which lead to him sacking colleagues who disagreed with him and also insulting the audience through underestimating our intelligence and by showing inaccurate representations of the films. On the other hand he did come forward and defend horror and film during real-life shootings and murders, which climaxed in the legalisation of pornography in sex shops (this was due to him).

He was not a pure evil bat-shit crazy crusader like Mary Whitehouse and he was far more intelligent than Graham Bright ("Bright" to this day believes that the video nasties are both ‘evil’ and "REAL", is seen in library footage of the first documentary expressing his conviction that the films affect not just younger viewers but “dogs as well.” Head of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, and friend of Thatcher, Mary Whitehouse is also shown in the first one declaring that she has never in fact seen any of the films that she so forcefully condemns. “I actually don’t need to see, visually, what I know is in this film,” she claims).

Ultimately Ferman seems like a confused man that had little to no idea what he was doing, be it for the right or wrong purposes and just made everything up as he went along, resulting in his downfall.

Other people in the documentary include Sir James Anderton, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and opponent of video traders.He also believed and stated that god SPOKE to him directly. I hadn't even heard of him before, but that sentence sums him up as just another Mary Whitehouse bat-shit crazy wannabe. Funny how if Charles Manson or Peter Sutcliffe were to say something like this they were laughed at, but with a Chief of Police, nobody even cares.

I may be wrong (have only seen it once) but I also thought I saw another notorious MP called Jack Straw condemning all these fake horror films and the trading of them... Though I already know that in 2009 he made it illegal for Children in care homes to report abuse... So he immediately loses credibility here based on that stance.

Aside from all this, it was fun to hear them talk about the like of how controversial titles like New York Ripper were back then. This is devoted time to where all kinds of movies I didn't even know existed are discussed.

All in all it just makes the censorship side look terrible and unprofessional, but its not like thats news. I heavily enjoyed it and look forward to watching the special features. 10/10.

PS. It makes me long for a third and final chapter covering the 2000's- present day to make it a perfect trilogy "
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  #212  
Old 11th July 2014, 05:08 PM
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Ferman was, is and will always be, the most ignorant, arrogant, duplicitous, power hungry pervert that has ever been in the BBFC. He abused his authority and staff and projected his own perversions and hang-ups onto the working class to deflect attention away from his own inadequacies.
The tiny bit of good he did is vastly overshadowed by the ocean of bullshit and Draconian censorship he helped implement onto this country, of which the reverberations are still felt today, 30 years later.
He is no better than a Nazi book burner, in fact he is worse, as he had history and experience to call upon.
I spit in his face!
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  #213  
Old 11th July 2014, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
Ferman was, is and will always be, the most ignorant, arrogant, duplicitous, power hungry pervert that has ever been in the BBFC. He abused his authority and staff and projected his own perversions and hang-ups onto the working class to deflect attention away from his own inadequacies.
The tiny bit of good he did is vastly overshadowed by the ocean of bullshit and Draconian censorship he helped implement onto this country, of which the reverberations are still felt today, 30 years later.
He is no better than a Nazi book burner, in fact he is worse, as he had history and experience to call upon.
I spit in his face!
In would not go so far as to make the Nazi comparison. Given the genocide wrought by the nazis i'm loathe to make that comparison lightly.

Personally I think he was simply an autocrat. Autocrat | Define Autocrat at Dictionary.com

Certainly he misused his power on occasion but its also worth noting the hysterical masses whipped up into a frenzy by our rotten press.
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  #214  
Old 11th July 2014, 05:30 PM
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Yeah, just on a rant...maybe not a Nazi...more Khmer Rouge!!
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  #215  
Old 13th July 2014, 10:38 AM
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We're in today's Independent! Film censorship: How moral panic led to a mass ban of 'video nasties'
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  #216  
Old 13th July 2014, 02:37 PM
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My copy of Video Nasties 2 arrived today! Probably the only time I've pre-ordered from Amazon and have it arrive early/on time.
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  #217  
Old 13th July 2014, 05:00 PM
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Spent this weekend watching all three discs. Jake West's documentary is thoroughly insightful and essential viewing, a worthy sequel to Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape. The trailers plus intros by various talking heads are brilliant. Their commentary is rather funny at times.

Overall, a terrific package!
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  #218  
Old 13th July 2014, 09:15 PM
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I've just finished watching it. I think I enjoyed this even more than the first, seemed bit longer too, which is a good thing.
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  #219  
Old 14th July 2014, 03:25 PM
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Can't wait to see this one.
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  #220  
Old 15th July 2014, 10:46 AM
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Unsigned, got from Amazon, #6177!
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