In 2008, film critic Jenny McCartney warned about the growing darkness and violence of the movie industry and the fact that children are watching this soul-corrupting trash. The following is excerpted from “Our Attitude to Violence Is Beyond a Joke,” The London Telegraph, July 26, 2008: “But the greatest surprise of all--even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic--has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film [Batman: The Dark Knight]. ... The Dark Knight, however, has been rated 12A by the British Board of Film Classification, which means that although the BBFC believes it is best suited to children aged 12 and over, any under-12 can see it provided he or she is accompanied by an adult. Cinemas are even holding parent-and-baby screenings.
The 12A certificate, a relatively recent innovation, is a piece of fudge designed to deflect responsibility from the BBFC on to British parents. ... In 2002, the BBFC took a stand on Spider-Man, a hugely hyped Hollywood release: it decided that it contained unsuitable levels of violence for under-12s, and therefore awarded it a ‘12’ certificate, meaning that under-12s should not be allowed into cinemas to see it. A public storm erupted; children and many parents were furious; and a number of councils announced their intention to defy the ban.
At first the BBFC stoutly defended itself, saying that ‘Hollywood has carried out an aggressive worldwide marketing campaign aimed at young children when the film is not suitable for them.’ And then, fed up with being everyone’s most hated Aunt Sally, it invented the 12A certificate, which translates as a fed-up, institutional shrug of the shoulders. It’s been busy shrugging ever since. Spider-Man now looks like Bambi when set next to The Dark Knight. ... The intensity of violence in The Dark Knight is a grimly logical progression from the sort of distilled brutality that has rapidly become the norm in films rated 15 and 18: the only difference is that now small children are permitted to watch it, too. ... Increasingly, extreme screen violence is used not as a necessary adjunct to a greater point, but as the pleasurable point in itself.”
(Friday Church News Notes, July 27, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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