peerpee wrote:They should draw the line at horsefalls that took place on the date the legislation was introduced. In this instance, it's a close call (1980!)
The legislation was passed in 1937! In fact, I think it's the oldest bit of specifically content-related legislation that's still on the statute book.
Jonathan S wrote:
While I feel much the same as Finch and david hare about movie horsefalls, the BBFC's position seems ironic when a large percentage of the UK population watch and actively encourage - with suitable crocodile tears - more or less predictable (so on some level intentional) fatal horsefalls
every year. Coming to a screen near you next Saturday in fact! And sadly it's just the tip of the iceberg...
It's not so much "the BBFC's position" as that of the Animals Act - but even if someone commercially released Grand National footage on video, the Act wouldn't apply because it would clearly qualify for one of its two escape clauses: namely, cruelty that would have happened regardless of the camera's presence.
(The other one is cruelty that's provably simulated, which I think is how Deep Red
got away with it, albeit by a whisker - but the actual cruelty in Heaven's Gate
was both notorious and well documented, so there was very little chance of it getting through unscathed. Not least because this was precisely the sort of thing that the Animals Act was passed to crack down on in the first place - if I remember rightly, it was an outcry over Michael Curtiz's The Charge of the Light Brigade
that led to the legislation being called for.)
Like the 1978 Protection of Children Act, the Animals Act is an absolute bastard to get around because context doesn't provide a legal defence. Or rather, no artistic context beyond the exemptions that are already granted - the law doesn't care if it's Tarkovsky, Cimino or Umberto Lenzi behind the camera.