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Old 01-05-2007
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Cool Controversy As Apocalypto Opens Without Restrictions in Italy

Young children will be able to see the bloody scenes in film on decline of Maya. Italy is the only country to permit this. Censors split as one committee member threatens to resign. Criticism from Forza Italia and Daisy Alliance.


ROME – Mel Gibson has done it again. First it was Jesus; now it’s the Maya. But again the focus is blood-stained violence. Italy is the only country not to have censored Apocalypto. Elsewhere, bans are in place for under-15s or under-18s but the 300 copies of the film that will go on release tomorrow in Italy will be open to everyone. The censorship committee splitduring a stormy meeting of the fourth section, which assessed the film, a split revealed by Claudia Caneva, who teaches philosophical anthropology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and sits on the committee representing parents from Catholic schools. “Marida Monaco from the democratic parents’ liaison committee and I requested a ban for under-14s but the two cinema experts and the two film industry representatives voted against it”. There was no psychologist on the committee.

“It’s a scandal. The committee member resigned not long after being appointed and since then there has been a substitute.But there was no stand-in psychologist to see Apocalypto on 19 December”.

The two women wrote to Gaetano Blandini, director general for the cinema at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, threatening to resign if no remedy was found for a situation that “has been going on for some time. These committees safeguard production interests more than they do those of minors. Every week, it is an all-out battle for the parents’ representatives, who end up mathematically in the minority”. “The real problem”, says Mr Blandini, “is that the law is out of date. It is 45 years old. It was passed in 1961 and lays down that the committee’s aim is to safeguard the sensitivity of minors. The current committee was nominated by the former minister Urbani”. The chair is a magistrate then there is a psychologist, an expert on cinema, parents’ and animal rights representatives. Censorship existsbut it doesn’t work”.“Another problem is that members never turn up. They are paid 25 euros gross of tax per session and there are two sessions a week.We can’t expect high qualityotherwise they’d have to be paid more. Once, it took a minister three months to find volunteers. Putting pretence to one side, the problem is that a ban restricts television sales. Even if at a certain time of night, anything goes out”. But would you have banned Mel Gibson? “Me? Yes. I’ve got a nine-year-old son and I’m not letting him go”.

The fall of Maya civilisation is a sequence of severed heads (long shots, notes the distributor, purring over the free publicity), knives thrust into stomachs (but no dismembering, point out Mel fans), slit throats, rapes, torture, massacres of defenceless women and children and beating hearts torn from breasts. Gibson’s latest provocation bombards its audience with explicit violence. Politicians are taking sides and Mel has worked his miracle: both alliances think the same way.“Unlike the US, Germany, Holland, Ireland or Canada, Italy has placed no restriction on this bloodthirsty film. Something is wrong in the control mechanism”, say Daisy Alliance parliamentarian Riccardo Villari. “It is a mistake not to set limits for scenes that could upset children”, says Antonio Tajani, president of the Forza Italia europarliamentarians.

Speaking up for Gibson is Carlo Freccero. The former RaiDue director saw the premiere. “It’s a very interesting film on the violence of a primordial, pre-modern power like today’s. Proof is there in the fact that even the images of Saddam were circulated with a certain indifference and that Bush claimed the dictator’s execution was a milestone for the democracy that the West has taken it upon itself to set up in Iraq”. He finds the film stylistically similar to a videogame.But assessments are never definitive. “I’d like to see it again”.The film’s first massacre, which aims to convey certain basic messages – we are the Maya, a civilisation on the brink of collapse; no more worshipping false gods or plundering nature – is of a fat tapir, perhaps an ancestor of the celebrated character from the Striscia la notizia TV show, the quarry in a crazy hunt through the rain forest.

Valerio Cappelli

English translation by Giles Watson



I don't see the problem. Blood is natural. What do we want? Our children to faint at blood vision? Let's get them used to it as soon as possible.

The more we keep away from children in order to "protect" them will only make them weak.
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Old 01-05-2007
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Exclamation Not only.

The Left-Wing members of the Committee all voted for opening the movie without restrictions; the only ones that were "against" were the representants of the Parents/Teachers Associations and the representants of the Church. They have always been there, in what was once called the "Censorship Committee", always called for restrictions on movies and for cuts. They succeeded in have masterpieces such as "Last Tango in Paris" and "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom" banned for years. Once, they also had the power to impose cuts on movies to release (they ruined for years great movies like George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" or Dario Argento's "Deep Red"; with luck, here in Italy, we can see ALL movies uncut on home video releases, regardless of the rating and/or cuts imposed by the "Committee", because they have no power on Home Video, the "Only on Video" releases have no necessity to receive a rating, and the Home-Video releases of Theatrical ratings must only display on the back the rating given by the "Committee", but nothing else).
It doesn't wonders me one bit. The Committee is an undead relic of the Fascist regime. I am strictly against ALL bans on movies, against ALL cuts, and ALL restrictions. The "Committee" doesn't even works in a "transparent" way like instead, to say, the American MPAA does. At least, MPAA has a website where their rating systems, procedures, and reasons for ratings and restrictions, are explained. The Italian "Committee" doesn't. They file a "Report" that circulates only within the "world of entertainment" and generally casts a good or bad light above the director of the movie, especially if Italian: if an Italian director makes a gory movie that gets an 18 rating (Vision forbidden to those under 18-y-o), he'll difficultly find a producer for other movies.

IMHO, censorship should not exist. Cuts should not exists. This "Control committees" should not exist. "Ratings" shall be self-given by the producers, basing on common sense (it's CLEAR that a movie full of polling eyes and guts shall not be seen under a certain age). As we all gun enthusiasts know, restrictions and prohibition do NOT work, or work in the opposite sense. And this is valid for guns, alcohol, soft drugs, AND movies.

P.S.: The Italian centre-left wing Party called "Margherita" (the "Daisy Alliance", being part of the current Government) has quickly backed away from the controversy, leaving "Forza Italia" and "Alleanza Nazionale", the two major Parties of the Right-Wing coalition, alone in bitching and moaning with their false moralism. The "head honcho" of the "Daisy Alliance", Mr. Francesco Rutelli, who's accidentally also the current Italian "Minister for the Activities of Culture, Arts and Spectacle", has stated today in a press conference that he is not against the T rating given to "Apocalypto" ("T" means "Per Tutti", or "General Audience"), but that he'd personally recommend to affix a tag on the movie posters, asking no admittance to children under 12-Y-O without adult accompanying. Still pretty lame-ass for a former Democratic-Christian, but at these conditions, I might partially agree...
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Old 01-05-2007
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Parents have a right to control what their children are exposed to.

If the parent doesn't mind their child seeing something like this, then they can take them to the theater and watch it.

But a kid shouldn't be able to stop at a theater on his/her way home and see such a film without his/her parents premission.

Parents have certain rights over their children (that is why they are children), this is one of them.


Likewise parents have a right to control if their middle and late age children are exposed to alcohol.
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Old 01-05-2007
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Originally Posted by UZI4U
Parents have a right to control what their children are exposed to.

If the parent doesn't mind their child seeing something like this, then they can take them to the theater and watch it.

But a kid shouldn't be able to stop at a theater on his/her way home and see such a film without his/her parents premission.

Parents have certain rights over their children (that is why they are children), this is one of them.

Likewise parents have a right to control if their middle and late age children are exposed to alcohol.

This, you can rest assured. But parental guidance and movie ratings -ARE- a different thing (much more different than "Republic" and "Democracy" ). In this case, "Apocalypto" shall be "T" rated ("T" rating: "Per Tutti", or "General Audience"), with admittance SUGGESTED only to those above 12-y-o or 14-y-o if without adult guidance, this letting parents decide.

Sure is that this Media storm about the movie looks like made just in the right way you'd want to start a campaign to make the movie have poor audience and poor Box Office success...
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Old 01-05-2007
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Originally Posted by PT-The Italian Commie
This, you can rest assured. But parental guidance and movie ratings -ARE- a different thing (much more different than "Republic" and "Democracy" ). In this case, "Apocalypto" shall be "T" rated ("T" rating: "Per Tutti", or "General Audience"), with admittance SUGGESTED only to those above 12-y-o or 14-y-o if without adult guidance, this letting parents decide.

Explain to me: If it is "suggested", does that mean an 11 year old kid can still walk up, buy tickets and go in, ignoring said suggestion?
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Old 01-06-2007
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Explain to me: If it is "suggested", does that mean an 11 year old kid can still walk up, buy tickets and go in, ignoring said suggestion?

Yesterday, in Rome, a group of kids ranging from 10' to 14 in age -DID- actually walked up, bought tickets and got in, ignoring said suggestions. Today, the newspaper reports their impressions about the movie: nothing special. Less violent than many videogames, movies, or even war reportages on the TV news of 1 p.m. AND, more important, none of those kids have shown signs of having been corrupted, turned into a bloodthirsty violent animal or otherwise shocked or permanently traumatized by the vision of this movie full of "gratuitous violence".

So, yes, that's what I mean, if it's needed to show people how this controversy about "Apocalypto" has been completely made up solely in obedience of the false moralism of the Catholic "cultural spheres" and the Right-Wing political Parties, pushing upon the common terror for the "culture of violence" that has A LOT in common with what we, gun enthusiasts, call "Hoplophobia".
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Old 01-08-2007
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Cool another way to advertise

Looks like that the only thing that happened was to get more people in the cinemas to check it out.



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Old 01-08-2007
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Originally Posted by PT-The Italian Commie
So, yes, that's what I mean, if it's needed to show people how this controversy about "Apocalypto" has been completely made up solely in obedience of the false moralism of the Catholic "cultural spheres"

So you're saying the reason I don't want kids to be able to see movies containing serious moral issues without their parents consent is because I'm... errr... Catholic?

Okay... whatever... have fun with that.

Quote:
pushing upon the common terror for the "culture of violence" that has A LOT in common with what we, gun enthusiasts, call "Hoplophobia".

I happen to be a proud member of the "Culture of violence".

None the less I don't think kids should be able to buy tickets and see a movie containing violence without their parents consent and guidance.

Violence isn't the only issue, either. Sexuality, drugs, and even political philosophy are in the same boat. Parents have a right to control what their younger children are exposed to in those regards, and a child should not be able to buy tickets and see such a film without their parents premission and guidance.



I imagine if half the conservative members of this board made a political movie about the greatness of capitalism and American imperialism, and the evils of communism, and had it released in Italy, you would not object to your (theoretical) 11 year old child going to the theater and seeing it without your premission... In fact probably without you even knowning?
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Old 01-08-2007
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Originally Posted by UZI4U
So you're saying the reason I don't want kids to be able to see movies containing serious moral issues without their parents consent is because I'm... errr... Catholic?

Okay... whatever... have fun with that.

Shalom to you, pal. You don't have half an idea of the interferences of the Catholic Church in everyday's political and social life of my Country. If it was for them, we'd turn back to the Middle Ages and give the Pope its secular power back.

Well, I believe in the principle of a FREE CHURCH IN A FREE STATE, so... not 'till I am alive, assholes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
I happen to be a proud member of the "Culture of violence".

I am not. Because, not surprisingly, I believe that there is NO such thing as a "Culture of violence". That's the way THEY (the Anty lobbies) call it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
None the less I don't think kids should be able to buy tickets and see a movie containing violence without their parents consent and guidance.

Violence isn't the only issue, either. Sexuality, drugs, and even political philosophy are in the same boat. Parents have a right to control what their younger children are exposed to in those regards, and a child should not be able to buy tickets and see such a film without their parents premission and guidance.

It still depends. As in the example: it depends from IF there is actually anything similar in "Apocalypto". People who went to see it say that it isn't any more violent that the TV News.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UZI4U
I imagine if half the conservative members of this board made a political movie about the greatness of capitalism and American imperialism, and the evils of communism, and had it released in Italy, you would not object to your (theoretical) 11 year old child going to the theater and seeing it without your premission... In fact probably without you even knowning?

Surprisingly for you (probably), I would not give a shit. I would beat my (theoretical) son's ass off only in these cases:
# If he does heavy drugs, smokes or abuses of alcohol (note: ABUSES, not a drink on Saturday night: minimum age for alcohol here in IT is 16);
# If he does anything against the law;
# If he turns into a Nazi or a Fascist.

For all the rest, it's his free choice.

And besides, I bet what YOU would do if a movie was released about all crimes committed by, or in the name of, the Capitalism, the "Free Market Economy" and the American diplomacy... so THAT'S like "being in the same boat".

(BTW, in no way I am planning of having children. EVER).
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Old 01-08-2007
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Originally Posted by PT-The Italian Commie
And besides, I bet what YOU would do if a movie was released about all crimes committed by, or in the name of, the Capitalism, the "Free Market Economy" and the American diplomacy... so THAT'S like "being in the same boat".

My policy is simple: No seriously political films until they are 16.

And as for "being in the same boat", that has been my point. All parents have a right to restrict what their children are exposed to generally. That includes (theoretically) you and it includes (someday) me. If you don't care what your children are exposed to, that is (except in extreme cases) your right.

However, if I want to restrict what mine are exposed to that is (except in extreme cases) my right.

That's what "parent" and "child" generally mean.


Quote:
BTW, in no way I am planning of having children. EVER.


I'll never understand this attitude. Forget all the touchy-feely stuff about children for a moment... Doesn't it make logical sense (from your point of view) to pass on your genetic code?


And you do understand, since liberals/leftists/communists have fewer children (there are studies to back it up), liberalism/progressivism/communism are doomed to shrink in population size while conservativism/regressivism/Heinleinism (who generally have more kids) are destined to grow in size?

The end result in any elected political system is the former group losing power and the latter group gaining it.
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