Friday, August 19, 2016


Here's a nerdy spot that I couldn't not flag. 

Julieta, Pedro Almodóvar's upcoming movie, is rated 15 by the BBFC for strong sex. This in itself is nothing special; several of Almodóvar's movies are a 15 for strong sex (amongst other classification issues), for example Broken Embraces and The Skin I Live In.

In fact, it's because I'm so familiar with BBFC classification issues (particularly at 15), and the rubric for them in a short insight, that when I walked past this at my local train station, I was a little surprised:

'Strong sexual content', as opposed to 'strong sex', is a distinctly American wording, one that the MPAA occasionally adopt (although they didn't for Julieta, which was an R for 'sexuality/nudity'.) So that was confusing - I thought perhaps, when constructing the film poster, the BBFC had given a 15 but no specific reason yet, so the poster designers pulled the wording from the MPAA. But apparently not.

I'm sure this phenomena - of the short insight on the poster and that given by the BBFC on their website being disparate - has occurred a few times before, but it has only come to my attention one other time, for last year's embarrassingly poorly written Tom Hardy vehicle, Legend.

Legend is an 18 for 'very strong language, strong violence'. The poster I saw for it, in Picturehouse Central, said 'strong language, violence and sex references'. I know the general gist is correct, but there's a big difference between strong ('f_ck', 'motherf_cker' and 'c_cksucker') and very strong language (cnut [with the n and the u rearranged]). So that was kind of bad they didn't get that precisely right. 

Plus, at 18, you're only supposed to list the stuff that contributed towards the 18 certificate. So the fact that there were strong sex references in Legend is correct. But the dialogue was no more crude than that in many a 15-rated film, including a recent watch of mine, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, or the Bad Neighbours series. 

The actual BBFC short insight only flags the language and the violence as the classification issues at 18. Whoever did a haphazard job constructing the Legend poster placed in Picturehouse Central may well have had a mate who saw the film, and then just wrote down the three things they thought would be an issue - the swearing, the violence and the sexual dialogue. But the latter wasn't why it was 18, the former two were. 

And the swearing was very strong, not just strong.

So if the dude was gonna make up his own BBFC short insight for Legend, he should have known the guidelines better.

Just being a pedant.

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