Friday, January 14, 2011

The trailer that got Thai censors all hot and bothered

Thai censors clearly aren't getting enough love.

Why else would they be so upset by a trailer for a sweet teen romance film?

See it for yourself, which at this writing is still on YouTube and embedded above.

Thailand's cultural watchdogs aren't getting kissed, or possibly have never been kissed, and are so jealous of the smooching teenage actors in the teaser for Love Julinsee that they have asked studio M-Thirtynine to remove the offending lip bump.

Even though you never actually see them kiss. Each time the couples move to lock lips, the editor cuts away at the last second.

But whatever.

According to an item in yesterday's Bangkok Post (page 2 print edition), the censors deemed the trailer inappropriate because of the kissing teenagers in school uniform. They asked that the scene be removed.

Studio M-Thirtynine said it would comply. Love Julinsee (รักมันใหญ่มาก, Rak Man Yai Mak, literally translated by The Nation's Soopsip today as "giant love bacteria"), is set for release in March.

The clampdown shows that even innocent teenage love makes Thailand's censors squeamish. No wonder they banned the explicitly kinky Insects in the Backyard outright.

Thailand's blogging guru Richard Barrow points out the ridiculousness of the censors' decision in a post yesterday:

Sometimes I think that the Thai censor board have their priorities all wrong. Every night, in the Thai soap operas, we get scenes of men hitting and even raping women and then finally marrying them as if that made it alright. But, according to the Bangkok Post this morning, a brief shot of two teenagers, who are seen in a movie trailer about to kiss, is too immoral for our youth to watch. Their lips don’t even touch but the Office of Cultural Promotion want this cut from the trailer. Presumably, also from the yet-to-be released movie.

Read the rest for more of Richard's thoughts.

The kissing might be allowed in the movie, if it's rated 15+ or 18+.

Part of the problem is that all trailers in Thai cinemas are shown to general audiences. So you'll get a trailer for a blood-and-guts action movie shown before Doreamon or something else mostly kiddies are going to see. Under Hollywood's MPAA system, all trailers are rated as well as the movies, and the studios try to package the trailers according to the intended audiences of the main features. Not much care is given to what movies the trailers are shown with here in Thailand.

But rating the trailers, rather than censoring them, takes more work and more nuance. And Thailand's cultural minders haven't really gotten the hang of rating movies yet. They are still in censorship mode.

Update: Lyn's Lakorn Blog also has comments on this issue.

1 comment:

  1. it does sound stupid.
    i know some teen movies that should be banned because they promote kids to be having sex, and you get a lot of those kind of teen movies in US.

    but this is just to do with kisses and teen love.


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