The 12A Certificate

Pros and Cons Towards The 12A Certificate

Image result for 12a

Pros towards the 12A:

  • Allows more viewings for a wider audience. This produeces more viewings and this therefore produes more money for the creators of the film.
  • Creates more interest towards the film, a talking point for a greater audience.
  • The BBFC have an INSIGHT section that allows parents to see what the film contains.

Cons towards the 12A:

  • When distributors make the cut for cinema release, you are ending up with a diluted experience, a worse film. This is when the cinema viewing should be the greater and more enjoyable. Yet the home release Extended cuts are handed the copy of the better film.
  • Is the 12A ruining the cinema industry? Is there a point in viewing it when you know that you could wait, save your money and end up watching a better film?
  • Distributors have the power over the film that we see, not the original creators. If the creators submitted the films would we end up with a better cinema viewing.
  • Can still contain scenes that are actually inapropiate for some children under 12. The rating guidelines are too lenient and not specific enough on who it’s suitable for.

Who Is The 12A Certificate Benefiting?

Featuring quotes from Mark Kermode:

I think that the 12A certificate is benefiting distributors more than anyone else. “Taken 2 made a staggering amount of money when it was trimmed down towards a 12A by the distributors”. “Then when it came out on DVD andImage result for media moneyBlu-ray, Then you could see the harder version” that was more reminiscent of Taken 1. “They are going to release on 12A knowing that everyone is pretty much going to be disappointed by it, then put the harder, extended 15 cut on home release”. “This is the future of regulation and classification in the UK”. “The sensors are not doing the damage anymore, nowadays it’s the distributors trying to maximize profit in the cinema.

Image result for jack reacher uk

Do I Agree With Mark Kermode?

Yes, I do agree with Mark Kemode. I think that his knowledge of the media industry is important for us all to hear as it appears some of us are still pointing the finger at the BBFC are their legislation; yet it isn’t down to the censors. It’s the distributors that we need to point the blame at for critically ruining their own film.

  • In 2012, 321 films were given this classification, up a third from 234 the previous year.
  • Jack Reacher prompted the most complaints from the BBFC over its violent, dark and sadistic content which was felt unsuitable for  young children. 26 Complaints.
  • Wolverine also saw many complaints in 2013 as it was also handed a 12A certificate.
  • Survey said that 27% of consumers were unable to justify what the 12A rating actually meant.

Moral Panic

A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that seems to threaten social order.

Marxism sees the media in society as acting in the interests of the ruling classes by promoting the ideal values that best serve them.

In 1975 when James Ferman made the famous statement about how The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was only suitable for viewing by middle class intellectuals, he revealed a classist regime in the BBFC that directly supported the Marxist Ideology.



His banning of the film shows us how the media can be policed and controlled by the middle and upper classes in order to maintain social equilibrium and prevent the lower classes from being encouraged to behave in deviant ways.

Ferman believed that if uneducated people were to watch the film it might encourage them to commit similar crimes!

The media in conjunction with the bourgeoisie (the middle class) create moral panics in order to perpetuate fear and maintain control over the whole society – Stuart Hall

Moral panics are used to perpetuate fear which enables greater control over the proletariat. Such fear makes us, the public, want more policing of media in society, which Marxists argue would allow everyone greater control over their lives.

Image result for the joker

The Joker threatens the middle class in the clip by burning all the money, he makes it clear that he doesn’t want to relate towards the rich by doing this. He could have had all of the money that most would be attracted to. He shows that money isn’t he reasoning, he just enjoys causing chaos which is even more frightening and intimidating. The Joker’s business partner is angry that he is burning his half thinking he could have had it, this scares him, he feels like he doesn’t relate towards the Joker anymore.



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