A London filmmaker is trolling the British Board of Film Certification, which is the official censorship authority that bans and rates movies according to arguably archaic standards. The BBFC was founded in 1912 to ensure that British film remain virtuous and without “indecorous dancing,” “references to controversial politics” and “men and women in bed together.” Okay, we’re not sure how much water these guidelines hold in today’s British film industry considering that even Harry Potter doesn’t live up to them. Although they presumably let all the indecorous dancing slide in today’s films, the BBFC is still ruffling feathers with their stringent regulations.
Every movie released in the U.K. must receive a a certificate from the board, and it will cost you £7.09/minute to get your movie rated. To put that in perspective, indie filmmakers are shelling out an average of £1000 per movie from their already limited budgets.
Charlie Lyne, a filmmaker and film critic, crowdsourced funds to create a movie for the express purpose of having the BBFC sit through and rate the film. It’s an exciting coming-of-age tale about two attractive young people making their love work despite the odds…just kidding. It’s a single, unbroken shot of white paint drying on a brick wall.
Lyne raised £5,936, which was enough to submit about 10 hours of wall footage to the board. The filmmaker took on this project to raise the question of whether government agencies should be allowed to regulate an entire art form.
The BBFC evaluated Lyne’s movie and it received a “U” rating, which means that there is no material likely to offend or harm. We can only suspect that Lyne, knowing the BBFC wouldn’t watch all 607 minutes, snuck in some heinously explicit material in the last three.