Monday, November 14, 2011

Hey Censorship Board, What the Fuck, Man?! (a.k.a. 5 Stupidest Assumptions the Censorship Board Make About Us)

You would think that I'm used to it by now, growing up in this country and all. But I'm not, even though I took comfort in knowing that they have became a little more lenient as of late, as evidenced by movies like Conan the Barbarian and In Time, to name a few. There were still a lot of censorship, sure. And they were all crudely made.

But still it didn't disrupt the movie watching experience to the point where it's just insulting, and you wouldn't feel like you'd get better value for your money if you had just tear the RM10 note in half. That is, until I went to the premiere of Immortals, barely a week ago. It would appear that I don't get to retain my right to complain since I got to see the movie for free. But that doesn't mean I was any less frustrated than those of you who had to pay.

It just baffles me, why would they do such a thing? It's grossly unfair for us as consumers. I like to think of it this way; you go to McDonald's for lunch, order a cheeseburger, pay full price for it (plus tax), only to have them hold back the cheese, claiming "It's bad for you". So then you'd say, "I don't give a shit. I paid for a cheeseburger, so I want a cheeseburger!" To which they reply, "Not gonna happen, sir. Just have this cheese-free cheeseburger. The cheese isn't that good, anyway. Plus, you'll thank us later."

I have never spoken to anyone on the censorship board, so I don't know if they actually have a shrine in their office where they worship the Three Wise Monkeys. I can't claim to have heard first hand why they're doing what they're doing, I can only guess that it's because they condescend to us, thinking we don't know what's good for us, thinking we don't know the difference between right and wrong.

Apparently they also think that;

#5 We masturbate to what's on the screen, and become serial rapists afterward
"Psst... Can I borrow some lubricant?"
I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I don't care all that much for sex scenes, so I didn't mind when we Malaysians didn't get to see Jake Gyllenhaal humpin' and spankin' Anne Hathaway in Love and Other Drugs [2010]. I don't know what it is, I guess I have no feelings for such things; I don't mind if they show all the love scenes, but even if they decided not to, so what? After all, I don't go to the movies to see other attractive people do what I can't get in real life, anyway.

What pisses me off is how they tend to go crazy with the scissors by cutting off anything and everything that  involves an exposed set of female breasts, even when there are dialogues going on between the characters. I wish I can recall examples of movies where this happened, but it's been going on for so long, all I do now is grunt unsatisfactorily, and try to move on with my life. Which is pretty hard if you knew how big a fan of movies I am.

What are they so afraid of? Are they thinking that if they allow the cinemas to show Freida Pinto naked, I would drop my pants right there and then, and start jacking off in my seat? Are they thinking that I'm gonna run out of the hall with my pants around my ankles and force myself into the next woman I see?

I don't get it. I don't need to tell you that rape and sexual harassment have all been around for as long as there have been mental illnesses, way before there have been cinephiles. So why are movies being singled out?

#4 We learn how to swear from movies
Thank goodness, we have been seeing less of this as of late, although not by much. Apparently those at the censorship board believes that Malaysians are pure and we have no conception as to what swearing is. We are all sweet, demure people who blush whenever we hear such vile words like 'palat'. That is the only explanation I could think of as to why would they censor swear words which, by the way, are often used in context and as a mean for the characters to express themselves.

I'd like to give an example of a local movie, one that I didn't really love, but I thought it was decent and entertaining enough to pass as a movie. That movie was Kongsi [2011]. There was this scene where one of the gangster's life was in danger, and he fled to his people, berating them for not protecting him well enough. I believe the word he used was 'bangsat', but apparently it was so crushing to the souls of our brave men and women at the censorship board, they had to save us from hearing such filth.

Well guess what, I didn't learn how to swear from movies. Swearing isn't good, sure. But they are there for a reason, and they have been around for as long as there have been languages. It's pretty hypocritical not to like hearing swear words in movies, because they were meant to reflect how everyday people talk. And it's a good thing too since it makes them more relatable. I mean, haven't you ever wondered why characters on local TV dramas and movies lack depth? There's one reason for you.

You can't deny writers their artistic license, and still expect them to write believable characters.

#3 We go on murderous rampages after watching violent movies
"Wow, thanks to American Psycho [2000], I now know how to treat women..."
Hi, I'm Mamü. I was somewhere between ten and eleven years old when I first saw Predator [1987] and Terminator II: Judgment Day [1991], both of which are on the list of my all-time favourite movies. Those were just an example, but the point I'm trying to make is, to date I have murdered exactly zero people. Even as a youth, I disliked fighting, I never resorted to violence and I refuse to hurt people even when it was just a kickboxing sparring session.

Even when I did fight as a child, it's because that was the only way I knew how to express myself at the time. That, and hormones. It never had anything to do with my fascination with Bruce Lee.

And I'm sure that's not unique just to me. You see, generally-speaking we as movie-goers understand the importance of watching a movie in its proper context. Therefore we understood when that psycho killer chopped off that woman's head with an axe, it's not because she liked it, it's because that dude is a... Well, a psycho. But I guess somewhere in the editing room, a board member must have gasped and said, "Oh no, we can't show this! What if the audience think the Malaysian government condones this kind of behaviour?!"

#2 We become heathens and forget all about religion
"Wow... This hantu raya movie is really making a lot of sense. All hail Ahmad Idham!"
Now this is something I don't blame the Censorship Board entirely. If anything, the blame also goes to those Islamic fundamentalist-wannabes who can only recite a sentence or two from the Quran and Hadith, but the way they blabber on, you would think they have literally gone to hell and back, so they feel this need to be a Holier-than-thou and look down upon everybody else as they tell us to repent.

Oh wait, I forgot one more thing that also deserves a fair share of the blame; that part of the demographic that consists of nothing but dumbasses. In this demographic are all those superstitious people who asks for permission from ghosts when they need to take a piss by the roadside.

But more importantly, this is more than just about those superstitious people. There's also that group of people with, for lack of a better term, the kampung and rempit mentality. These people feel the need to emulate everything they see on screen, hence giving douchebag activists an excuse to blame movies for the moral decay of the society. But a lot of these are merely misdirected anger.

Now, I'm not a shining example of a Muslim, not by a long shot. But I never once forget the fact that I am one. Any hanky-panky I may (or may not) have done in the past, I blame nothing but my libido. It's like this, whenever there's that movie where the protagonist goes from one boyfriend/girlfriend after another, having lots of free sex in between in search of true love, I never walked out of the cinema thinking, "Maybe that's what I should be doing all along..."

I know that it was just a movie, that's their lifestyle and culture, not mine.

#1 We appreciate what they're doing
"Wow... I just love how they cut 15 minutes of the running time. Best RM10 I've ever spent!"
We don't.


Zulfahmi said...

I agreed... I hate censorship and it's a violation of our rights as costumers... It's like when at the restaurant, we ordered and paid for extra chicken on our plates but never got them...

Something also should be done with the subtitles...

I watched Immortals -

"disarm" : penggal tangan?????


Elisha Batuncang said...

Censorship was getting much lenient these days. I'm saying this because lately, during my visit in the cinema, my eyes and ears were feasted with "passionate" scenes, gore, curses, etc.

Mamü Vies said...

You obviously didn't see Immortals, Elisha...

bendan said...

LOL~ good one. *laughing*

Isaac Tan said...

couldnt agree more bro. And they wonder why the pirated DVD industry is doing well..

Az said...

To be honest, I don't really mind the censorship. Maybe because most of the time, when I get to the super extremely detailed gore scenes (like the slit throat scene in Eastern Promises), I usually close my eyes anyway. And as for the sexual / nude scene, I don't really feel comfortable watching an exposed woman body with many people around. I may sound like I am exaggerating, but the thought that some guys in the cinema hall may actually be aroused is gross!!!

Mamü Vies said...

I can understand the whole sensitivity with nude scenes and whatnot. But if there are dialogues going on, at the very least be a little creative with the censorship. Put on that mosaic effect, or something. Don't cut the whole thing...

But can't disagree with you about that. Most guys here are immature about these things. I get really annoyed when I recommended Game of Thrones to some friends, and their only response was "Best, banyak romen"

I'll be like, "ugh, grow some fuckin' culture, dude!"

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