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Sometimes I’m Not Proud to be Irish…

Today is Arthur’s Day. I find myself almost subconsciously putting “St.” in front of that, because only saints have days, right? Anyway, only in Ireland could we sell a day around a guy who invented “the black stuff”. I think Guinness should be proud of marketing the whole thing so well. Anyway, this being perhaps the second most Irish day of the year, I thought I’d reflect very briefly on being Irish. I recently praised the forward-thinking work of former Irish Film Censor John Kelleher in attempting to remove our nation’s reputation for frankly backwards censorship – not an easy task when you consider we’ve got our own blasphemy law. Anyway, Kelleher rebranded his office the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO), because he saw his role as classifying movies (rating them) as opposed to cutting or censoring them (“I don’t believe in censorship for adults”). It appears that it hasn’t taken too long for the office to return to its roots since his departure, the video nasty I Spit on Your Grave has been banned in Ireland by the office of the film censor.

I spit on your freedom of expression...

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District 9 – The Sci-Fi/Comedy

Okay, I still have nothing but kind words for the Irish Film Classification Office, but I noticed their information piece on District 9 this morning and found it hilarious. Either we’re getting a very different cut than the rest of the world or someone at the office was not really paying attention when they were watching the film:

Spoof sci-fi comedy.

Spoof sci-fi comedy.

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Getting a Sense of the Censor…

The Irish Film Classification Officer, the ever-fantastic John Kelleher, made an appearance on The Right Hook (which is an institution on evening drives in our car) discussing IFCO’s decision to give the controversial arthouse flick Antichrist an 18’s certificate. Over the course of the interview with George Hook (who – though I love him dearly – showed himself to be more than a little out of touch, stating that swear words from Mark Wahlberg as his most extreme cinematic experience), the man who formerly held the title Irish Film Censor outlined his office’s understanding of their role in Irish life. And I whole heartedly agree.

Probably the best censorship board in the world....

Probably the best censorship board in the world....

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