P!*#ing Off The Censors: 100 Years Of The BBFC

In this, the year of our lord 2012 AD, time has granted us a couple of cinematic milestones. Most notably of course is that in 1912 India made its first film and has become, since its humble beginnings, the most productive film corporation in the world. In Britain however, as opposed to becoming the artists the Indians were swiftly producing, we became the censor. Initially not set up as a censoring body, the 1909 Cinematograph Act required cinemas to have licenses from local authorities, for safety reasons. Film, in the early part of the twentieth century had a remarkable tendency of bursting into flames without a second’s hesitation. Following the break neck speed at which cinemas popularity skyrocketed in the 1900’s, numerous fairgrounds and shops had been hastily converted into cinemas. The following year, in 1910 a court ruling determined that the criteria for granting or even refusing a license did not have to be restricted to reasons of health and safety. Thus, the 1909 act in conjunction with the proceeding court ruling enabled the introduction of censorship, and the BBFC was born.

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