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Censorship Government Movies United Kingdom Idle

Filmmaker Forces Censors To Watch 10-Hour Movie of Paint Drying ( 255

An anonymous reader writes: A British filmmaker has forced the people who decide how to censor films to watch a 10-hour movie of paint drying on a wall following a protest fundraising campaign. Charlie Lyne launched a Kickstarter to help raise the money needed to send his 'documentary' of a single shot of paint drying on a wall for consideration as a protest against the 'stronghold' the organisation has on the British film industry. The BBFC charge an initial fee of $144.88 to view a film and decide what certificate to give it, and then and additional $10.15 for each minute that the film lasts. The idea was the more money Lyne could raise via his fundraiser, the longer his paint-drying film could last. The campaign eventually nearly £8,500, meaning he was able to send in a 607 minute video which the examiners had to watch in its entirety.
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Filmmaker Forces Censors To Watch 10-Hour Movie of Paint Drying

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  • Pounds or dollars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ] ['rld' in gap]> on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:27PM (#51375241) Homepage Journal

    Pick a damn unit of currency and stick to it!

    • From TFA:- "the campaign raised £5,936" = approx $8500, so the summary used the right number, but the wrong currency symbol.
    • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:16PM (#51375783)
      Sure thing champ!

      Initial Fee: 3235532.60 Vietnamese Dong
      Fee per minute: 226674.88 Vietnamese Dong
      Campaign raised: 272438646.75 Vietnamese Dong

      All in all, that's a lot of dong!
      • Huh, interesting, that's just what your mom said as well!

    • Who wrote this summary? Oh. Right.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Especially if you're buying fabric. For reference, at the moment £ 1 / m^2 equals $1.20 / yd^2 at current exchange rates.

  • by OakDragon ( 885217 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:30PM (#51375273) Journal
    It will probably sweep the Oscars... as long as it's white or beige paint.
    • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:42PM (#51375417) Homepage
    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      You mean rainbow paint?
    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:00PM (#51375643) Homepage Journal

      .. as long as it's white or beige paint.

      I wonder, is it entirely possible, that there was no racial bias...that all the movies selected actually WERE thought to be better than the movies not selected....

      Or, is it that today, if you have a group of movies made by minorities and non-minorities, you cannot, by merit alone have only consideration of the non-minority movies and categories.

      Do we now have to have a quota of minority movies and actors considered just to have diversity regardless of merit?

      • Once? Sure. But the same thing happened last year, and there were performances both years that those in the industry generally consider worthy of inclusion.

        That's the insidious nature of subtle racism. One event alone might look normal, or at least reasonable, but if you have enough events to show a statistical trend it can betray even the subconscious intentions of the racists. In this case, the hypothesis is that the large numbers of voting academy members added in the 1970s and 1980s, many of whom ar

        • From the web:

          Surprising omissions from the actor race this year included Idris Elba for “Beasts of No Nation,” Will Smith for “Concussion,” Michael B. Jordan from “Creed” and the many young actors in “Compton.” link []

          Will Smith was fantastic in "Concussion." I didn't see Idris Elba in "Beasts of No Nation," but I'm going to rent it just to thumb my nose at the Academy. No interest in "Rocky VI" (ahem) "Creed," but I think Stallone got nominated for his performance in that one. It seems to me he's milked all the Oscars he should get out of "Rocky." Were the leads up to the same level? Don't know. "Straight Outta Compton" is another one I mean to hit in rental. No idea if it was any good, though.

          Seems suspect

        • by Anonymous Cow Ward ( 4161549 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @05:36PM (#51377165)
          It's possible that subtle racism is at work here (this year and last year); however, over the last 20 years, black actors and actresses have won 12.5% of Oscars, which actually does match pretty closely to demographics (~13% of the US is black). Since 2000, 80 actors have been nominated for best actor, and 10 have been black. Again, this matches demographics closely.

          According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [], in the field of "Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations", 6.5% of workers are black (unfortunately, "actors" isn't split off by itself, as there aren't enough of them for the BLS to keep track separately). Since there are 20 actors nominated each year, you'd expect them to have 1.3 people nominated. Two years in a row of not having anyone nominated isn't that far off, and historically they're pretty much exactly tracking population demographics (which means that blacks, who are underrepresented in acting by population demographics, are actually slightly overrepresented in awards). If it happens again next year, then that might be evidence of racism, but so far it's not necessarily racism, although I'm not ruling it out.
      • Why doesn't someone pull up the list of all Oscar winners and nominees for the past 20 years, and do an analysis on that? (Actually, I read an article where someone did, and reported that the percentage of People of Color was ... pretty much in line with percentage of population. I haven't checked their numbers independently, though.)
    • .. with a soundtrack of 4'33'', repeated on a loop 133 times.

  • by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <> on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:30PM (#51375277) Homepage
    No hard decisions, even if they had to 'watch' it they could just sit around chatting with coffee. It is a nice idea to DoS the censor's office but this method that involves horsing 8,500 quid straight into their pockets is not the way to do it
    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      True but if you are looking to cause their down fall you stick a few single frames of the old somewhere in the middle. If you still get your 'G' or whatever 'appropriate for children' rating the BBC gives, you got a major scandal, "see see the censor's don't even really do their job its just a cash grab!"

      Wost case its just as effective a DOS as this was anyway.

  • by mdsolar ( 1045926 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:34PM (#51375323) Homepage Journal
    They were watching the inverse Laplace Transform of subliminal porn.
  • Does it really need to be watched in real time?
    • so some does not splice in porn.

      Like that guy used to do the change over theater up till about 2011 when we got rid of film there.

    • Re:Fast forward (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:34PM (#51375957) Homepage

      You can't truly appreciate the nuance of paint drying without watching it in real time, everything else is just being a poseur to impress your art-house friends ... but they'll know you just fast forwarded ... they'll know, man.

      The heart-wrenching existential agony at 3h52 minutes when the paint crinkles like an adolescent nipple blown with soft, warm breath for the first time can't be fully appreciated in anything but real time.

      The suggestion of human suffering at 5h57 when a small droplet forms is utterly lost in anything but real time.

      The utter elation at 9:37 when you realize, finally, we are reaching denouement and resolution can't simply be watched on fast forward.

      You lose all of the majesty and vocabulary as envisioned by the film maker in his Neitzchean expression of the inhumanity of paint as a metaphor for moving past obstacles, and stepping over the carcasses of ones foes.

      Of course it needs to be watched in real time.

    • As someone pointed out, he could have spliced in non-G-rating audio at a certain point. For example, at 5 hours and 47 minutes, a single curse word might be uttered. Then, at 7 hours and 23.5 minutes, perhaps he'd have XXX-rated audio play for 3 seconds.

      If the censors still give the movie a G rating, then it's obvious that they didn't watch it all (either fast-forwarding through it or watching the first few hours and then stopping).

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:42PM (#51375425)

    Was to give them 8,500 pounds to have them claim to watch the whole thing? Even if I didn't fast forward, that's still pretty good for 10 hours of work.

    I wish someone would protest me that nicely. I'd really learn something. Feel free to repeatedly protest me.

    • no shit - even 10 people watching it simultaneously could rake in up to 85 Pounds Stirling per hour (minus administrative costs, overhead, etc)... not a bad rate of pay.

      What's a man gotta do to get into that racket?

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        This would probably be an easy, albeit boring, watch for them. Some of the shit that comes out of Hollywood (and other places) can actually be horrifyingly bad. Paint Drying would be BAFTA-winning material in comparison.

  • At semi-random intervals they should have inserted a couple frames of stuff that would actually need to be rated, to prevent the censors from just fast-forwarding or skipping large chunks, which i suspect is what actually happened.
    • Re:Tamper-proofing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by theIsovist ( 1348209 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:42PM (#51376049)
      My friend used to do this job for Turner networks. His job was to watch content set to air in foreign countries and document every moment that needed to be flagged due to censorship concerns. "At 0:52:13, use of the word 'fuck.' At 0:55:43, exposed nipple..." If he ever missed anything, he would have been fired, so he had to watch every second of the film. If he became distracted, he would have to rewind. Apparently he loved this job. It sounded miserable to me.
  • I would imagine being able to encode this video with a ridiculously low bitrate and still achieve great pictures, albeit at low framerates. I would imagine most people would not be able to tell the difference however. 10 hour video, 1080p encoding for 10 MB?

    • Possibly far less. Most of it header stuff. The actual video stream could consist of: #ffffff

      3 bytes.

  • by dargndorp ( 939841 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:53PM (#51375553)
    Still a better love story than Twilight.
    • Of course it is. A 10 hour epic about the slow development of a lasting bond.

      I'm looking forward to the sequel set 10 years later when after years of having the world eat away at that bond, the wall replaces the paint for a newer version.

  • In the US, the MPAA is market-driven. As much as I don't like it, theaters stick with the MPAA guidelines. This is because theater owners hate getting calls from angry mothers about their 13-year-olds sneaking into particular movies.
  • This was NOT helpful...

    What a waste of money. If you don't like the rating system, distribute your material in other ways..

    • I'm not sure what you mean by 'distribute your material in other ways'. In the UK, any video offered for sale must be rated by this body. It doesn't matter how it is distributed. I think that is part of what they are protesting.
  • Is it on YouTube? I wanna watch it.
  • Charlie Lyne is an utter prick.
  • They should have put something to censor in the middle, for a few seconds. That way they could tell if the censors really did their job and watched it carefully.

  • A British filmmaker has forced the people who decide how to censor films to watch a 10-hour movie of paint drying on a wall following a protest fundraising campaign.

    Does viewing the film imply viewing the whole of it in real time --- or that it can't be broken down into smaller, more manageable, pieces that can be screened independently?

    The easiest way to put an end to stunts like this is to blandly give your grass-growing documentary an inoffensive rating without any further comment.

  • Just put a web camera towards projection screen and set to detect and record motion movement.

    If there are no changes, no exceptions, no hidden "frames", to this incredibly dull movie, motion movement recorder will have zero footage to review.

    $600 per hour and 10 hour movie? Hell, I would be more than happy to take view the movie and sleep at the same time. Or clean the house.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      $600 per hour and 10 hour movie? Hell, I would be more than happy to take view the movie and sleep at the same time. Or clean the house.

      Except you can't, because if he puts five seconds of a guy with full frontal nudity screaming racist and scatological tracts while holding a picture of Mother Teresa, the movie has to be rated differently, and you better have caught that part.

      And I assure you, even on fast forward, looking for a needle in a haystack like that takes forever and is almost as mindnumbing. The only way to get through that sort of film is to watch parts of it with many breaks.

  • When I worked as a lead video game tester, I was required to record a complete play through of the game on VHS tape. Normally, this would take eight hours. But the developers changed the next to last level prior to the final boss level that made it nearly impossible to go through without using any cheats. I flagged it. The developers didn't fixed it. I sent two video tapes to Sony with the eight hours of the complete play through and the eight hours of dying-and-reloading from save point for the next to las
  • Please tell me he had someone walk behind the camera swearing profusely at around the 8 hour mark! The he could tell by the rating if they watched the whole thing...
  • In an updated review, the film's rating was changed to "Mostly Harmless"

  • But did the BBFC really watch all 10 hours, or just use run it a high speed looking for a scene change. If it were me making this film I would definitely have put in some siliceous scenes of single or double frames (1/24s. 1/12s) with perhaps the occasional obscene word displayed subliminally (5% contrast) to see if they are on their toes.

    If not, then HEY we just got smut past the censors, WIN!

  • I'm sure the BBFC has done worse and more mind-numbing things for funding than that. In the end, you simply gave the censors more money, dude. Easy money.

  • The campaign eventually nearly £8,500,

    But then they accidentally the whole thing :-(

  • They should stick a small section of hardcore pornography somewhere in the middle, to make sure that the censors actually watch the whole thing. If it comes out rated G, then you know they skipped it. Or better yet you can claim that they rated it G because they want kids to be exposed to hardcore pornography because they hate children.
  • The filmmaker should have filmed them watching it, then submitted THAT film shortly afterwards.
  • I can't wait for this to come out on DVD.

  • I'd add 1 second of a swear word on screen somewhere inside the movie and if they didn't catch it, never let them hear the end of it.
  • They should have blasted out the Inception sound.


    Then everyone shits their pants and has to sit there for the remaining 200 minutes.

  • The BBFC has reviewed hours of excrutiatingly boring content. Training videos, craptastic straight to video movies, soft porn, religious devotionals, videos of fireplaces and fish tanks. I bet 95% of the content they view is deadly dull. But they're paid by the hour to review it and I doubt it fazes them one bit. I doubt they especially care if they're paid to watch paint dry. Big deal. It gets a rating and then onto the next thing.
  • ...or "stranglehold"

    Maybe it's one of those British-speak things, like boffins or wollygigs?

  • using John Cage – 4’33 as the soundtrack has so far gone unnoticed. With 10 hours of repeated looping of the song he could be in for a big civil settlement.
  • At $10 a minute I expect the censor who had to watch the paint drying probably laughed through most of it.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker