Film censorship in Britain: moments of crisis, 1970-2000

Wardle, Tanya (2012) Film censorship in Britain: moments of crisis, 1970-2000. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation will be assessing film censorship in Britain. It will examine the role of the British Board of Film Censors (later Classification), during three periods of crisis, during the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s. Within these chapters I will discuss films that have caused debate in terms of censorship. This will include A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1972) and The Devils (Russell, 1971) two films of the 1970s which many fiercely objected to, most notably the Festival of Light on grounds of lose sexual morals. I will also address several films noted in the Video Nasties debate in the 1980s, discussing the problem of uncensored films and how this was received by right wing newspapers in terms of film in the home. The chapter on the 1990s looks into Natural Born Killers (Stone, 1994) and Child’s Play Three (Bender, 1991), further developing the discussion of the media reception and its influence over film censorship on Britain. Throughout this I will establish that censorship collectively concerns a range of moral positions, vested interests, individuals and public institutions. The dissertation will explore this topic by drawing upon both primary and secondary sources: textual analysis, websites, published books and articles. These sources will be used to support and theorise how British censorship has dealt with moral panics whose causes were very different, but whose effects were remarkably similar – a public loss of confidence in the BBFC. By writing on the history of film censorship in Britain over this period, I intend on assessing the development of censorship, changing boundaries of permission and the policies and practices of the BBFC during the three decades. The conclusion will suggest that censorship is a reactive and ongoing process which involves complex responses to changes in the social climate, in which the print media has a significant role to play.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 15:18
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32

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