Thursday, August 7, 2008

a speedy response

Dear Jo,
Thank you for your email regarding The Dark Knight.
I fully understand the points you have made. Our 15A rating means that webelieve this film to be suitable for persons over 15. A person under thatage may be brought into the cinema if they are accompanied by an adult,whom we would assume to be a parent. Most parents take their responsibilityvery seriously, but, unfortunately some do not, such as anyone bringing afour or five year old in. As a very experienced classifier colleague ofmine here says about that: 'Which number do they not understand, the one orthe fifteen!'.
Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about irresponsible parents,except to try and publicise the issue.
You may not be aware of the consumer advice we put on our website for TheDark Knight, which went as follows:
'Strong weapons and physical violence, brutal but not graphically depicted.Strong air of menace throughout. Some references to physicalviolence/cruelty may disturb some younger viewers.
Thanks again for contacting us.
John KelleherDirector, IFCO
Irish Film Classification Office16 Harcourt Terrace, Dublin 2, Ireland
tel: +353 1 799 6100 fax: +353 1 676 1898email:

Post Scipt - in response to this I suggested a rethink was necessary as it meant that small children were in effect unprotected by the censor. He replied (immediately!) that rethinks are ongoing, but he couldn't see the cinemas being able to carry out my suggestion of a cap on children being brought in to 15s films, saying that some people find their guidelines unnecessarily strict already.

A nice man!


Darren said...

I'll be brief because I want to come back to your original post when I have more time.

I'm very impressed with their swift response and it seems to be a considered reply too, not a form letter.

Fair play to both you and John Kelleher.

Holemaster said...

If only the NCT were as respectful.

Send him a cake Jo. Imagine he got one of your brownies in a little box to the office. Or eh maybe that'd be mental.

jothemama said...

Hmm, it was nice, but I'm not sure it was cakeworthy... and you make it sound like you're suggesting I send him a poo :)

morgor said...

I'm quite impressed.

That's a very reasonable personal and friendly response.

He's got a point though, if a parent goes in with a fourteen year old boy because he/she thinks it will be acceptable, that's their call.

Besides Batman is a superhero, all teenage boys will want to see it.

Lottie said...

I have to say - I agree that the responsibility lies with the parents on this one.

jothemama said...

But Lottie, where does that leave all the kids with irresponsible, uncaring, STUPID parents? Who cares for them?

They should be everyone's responsibility.

Did you see the comment on the other post, about the crying three and five year old and the blase dad? They don't have a parent who's caring for them, so we leave them to it because the cinema's won't say no on the door and the censor is only a guideline. It doesn't sit right with me at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we all have issues about parenting that we are not happy with but to each their own.

Ultimately, this is not an issue of bad/neglective parenting so should be left alone in my book.

jothemama said...

What's not an issue of bad parenting? I don't quite understand.

The way I see it, parents who will look at a 15A film and be able to judge it appropriate or not for their child don't need a censor, just the guidelines.

The people who ignore those guidelines need a censor to protect their children as far as I'm concerned. That should be the point of the censor.

Nick McGivney said...

voodoolady: to each their own doesn't work. If it did the law would be redundant. Unfortunately we need higher guidance because not everyone can be as smart as they need to be all the time. About three years ago, 16 year old parents in the UK killed their pre-toddler child because they were unaware that salt is a terrible additive, and altogether wrong for a child. Their knowledge is more rounded now, but their baby is still dead. We need a sensor.

Jo: fair fucks for jumping in your swiftboat on this one. Don't underestimate the power of the comunity. The disability lobby in the US just now got Dreamworks to pull their trailer for Simple Jack, the Ben Stiller movie 'within' the movie Tropic Thunder, for its inane portrayal of the mentally disabled. Your words can ripple and have a positive effect. J Kelleher is a bit of a dude, in fact. His team have come up with some wonderful and pithy guidance descriptors for some sheer dross (and they even manage to get that across too by times). Donald Clarke worships the ground he walks on, and he gives great radio too. Oops, do I hear a pedestal being scraped out to the square? I've jinxed him now. You'll see...