So, I don't write about movie-related news often, mostly on account of the movies I'm interested in either being obscure enough to avoid my attention until I find the DVD somewhere, or have been out for a while. This time, though, I figured it'd be relevant to my interests to discuss something that just came up.
Now, my home country doesn't have the habit of banning movies, well, not any more, anyway, they famously banned Life Of Brian back in the 70's, leading to the movie's tagline reading "Too funny for Norwegians" in Sweden. Nowadays, though, this doesn't happen too often, the last movie that was banned was Ichi The Killer, back in 2001. Not sure about that one, but it's been too long since I saw it to formulate exactly what irks me about it. Maybe I'm just not a fan of this whole banning movies business.
Anyway, the dudes and dudettes responsible for such things have stirred again, this time banning A Serbian Film, citing Norwegian laws as they pertain to portrayal of intense violence and the sexualization of minors. Normally, films that aren't released in the theater aren't banned, and the distributors are kept responsible for following Norwegian laws in everything they put into the country, but A Serbian Film apparently was enough to get them to bring out the big guns. I haven't seen A Serbian Film, although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't even a little curious about this film at this point. However, having seen Cigarette Burns, I do believe I will err on the side of caution in this matter.
So, on the topic of banning movies, well, I don't like it. People in the western world in general when people try to ban books, or other media, but movies and games are still treated like this. I'm thinking it's partially because they're newer media, and partially because they are believed to be more visceral, if you like. It has also been pointed out that the ban might be counterproductive, on account of filesharing and such methods, of course, that could be said of any material that can be converted to some variation of a digital file, but the point still works. Also, I'd go so far to say that such a ban will lead to the wrong people seeing this movie. See, while the number of video store clerks with a detectable conscience I've met in my day is rather low, I'm pretty sure they exist, and I'm equally certain that the number of bittorrent clients with a conscience is lower, if at all in the positive. As far as I figure, the ban will probably attract two types of people, film geeks with morbid curiosity and junior-high teenagers with equal or greater morbid curiosity.
Then again, it never really was all that much about "someone think of the children," like so many media certificate cases seem to be, as it's more of a case of Norwegian Law which makes it lighter on the nonsensical alarmist, a la when fundamentalist Christians got the impression that His Dark Materials, a cornerstone in my youth reading by the way, was of the devil and should get banned and so on and so forth.
Astute readers may have noticed that I'm flip-flopping a bit about what I think about this, and you'd be right in your observations, mostly since I'm a bit hesitant to defend this thing because, from what I can hear, this movie... may have earned the reputation, and, if one approves of such measures, ban. Oh well, thems the news.