“FILMS THAT SET OUT TO SHOCK AND OFFEND” NEW ZEALANDERS in 2002
Evening Post Editorial Comment on Anthony (Ant) Timpson’s now defunct Becks Incredible Film Festival [BIFF]. The last BIFF was staged in 2004. May it R.I. P.
Three Films were withdrawn from the [now defunct] BIFF in 2002, prompted by the actions of the Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc: Baise Moi (a sexually explicit French Rape film), Visitor Q (featuring necrophilia, incest, gratuitous violence and rape) and Bully. Interim Restriction Orders were granted by the Film and Literature Board of Review and High Court (in case of Baise-Moi) so that the classifications could be reconsidered by the Board de novo.
“Public debates on censorship serve the useful purpose of refining and fleshing out public attitudes on important moral questions. But in a sense, the debate over censorship begs a very important question. Films such as Baise-Moi and Visitor Q (a Japanese film notable for an explicit sequence involving sex with a corpse) invite attention from morals campaigners because they highlight – even celebrate – violence, perversion and degradation. Their potential to shock and offend is unabashedly used as a selling point by organisers [such as BIFF Director Ant Timpson] of events such as the [now defunct] Beck’s Incredible Film Festival. Society might well ask whether it has lost its way when such festivals rely so heavily on films that focus relentlessly on the dark side of the human condition.” (Evening Post 23/05/2002)
Below: Complete Editorial Comment – The Evening Post, Wellington New Zealand. May 23, 2002
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