When you’re a heterosexual male like myself and you’re watching a bad movie, at some point you inevitably think “the only thing that can save this film is if it has female nudity”. Now imagine that as you’re watching, the clouds suddenly part, a brilliant light shines into your living room and a choir of angels serenades you with a canticle signaling God has granted your wish: a beautiful naked woman appears on screen.
But something is wrong. A frisson of doubt passes over your now clammy skin. As you stare at your TV you realize that all of the “naughty bits” or “good parts” or “t & a” or “the unmentionables” or “the twins” are blurred out. Instead of a pair of breasts winking at you, you see an undulating square of color that seems to repeat in a mechanized voice, “denied, denied, denied”, thus making this the single worst movie watching experience of your life, even worse than having to sit through anything with Julia Roberts in it.
A few weeks ago I was watching a 70s martial arts movie called The Bodyguard starring Sonny Chiba. Quick review: dull, confusing, bad fight scenes. The movie just happens to have several scenes of topless women in it which were blurred out by Digiview Productions, the company that packaged and sold the movie. Apparently, Digiview thinks they’re my mother.
Did I need to see the exposed breasts? No. I Wanted to, but didn’t need to. Were they going to change my opinion of the movie? No, the movie was bad start to finish with or without naked women.
My problem is with the censorship. Any creative endeavor be it a novel, a painting, a sculpture, a movie, a song, whatever; needs to be controlled by the artist. The artist decides how they want their piece to look, sound or read. We as the patrons then decide on a personal level whether we like it, dislike it, are offended or don’t care. Digiview Productions doesn’t have the right to decide what is acceptable to the general public. You could argue that The Bodyguard doesn’t have any artistic value so it doesn’t matter. It was a grind house exploitation flick filled with violence and nudity merely to titillate. But I think it does matter. It was still the film maker’s decision as to what went on the screen. Digiview Productions is no one’s moral compass, nor arbiters of artistic expression.
In fact, let’s look at some other points of the movie that Digiview didn’t have a problem with. There are expletives in the film, including a few F-bombs, but they aren’t edited out. There are many fight scenes including one where a man’s upper arm is shot by so many bullets his arm actually tears off and he stumbles away spurting blood everywhere, Again, Digiview found this to be acceptable. So hitting, kicking, swearing, shooting, stabbing, torture, and murder are all a-ok, but a naked woman? Get thee behind me Satan! Digiview, if you don’t like naked women in movies you should have chosen another film to distribute.
Don’t try to think for me; I’m smarter than you, I can handle it myself. Don’t try to be my moral guide; considering what you find acceptable versus what you don’t, I’m better off following the philosophical teachings of my cat. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal; your movies are being sold at a dollar store for 50 cents and that’s what I think you’re censorship policy is worth.