A new media landscape? The BBFC, extreme cinema as cult, and technological change

Pett, Emma (2015) A new media landscape? The BBFC, extreme cinema as cult, and technological change. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 13 (1). pp. 83-99. ISSN 1740-0309

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Abstract

Disreputable films involving explicit representations of sex and violence have long attracted the attention of the censors and cult film audiences alike. In late 2012, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) announced it was tightening its regulation of representations of sadistic and sexual violence, simultaneously enhancing the subcultural capital and potential cult status of the films in question (Thornton, Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995, 11). The subsequent publication of the BBFC's revised guidelines in January 2014 confirmed its increasingly censorial stance (British Board of Film Classification, The Guidelines, London: BBFC, 2014a). The Board's rationale for implementing these changes was that a succession of technological developments had created ‘a new media and entertainment landscape’ requiring stricter regulation (British Board of Film Classification, BBFC Guidelines 2014: Research Report, London: BBFC, 2014b, 15). This paper traces a series of changes in film regulation during the post-Ferman era, focusing in particular on the pedagogical turn taken by the BBFC under the directorship of David Cooke (2004–14). Drawing on a range of reports and documents, I argue that by discursively framing these policy adjustments in the context of the so-called ‘sexualisation of culture’ debate, the BBFC have obscured a more fundamental shift in their purpose and remit during the Cooke era.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2016 09:00
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 00:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/56711
DOI: 10.1080/17400309.2014.982910

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