The ratings board are definately lightening up, that's for sure. A load of movies that were previously banned are now on general release (such as The Exorcist
and Straw Dogs
) and they're allowing much more explicit sex scenes in non-porno movies (there's a seperate rating for hard porn, and not many places really sell the stuff that gets released on that certificate. Or maybe they do, but I don't tend to frequent porn stores
The main issues they dislike haven't really changed though - things like rape scenes where the woman is depicted as enjoying it (I think this was the issue with Straw Dogs
) and really graphic violence. I remember they cut 4 seconds from Fight Club
, which really isn't much and didn't detract from the plot. And recently there was a big issue over the Team America
sex scene, but that movie got released as a 15 so it clearly wasn't too
much of an issue.
Also, I'd like to point out that A Clockwork Orange
wasn't banned in the UK, as a lot of people seem to think - Kubrick requested that it was withdrawn after he recieved death threats relating to gangs dressing like Alex and his droogs. As soon as he died they fell over themselves to re-release it, which I thought was really unsubtle, but I was glad to finally be able to see the movie.
Actually, that's not true at all - I went to the video store with my mum to rent a movie, and I wanted The Exorcist
which I hadn't seen and had recently been unbanned. She remembered seeing it in the theatre as a teenager and said I couldn't get it, and suggested I watch A Clockwork Orange
instead. She clearly hadn't seen it, but didn't think it could be worse than the other movie. I'm glad that happened, cos it's one of my favourite movies