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  1. #1
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    I am working on a thesis about changing attitudes towards censorship and sexual explicitness in British cinema and need all kind of background information. Does anyone know examples of full frontal nudity in British cinema before "Blow up"? And is "9 Songs" really the first British film to challenge the distinction between general release and hardcore?

  2. #2
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    I'm all for nudity in British Cinemas providing the heating is on

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    Hi Yorick and welcome to the forum.



    No, I don't believe Blow-up was the first film. You need to refer to "What the Censor Saw" by John Trevelyan. He ran the BBFC during the 60s and his autobiography is essential reading for anyone studying sexual imagery in British films during a period of great change. My copy is buried in a box under many other heavy boxes so I can't refer to it and give you a definitive response. I would suggest you go to your college library - even if they don't have a copy, they can get one with the inter-college loan system.



    As for 9 Songs, didn't Intimacy pre-date that by a few years? As far as exhibition is concerned, European films shown in British cinemas have had scenes traditionally defined as 'hardcore' for many years. Ozon's Sitcom was the first I witnessed in 1998 though I can't gurantee it was the first. Then there was Pola X, after that there have been stacks not limited to Baise Moi, Sex and Lucia amongst others.



    This is well trodden territory, so you should be able to find a wealth of text books and articles out there.

  4. #4
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    (Yorick @ Feb 14 2006, 01:06 PM)

    I am working on a thesis about changing attitudes towards censorship and sexual explicitness in British cinema and need all kind of background information. Does anyone know examples of full frontal nudity in British cinema before "Blow up"? And is "9 Songs" really the first British film to challenge the distinction between general release and hardcore?
    So far as I know BLOW UP was the first commercial British film to feature full frontal female nudity. If you buy the DVD you are going to be disappointed as the censor's scissors have been active.



    Jim

  5. #5
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    In terms of a British mainstream movie, and excluding the 'Naked as nature intended' genre, and if you mean full frontal to mean genitalia and not just breasts, I think it is Blow Up... I can recommend 'Censored' by Tom Dewe Matthews as another good place to start.

    As for blurring between hardcore and mainstream, It also depends on your definition of hardcore - and mainstream. Hardcore has been with us for almost as long as celluloid; check out The Good Old Naughty Days for the evidence; film from the tens and twenties still getting an 18R(Sex shop only) certificate. While there has been an increase in nudity and the depiction of sex acts over the years in the mainstream, the filming of actual sex acts in the mainstream has yet to happen - in artshouse, yes, but not mainstream...as far as I know !!

  6. #6
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    (arty-dave @ Feb 14 2006, 01:27 PM)

    I'm all for nudity in British Cinemas providing the heating is on
    Tried it once but, the lass with me said its better without Cola, its the Ice you know.

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    I knew him Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy:



    Hamlet Act V Scene I - A churchyard

  8. #8
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    Hi sanndevil,



    thank you very much, your answer was of great help. I'll check for Trevelyan's book. It is obviously a must.



    Yorick

  9. #9
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    (penfold @ Feb 14 2006, 02:44 PM)

    In terms of a British mainstream movie, and excluding the 'Naked as nature intended' genre, and if you mean full frontal to mean genitalia and not just breasts, I think it is Blow Up... I can recommend 'Censored' by Tom Dewe Matthews as another good place to start.

    As for blurring between hardcore and mainstream, It also depends on your definition of hardcore - and mainstream. Hardcore has been with us for almost as long as celluloid; check out The Good Old Naughty Days for the evidence; film from the tens and twenties still getting an 18R(Sex shop only) certificate. While there has been an increase in nudity and the depiction of sex acts over the years in the mainstream, the filming of actual sex acts in the mainstream has yet to happen - in artshouse, yes, but not mainstream...as far as I know !!
    The R18 certificate for The Good Old Naughty Days wasn't because of the nudity - its because of the graphic nature of many of the films depicted - hardcore sex.



    Actually, the BBFC have only given a certificate for cinema screening. The R18 was given for a run at the Other Cinema (unless my memory is lapsed and it was the Prince Charles cinema, but I don't think so) a couple of years ago.



    The R18 meant the cinema had to operate as a private cinema for the run, and it effectively means that any dvd could only be sold in liscensed sex shops as you say. Its probably not worth the hassle for Metro Tartan who hold the UK rights.



    Easier for those interested to buy it in from the US. The hardcore material includes ejaculations and beastiality. I really can't see it coming out here at this time.



    However, its interesting to note that the BBFC did pass the film Ai No Corrida (In the Realm of the Senses), a Japanese film from 1976, which has been screened on Film 4 and is available in the UK on video and dvd. It includes a lot of rather graphic unsimulated sex as well as nudity. Its famous for its use of the previously taboo errection, and ejaculation shot.



    The only shot that was optically adjusted was one where a man touched a child's genitals. The film is somewhere in the realm of art-porn rather than porn proper (although the difference is a matter for pseudo-intellectuals to debate). Hope that helps.



    Robert

  10. #10
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    (penfold @ Feb 14 2006, 02:44 PM)

    In terms of a British mainstream movie, and excluding the 'Naked as nature intended' genre, and if you mean full frontal to mean genitalia and not just breasts, I think it is Blow Up...
    Didn't some of the old silents include nudity, before anyone thought about censoring films?



    Steve

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    (avalard @ Feb 21 2006, 09:01 PM)

    The R18 certificate for The Good Old Naughty Days wasn't because of the nudity - its because of the graphic nature of many of the films depicted - hardcore sex.



    Actually, the BBFC have only given a certificate for cinema screening. The R18 was given for a run at the Other Cinema (unless my memory is lapsed and it was the Prince Charles cinema, but I don't think so) a couple of years ago.


    It was also shown as part of the London Film Festival a couple of years ago. NFT1 was packed!



    For those who dabble in peer-to-peer downloading, there seems to be a copy doing the rounds.

  12. #12
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    (Steve Crook @ Feb 22 2006, 09:45 AM)

    Didn't some of the old silents include nudity, before anyone thought about censoring films?



    Steve
    Yes, but not in mainstream Britain AFAIK....there were presumably British porn films for private consumption, and nudity in pre-Hays era Hollywood (eg Ben Hur [it's classical and religious, so it must be OK] in glorious two-strip Technicolor) and on the continent (eg Metropolis) but I can't think of any British examples.

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