Wednesday 29 July 2009

Widdy foams at the mouth

Ann Widdecombe has blundered into the debate over the film Antichrist with a totally unsurprising rant in her Express column. It is almost guaranteed that she hasn't seen the film, although, unlike Christopher Hart, she isn't stupid enough to admit that.

The column isn't posted on the Express website, but this is it:

Hardcore pornography should not be shown at cinemas so why is Antichrist...deemed suitable for an 18 classification?

Errr because it isn't 'hardcore pornography'?

Have our censors become so inured to the extreme material paraded before them that they no longer recognise pornography when they see it?

No. As their recent R18 certificate for, ahem, Granny the Tranny shows.

An 18 certificate is supposed to mean not suitable for children, not unsuitable for adults as well.

Well if you think it is 'unsuitable' for you as an adult, don't watch it. The BBFC guidelines for an 18 certficate state, with some (mainly criminal) exceptions:

the BBFC’s guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment.

Quite right too. But Widdy goes on:

Doubtless the makers relish the publicity but if enough local authorities refuse to sanction it for public showing then it might hit them where it hurts them most - in the profit margins.

It is almost guaranteed that Lars von Trier would find articles like these highly amusing. And it is equally likely that the film has gained at the box office from the publicity. But really, this was always a niche film and its opening weekend takings of £99,092 shows that - it's only being shown in 38 cinemas. Compare that to the 600 showing the new Harry Potter which made £19.7m in its first weekend.

Newspapers should publish a list of shame, naming those authorities who allow it a screening in their cinemas.

Yes they should - then we can all find out where we can see it.

This film isn't avant garde, it isn't experimental, it isn't challenging: it is just the sort of porn you might reasonably expect to find hidden away in sleazy backstreet shops for consumption by the dirty mackintosh brigade.

Yes, that is what she really thinks. And she gets £55,000 a year for vigorous intellectual insights like that. It does seem curious that she seems more concerned about an erect penis and - shock - a married couple depicted having sex, than she seems to be about the well-publicised violence.

And from the descriptions, 'challenging' seems quite an apt word for the film. But to describe it as wanking material seems totally bizarre.

In his review, the Telegraph's Sukhdev Sandhu referred to:

the foaming-mouthed witch burners of the popular press out in full, end-of-the-world effect. It is, they hiss and scream with the moral certainty of which only the most self-regarding ideologues are ever capable, a work of pornography.

Ann Widdecombe as a 'foaming-mouthed witch burner'?

Surely not.

1 comment:

  1. Widdecombe's a strange one (yes, I know I'm stating the bleeding obvious there).

    What I mean is that she is clearly a woman capable of intelligent analysis. Yet when it comes to something like this her brain turns to mush. Either that or she is so immoral that she will write any old crap that she doesn't believe, but I prefer the former explanation.

    Could this crack in her psyche have anything to do with, gasp, her religious beliefs?? Is it just possible that succumbing to belief in the supernatural causes an otherwise functioning brain to occasionally short circuit?

    Lock 'em up and throw away the key says I. But only after you've thrown the book at 'em.


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