The BBFC is a mysterious organisation. They hold so much potential power over the film industry in the UK, and yet we know next to nothing about them and their practices behind what is a very impressive wooden door on the west side of London’s swanky Soho Square.
When I was invited to a one-off screening at their headquarters, therefore, I jumped at the opportunity, with Pulp Fiction on offer in their private screening room and a brief intro from one of the classification, detailing the cuts that were initially made to the movie when it first hit cinemas in the mid-1990s.
With the then head of the board very strict on drugs, while Pulp Fiction was on the whole fit to be passed at 18, one particular scene – John Travolta’s Vincent Vega injecting heroin – was deemed a little too graphic, with a needle both piecing his skin before blood mixed with the milky liquid drug. Returning to Quentin Tarantino with the option of reframing the shot to avoid such an illicit portrayal of drug use, the director accepted the changes and had the film passed at ‘18’.
As governmental and public perception of drugs advanced, however, a change of stance at the top of the BBFC saw later deemed such sequences would not excite or promote drug users or drug use any more than others, and on the whole the film did not glamorise the illegal behaviour, all meaning now, we sit now on the eve of an uncut release.
Shortly hitting Blu-ray for the first time, and in it’s full, unadulterated glory, in the basement of the BBFC we sat through Pulp Fiction in the very seats where The Human Centipede 2 had been decried just weeks previous.
The BBFC have proclaimed they will be doing more to involve the blogging community in the coming months, so we eagerly hope to bring you more from with inside their towers. In the meantime, be safe in the knowledge, that some of the most switched on and knowledgeable minds on film are in charge of popping ratings guidelines on releases for a long time to come.