Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buppha Rahtree 3.2 the first Thai film to be rated

Yuthlert Sippapak makes Thai cinema history as the director of the first Thai film to be classified under Thailand's new motion-picture ratings system. Buppha Rahtree 3.2: Rahtree's Revenge is rated 18+, suggested only for viewers aged 18 and older.

Buppha Rahtree 3.2, the fourth film in Yuthlert's comedy-horror franchise, opens in Thai cinemas today alongside Quentin Tarantino's World War II action comedy Inglourious Basterds, which is probably the first film to get the Thai rating. It's also 18+.

The Nation/Daily Xpress has a story about this historic day, quoting a manager from Basterds distributor United International Pictures as well as Yuthlert. Both are pleased with the rating system so far.

“It’s really meant more as a guide to the audience as to whether the movie is appropriate for them or not,” says UIP sales manager Pannatat Phromsupa.

Buppha director Yuthlert is also happy with the rating.

“I’m very okay with it. It helps save me from being attacked for putting violent and offensive language in my films. The rating gives a clear indication of the degree of violence and rude words. It’s your call whether it’s good for you and your kids,” he says.

Yuthlert was hammered under the censorship system for making “socially irresponsible” movies. “I didn’t have a way to explain that they weren’t appropriate for kids, which to me means anyone under the age of 15. Now the rating makes that clear,” he says.

“It eases our social responsibility. Parents can monitor their children’s viewing through the ratings.”

The story goes on to say that the 13+ to 18+ age ratings are advisory with only the 20+ rating requiring an ID check, but the checking of IDs for the 15+ and 18+ films may eventually be instituted.

Also, questionnaires are supposed to be handed out at cinemas, with audiences invited to give the film they just saw a rating. The responses will help the ratings board fine tune its criteria.

As it's early days yet for the system, there might be some films slipping through unrated, or the release of some films might be delayed while awaiting a screening by the board of seven people, who all have other jobs besides watching movies.

The symbols for the rating system haven't yet come into use. Their approval is expected at a Cabinet meeting on August 25.

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