Charlotte Higgins reporting from Cannes for The Guardian on Ken Loach’s new film, The Angels’ Share:
According to director Ken Loach […] discussions with the film censor entered the “world of surrealism”. He said: “We were allowed seven cunts… but only two of them could be aggressive cunts.”
But Loach’s long-time producer Rebecca O’Brien said it was “offensive” that the film was allowed a maximum of seven instances of the word in order to secure it a 15, rather than an 18 certificate – especially when “we have made films with heavy scenes of torture and with water-boarding and fingernails being pulled out and they have been given a 15 certificate.”
I can hardly imagine the MPAA here in the US giving a film with two or more instances of “cunt” an R rating, let alone anything lower. At least we’re not the only country with a monolithic board that stoops to surreal levels of censorship, I guess.
Finally, Loach makes his case:
“The British middle-class is obsessed by what they call bad language. The odd oath, like a word that goes back to Chaucer’s time, they will ask you to cut. But the manipulative and deceitful language of politics they use themselves. So I think we should re-examine what we mean by bad language and have respect for our ancient oaths and swear words which we all enjoy.”
(via Dave Itzkoff.)