Tracey Emin’s controversial teenage film gets special sub-18 screening

TraceyEmin.jpgA while ago we talked about Tracey Emin withdrawing her movie Top Spot from distribution due to the BBFC classing it as an 18 movie when she had created it for teenagers. The reason from the previous article:

It all seems to hang on one scene of a suicide, and there is talk that it shows someone how to carry out an effective suicide. This definitely goes against the BBFC rules, but Tartan goes on to point out that The Virgin Suicides shows this just as effectively but with a number of teenagers, and this received an 18 certificate.

The BBC carry this story today:

…has been granted a special licence by a London council so it can be seen by an under-18 audience…

…Westminster Council has now given the film a one-off licence to screen it to an invited group of 16-year-old girls.

The screening on 12 March will be followed by a discussion on the film.

It surprises me that a license can be obtained to bypass the BBFC certification. I never realised that local councils could do this. Whatever the legalities, it’s great news that her movie is going to be seen by the audience it was intended for.

“Top Spot brilliantly captures the casual, deadly serious world of the teenage girl,” [Miranda] Sawyer said.

“It was given the wrong certificate by the British Board of Film Classification and now, finally, here is a chance to see it and make up your own mind.”

Festival director Rachel Millward said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to show this hard-hitting account.

“Finally, this film will be seen by the audience it is intended for and hopefully the discussion afterwards will reveal what the intended audience actually think.

“Finally we will hear from the teenagers, rather than talk about them.”

The film is being shown as part of the Birds Eye View Film Festival, which is dedicated to women film-makers.

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7 thoughts on “Tracey Emin’s controversial teenage film gets special sub-18 screening

  1. Who wants to watch movie about suicides or drugs for that matter? Sorry, I just don’t get it….I saw Leaving Las Vegas once, and all I could think of was how stupid of me to sit and watch this pathetic loser drag his life around for hours, before he died at the end.
    Do we really need to show this movie to high school students?

  2. Cheers for that James, never knew about that before.

    The BBFC state “Contains strong sex references and suicide” for the film.

    Adam, Requiem for a Dream was a harrowing movie, one of the most harrowing I’ve seen in a long time. It dragged the characters through the worst of life and you along with them. Excellent movie and I think a bit of a DVD\Video hit here.

  3. Local councils in the UK have always been able to impose their own certificates if they disagree with the BBFC’s ruling. It’s possible in theory for one council to ban a film that another council has decided can be shown with a 15 rating and which the BBFC has decided should have an 18. Or else a council can allow the screening of a film the BBFC has refused. I don’t know how often this rule is acted on, but it’s there.

    Video/DVD ratings, on the other hand, are statutory and local councils can’t change them.

    In any case, the film got shown on TV. If someone under the age limit wanted to see it, there was nothing to really stop them doing do, whatever the BBFC said.

  4. You know, I’m really tired of critics always coming out and saying how bad movies are. EVERY time a new movie comes out, it gets a bad review. I see lots of good movies, and I’m sure this one is good too, but they always have a critic to say something dumb about it. They say this movie is bad, but Finding Neverland is supposed to be soooo great and that movie looked like a piece of crap! It just gets on my nerves when they give good movies bad reviews.

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