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Right, what was I going to rant about?

Posted: October 8th, 2002, by Chris H

Sweet Sixteen. I went to see it last night and it’s excellent. Ken Loach is a supreme manipulator of emotion. If he wasn’t allergic to happy endings he’d be bigger than Spielberg. Him and his damned inconvenient integrity. The film is great and, according to the BBFC, it is as dangerous to children as the film I nearly went to see last night, Baise-Moi. The French film with the (allegedly) gleeful amounts of rape and murder. They both get 18 certificates but if you watch Sweet Sixteen you would be hard pressed to see why. There’s no nudity, the drug use is all off-screen and the small amount of violence is sensitively and inexplicitly handled. But it is as dangerous as Baise-Moi because it contains some words, one in particular, that the censors don’t like. Can you guess what it is? Yes, it’s the one for everyone’s favourite piece of anatomy. I have to say that as the film is set in Greenock, not far from diskant tower and as Ken Loach has used local actors, I know just how well he’s done at capturing his characters’ voices. And yes they are saying “cunt” a lot. Big Deal. The kids throwing fireworks outside my window are too. Why is it that films about growing up are always kept away from the age group they are about? I won’t get onto how I think this shows the BBFC to be suffering from geography- and class-based bias, just this: Why not use a combination of the new 12A rating and the consumer advice now on every poster (i.e. “contains strong language”) to let folk decide for themselves, rather than class a well-made and touching (hate that word) film alongside Zombie Flesh Eaters?

If nothing else, it devalues the 18 certificate as a guide to those seeking out morally reprehensible filth.

Get Your War On. The Guardian should syndicate it instead of that Doonesbury column I can never spot the punchline of. Haven’t laughed more at work for too long.



Chris H

Chris was hit by a brick as a child and lost the popular culture part of his brain. This affliction means he is only able to listen to obscure japanese noise bands and watch films with overtly complex storylines. His other interests include skulking, editing documents, taunting policemen and entering undecipherable handwriting contests. He lives in an enormous underground laboratory where he spends many hours trying to un-invent television.

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