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Loach on Censorship

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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.”

Oh, also:

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.”

Hear, hear.

(via Dave Itzkoff.)

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