Access all Areas? Censorship and Cult Cinema in the Digital Era

Emma Pett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The neoliberal character of western film regulation has, across the last two decades, oscillated between the apparently contradictory poles of liberalising and restrictive regulatory practices. Beginning within a comparative analysis of US and UK regulatory contexts, this chapter draws out some of the key differences between the practices of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC); in particular, it considers the impact of their policies on the cultification of violent and controversial forms of cult cinema, and examines how these two institutions have responded to an increasingly divided cultural landscape by catering to both ends of the spectrum of popular opinion, albeit in very different ways. Developments in the regulation of cult cinema are also considered in the context of changing patterns of film distribution and issues around digital piracy. The second half of the chapter then discusses the regulation and circulation of Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009) Grotesque (Koji Shiraishi, 2009), A Serbian Film (Srdjan Spasojevic, 2010), The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (Tom Six, 2011) and Hate Crime (James Bressack, 2012), as case studies for considering whether or not instances of film censorship are capable of generating the same levels of subcultural cachet as they did in the pre-digital age. These shifts in regulatory processes and policies, which have played out against the rapidly evolving backdrop of digital distribution networks and the rise of Netflix culture, are thus evaluated in terms of their significance in relation to the cultification of cinema in the digital era.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema
EditorsJamie Sexton, Ernest Mathijs
PublisherRoutledge
ISBN (Electronic)978-1138950276
ISBN (Print)1138950270
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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