BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
FilmFour in 'porn' accusation
Romance: Censors gaven the film an 18 certificate
Channel 4 has been accused of "blazing a trial for pornography" by a TV viewers' group after announcing a season of sexually explicit films on its FilmFour channel.

The subscription channel FilmFour will screen Romance, which features a range of sexual acts, in a film season called Extreme Cinema.

Catherine Breillat
Catherine Breillat: Her film Romance has caused controversy

The channel will also broadcast Ai No Corrida, a controversial Japanese film which has scenes of castration.

John Beyer, of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association has condemned Channel 4 and claims television standards are being threatened.

He said: "It's a very serious matter. I think all television standards are in jeopardy because Channel 4 is blazing a trail for pornography."

Romance, directed by Catherine Breillat, is the tale of 20-something Marie's erotic odyssey through Paris after she is spurned by her boyfriend.

The film features real-life Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi and shows a erect penis for the first time in a general cinema release.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "Although they're not everybody's cup of tea, both Romance and Ai No Corrida have artistic merit.

'Good taste'

"These are not being shown on Channel 4 but FilmFour and viewers must be 18-plus to subscribe.

"The films have BBFC certificates and arguably there is more protection because parents can lock this channel."

Channel 4 and FilmFour have courted controversy of late, announcing a series of films which have been refused certificates in the past.

Erotic film The Story of O and horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are to be screened on FilmFour and Channel 4 respectively.

Mr Beyer added: "Rules about offending good taste and decency seem to count for nothing in the Channel 4 hierarchy.

"Of course this is a subscription channel but there's nothing to say those channels are immune to the requirements to not offend good taste and decency."

A spokeswoman for TV regulator the Independent Television Commission pointed out there was no bar to screening the films as they have been given 18-certificates.

"All the research has shown that the public are more relaxed about sexual portrayal as long as they know when it is going to be appearing," she said.

See also:

16 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Screen 'video nasty' hits Channel 4
27 Sep 00 | Talking Point
Have the film censors got it right?
10 Oct 00 | Entertainment
'Banned' film gets TV première
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories