A couple of new pieces of news, that have come to light over the past few days, that I thought I should announce and discuss with you all, regarding two very controversial shockers:
A SERBIAN FILM is to be given a censored US cinema release, in mid-May, courtesy of Invisible Pictures, despite previous press releases to the contrary. The uncut release will only be available to view, by US audiences, via FlixFling - a kind of US version of pay-per-view. No details have been announced as to how cut the film will be, but I suspect it won't be vastly different to the already released UK DVD/Blu-Ray version that is now being sold for just £8 in branches of HMV as of right now.
The reason for the US having a cut release, is due to the news that Sitges Film Festival itself, and its director Angel Sala, have been charged with the exhibition of child pornography, after the festival screened the uncut edition of A SERBIAN FILM last year! The law's in Spain regarding child pornography, appear to be far more extreme in their definition, compared with the US or UK. As such, Sala is facing a prison sentence and/or a heavy and extensive fine, if he is convicted.
The laws in Spain state that "no simulation, no real footage, and no audio or visual depiction of any kind of material that deals with child pornography must be depicted in any format, nor edited to simulate any kind of explicit sexual material featuring a child/children".
As A SERBIAN FILM does feature material that is borderline child pornography, it is understandable why the Spanish authorities are commencing legal proceedings. The true test of the law, will however, only come when the authorities demonstrate if a puppet of a newborn baby being sodomised, and/or the aural effects that same sequence incorporates, constitutes "child pornography".
Whatever the result, this is a film that is going to be the 21st Century's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1979, Ruggero Deodato).
And talking of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, Deodato is working on a censored version for a new Hi-Definition master, to be released in the UK on Blu-Ray (and possibly DVD) by Shameless Films in the near future.
The film is being re-edited by Deodato himself, to remove the animal cruelty sequences, which have plagued the film's notoriety for over 30 years. Deodato has been quoted on several occasions, stating that he is unhappy with the animal-cruelty footage, and is hesitant to allow this material to be edited out by censors, or to have the film constantly banned outright. His intention is therefore to prepare a new, alternative version, which keeps the film's integrity, but minus the graphic animal killings. Alas, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is not CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, without the animal-cruelty, and even as reprehensible as the footage may be, it was filmed over 30 years ago. No one is going to be able to bring the animals back to life, and it won't matter to hardcore fans of extreme cinema, that said material is now being cut. If anything, the censoring of the notorious material, is likely to anger fans of the film, irrespective of their moral stance.
Still, it is hoped that the HD master will be of a complete version, that may then be released elsewhere around the globe in the future, if not in the UK.
For those of you waiting for my article on pornography, it is still in the works, and will appear in due course, I promise.