X rating

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BBFC X 1951-1970.png
BBFC X 1970-1982.png
Two "X" symbols used by the British Board of Film Classification (1951–1970 and 1970–1982, respectively)

An X rating is a rating used to classify movies that are meant for adults only.

Contents

Australia

The Australian Classification Board (ACB, formerly known as the OFLC), a government institution, issues ratings for all movies and television shows exhibited, televised, sold, or hired in Australia. Material showing explicit, non-simulated sex that is pornographic in nature is rated X18+.

People under 18 may not buy, rent, exhibit, or view these films. The exhibition or sale of these films to people under the age of 18 years is a criminal offence carrying a maximum fine of $5,500. Films classified as X18+ are forbidden from being sold or rented anywhere in the six states of Australia. They are legally available to be sold or hired in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Importing X18+ material from these territories to any of the Australian states is legal, as the constitution forbids any restrictions on trade between the states and territories.

France

Films may be shown in theaters in France only after classification by an administrative commission of the Ministry of Culture. In 1975, the X classification (officially: "pornographic or violence-inciting movies") was created for pornographic movies, or movies with successions of scenes of graphic violence. The commission has some leeway in classification; it may for instance take into account the artistic qualities of a movie not to count it pornographic. Movies with an X rating may only be shown in specific theaters (which hardly exist nowadays in France); they bear special taxes and tax rates, including a 33% tax on revenue.

In 2000, some conservative associations sued the government for granting the movie Baise-moi , which contained graphic, realistic scenes of sex and violence, a non-X classification. The Council of State ruled that the movie should have been rated X. The decision was highly controversial, and some suggested changing the law under which it was rated 18.

United Kingdom

The original X certificate, replacing the H certificate, was issued between 1951 and 1982 by the British Board of Film Censors in the United Kingdom. It was introduced as a result of the Wheare Report on film censorship. From 1951 to 1970, it meant "Extremely graphic, only those aged 16 and over can be admitted," and from 1970 to 1982 it was redefined as meaning "Suitable for those aged 18 and over". The X certificate was replaced in November 1982 by the 18 certificate.

Sometimes the rating of a film has changed significantly over time. For example, the French film Jules and Jim received an X rating in 1962 that was reduced to a PG rating in 1991. [1] In some early cases, films with extreme political content received an X rating. The Battleship Potemkin was refused a certificate for "inflammatory subtitles and Bolshevik propaganda" in 1926, passed X in 1954, and finally rated PG in 1987. [2]

United States

In the United States, the X rating was applied to a film that contained content judged unsuitable for children, such as extreme violence, strongly implied sex, and graphic language. When the MPAA film rating system began in North America on November 1, 1968, the X rating was given to a film by the MPAA if submitted to it, or due to its non-trademarked status, it could be self-applied to a film by a distributor that knew beforehand that its film contained content unsuitable for minors. From the late 1960s to about the mid-1980s, many mainstream films were released with an X rating, such as Midnight Cowboy , Medium Cool , The Girl on a Motorcycle , Last Summer , Last of the Mobile Hot Shots , Beyond the Valley of the Dolls , The Street Fighter , A Clockwork Orange , Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song , Fritz the Cat , Flesh Gordon , Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Comedy , Last Tango in Paris and The Evil Dead . Films that achieved critical and commercial success were later re-rated R after minor cuts, including Midnight Cowboy and A Clockwork Orange. The threat of an X rating also encouraged filmmakers to re-edit their films to achieve an R rating; one notable example of this was the 1987 action film RoboCop , which had to be edited eleven times before it could attain an R rating. [3]

Because the X rating was not trademarked, anybody could apply it to their films, including pornographers, as many began to do in the 1970s. As pornography began to become chic and more legally and commercially tolerated, pornographers placed an X rating on their films to emphasize the adult content. Some even started using multiple X's (i.e. XX, XXX, etc.) to give the impression that their film contained more graphic sexual content than the simple X rating. In some cases, the X ratings were applied by reviewers or film scholars, e.g. William Rotsler, who wrote "The XXX-rating means hard-core, the XX-rating is for simulation, and an X-rating is for comparatively cool films." [4] Nothing beyond the simple X rating has ever been officially recognized by the MPAA. Because of the heavy use of the X rating by pornographers, it became associated largely with pornographic films, so that non-pornographic films given an X rating would have fewer theaters willing to book them and fewer venues for advertising. Many newspapers refused to advertise X-rated films. This led to a number of films being released unrated sometimes with a warning that the film contained content for adults only. In response, the MPAA eventually agreed in 1990 to a new NC-17 rating that would be trademarked, and could only be applied by the MPAA itself. By trademarking the rating, the MPAA committed to defending an NC-17 film charged with violating obscenity laws.

See also

Related Research Articles

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<i>Baise-moi</i>

Baise-moi is a 2000 French crime thriller film written and directed by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi and starring Karen Lancaume and Raffaëla Anderson. It is based on the novel by Despentes, first published in 1993. The film received intense media coverage because of its graphic mix of violence and explicit sex scenes. Consequently, it is sometimes considered an example of the "New French Extremity."

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18 (British Board of Film Classification)

The 18 certificate is issued by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), to state that in its opinion, a film, video recording, or game is suitable only for persons aged 18 years and over. It recommends that no one below that age should be admitted to view a film with an 18 certificate in a cinema, and that 18-rated video recordings should not be sold or rented to anyone below that age.

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British Board of Film Classification British film classification organisation

The British Board of Film Classification is a non-governmental organisation founded by the film industry in 1912 and responsible for the national classification and censorship of films exhibited at cinemas and video works released on physical media within the United Kingdom. It has a statutory requirement to classify all video works released on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and, to a lesser extent, some video games under the Video Recordings Act 1984. The BBFC was also the designated regulator for the UK age-verification scheme which was abandoned before being implemented.

Australian Classification Board

The Australian Classification Board is an Australian Government statutory body responsible for the classification and censorship of films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Australia. The ACB was established in 1970 and was once part of the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), which was dissolved in 2006. The Department of Communications and the Arts now provides administrative support to the ACB and decisions made by the ACB may be reviewed by the Australian Classification Review Board. The ACB now operates under the Commonwealth Classification Act 1995.

The Australian Classification Review Board is a statutory censorship and classification body overseen by the Australian Government. The corporate body is responsible for reviewing classification decisions made by the Australian Classification Board concerning films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Australia. Review decisions need to be initiated by an appeal from a previous applicant, most commonly referred to as "aggrieved party", or a Federal or State Attorney-General.

Finnish Board of Film Classification

The Finnish Board of Film Classification was an official institution of the Finnish Ministry of Education. From 1946 until the end of year 2011, the VET/SFB was responsible for inspecting and rating the content of movies and video games. In the beginning of 2012, the VET/SFB was dissolved and its functions were transferred to the Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Media, likewise operating under the Ministry of Education.

Adults Only or variants refers to

Media regulation in the Republic of Singapore is carried out by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) and effected by various laws.

References

  1. "Jules and Jim", British Board of Film Classification
  2. Case Study:Battleship Potemkin Archived March 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Backstory RoboCop AMC". YouTube. Archived from the original on July 18, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  4. Rotslter, William. Contemporary Erotic Cinema. New York: Penthouse/Ballantine Books, 1973. page 251.