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NEWS: Singapore no longer censored!

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NEWS: Singapore no longer censored!

Old 06-11-04, 03:29 PM
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NEWS: Singapore no longer censored!

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - From a glimpse of nudity in "Titanic" to women kissing in the award-winning film "The Hours," Singapore's strait-laced film censors have assiduously cut scenes deemed too racy or violent.

But from July 1, Singaporeans can enjoy the illicit thrill of viewing "Titanic" and other films uncensored at home under a new home video ratings classification system that will end two decades of cuts to some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters.

Last week's announcement by the Media Development Authority comes as the wealthy city-state struggles to relax its notorious social controls. Last year it ended a 21-year ban on Cosmopolitan magazine and eased rules on the sale of chewing gum.

Two new ratings -- "NC16" that bars children under 16 and "M18" for ages 18 and above -- will regulate home videos, allowing Singaporeans to buy or rent films available uncut in most countries but censored in Singapore.

That list is long, from a flash of Diane Keaton naked in the 2003 Oscar-winner "Something's Gotta Give" to Kate Winslet disrobing in "Titanic" to a steamy scene in "Lost in Translation." There are hundreds of other examples.

The change is not entirely hassle-free, introducing its own set of new rules. Some home videos must carry labels warning consumers of risque content and video outlets cannot screen the restricted videos. Pornography remains illegal.

But most Singaporeans, accustomed to films with a jerky, disjointed feel inflicted by sudden cuts, are relieved.

"It's a good thing," said Chester Tan, a 30-year-old advertising executive. "I want to be able to see movies for how they were meant to be shown -- not for how someone else thinks it should be shown."

SEX AND THE CITY-STATE

Years of censorship have helped earn Singapore a reputation as Asia's "nanny state," and many strict rules remain.

Sales of Playboy magazine are still illegal, censorship of films shown in cinemas remains pervasive, and some controversial films are outright banned.

Three documentaries at Singapore's annual film festival were banned this year because they portrayed explicit sex and violence -- India's "Final Solution" and "Destiny's Children," and Sweden's "Desperately Seeking Seka."

Singapore's censors routinely say their view is based on the need to maintain ethnic and religious harmony.

The U.S. television sitcom "Sex and the City" about a quartet of single New York women was given a green light in September. But nine months later, the show has still not aired as officials fine tune new broadcasting rules for content deemed racy.

By July, those rules should be ready, finally allowing "Sex and the City" legally into Singapore, an MDA official said. But that comes several months after the series ended in the United States, and most residents expect even the reruns to be censored.

The public generally supports Singapore's tough laws -- including the death penalty for drug smugglers, bans on pornography and curbs on political dissent -- as part of a social contract that in return has delivered years of prosperity.

But critics say the censorship laws are woefully out of date.

"There are changes but they are not coming fast enough," said Royston Tan, a young film maker whose feature film "15" about drugs and delinquency won international plaudits last year but suffered a total of 27 cuts by Singapore's censors.

He takes aim at the issue in his latest film, a 13-minute satire about a movie buff who has a chance encounter in a supermarket with a censorship board official and explodes into a rant on films the board has cut. Even that was nearly censored.

"I look forward to the day when we can go to the movies here and see movies that are not cut at all," said Tan.


-----------------------

That's what and there you have it.
Old 06-11-04, 03:47 PM
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Re: NEWS: Singapore no longer censored!

Originally posted by digitalfreaknyc
Last year it ended a 21-year ban on Cosmopolitan magazine and eased rules on the sale of chewing gum.
Chewing gum? What was that about?!
Old 06-11-04, 04:42 PM
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Chewing Gum = WMD.

Ironically, durian fruits were never banned. Those things are deadlier than cyanide.
Old 06-11-04, 06:35 PM
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And this 'freedom' has even happened in Ontario!

Iraqis have so much to look forward to.
Old 06-11-04, 10:24 PM
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Someone told me it's illegal to carry durians on public transportation in Singapore.
Old 06-12-04, 04:03 AM
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Freedom Fries!

I'm from Singapore.

Truth of the matter is... we all have been importing DVDs from Amazon and online retailers for a very long time and it hasn't been a real issue to us. What we can't get from the TV(not that we are couch potatoes mind you), we purchase online. Never had a problem.

Durians: Hahaaa It does possess a pungent odor(which doesn't neccessarily mean all pungent stuff is undesirable. Think Chanel #5). Hence it is banned in public transportation becoz the transport operators are civil-minded and considerate enough to not impose the pungency upon those who don't take to it like fish to water. Can it be any easier to exercise commonsense? There are some of us who love it and some of us that don't and this solution is fair and reasonable dont you think? What do you expect us to do- BAN DURIANS? Hahhaaa Ask Anthony Bourdain. He loved it when he was here.

Chewing Gum: Only medicinal chewing gum to curb smoking is on sale now. Come to Singapore and look at the streets and see for yourself if there are any chewing gum stains on the pavement and road, then go back and reflect upon why your roads and soles of your shoes are stained with gum marks and why-o-why do people dispose their gum in that manner. Not to mention chewing gum has absolutely zilch nutritional value. Have you ever wondered how much of a hassle it is to clean those stains off? Who do you think should foot the bill? The people's money can be put into better use....

Heck. It doesn't even bother us that people like filmerp have a amusing sense of opinion which clearly reflects his mentality. All i can say to our American comrades is this: Stop allowing the media to make up you mind for you and come and see what it's like outside of the US of A. The World welcomes you with open arms.

Last edited by blessthemess; 06-12-04 at 04:16 AM.
Old 06-14-04, 02:05 AM
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Re: Freedom Fries!

Originally posted by blessthemess


Heck. It doesn't even bother us that people like filmerp have a amusing sense of opinion which clearly reflects his mentality. All i can say to our American comrades is this: Stop allowing the media to make up you mind for you and come and see what it's like outside of the US of A. The World welcomes you with open arms.
Extremely well said ! Well for starters does everybody know where is sunny Singapore ? no pun intended.

FYI DVD collectors and videophiles do not buy any locally made DVDs. First they are mostly encoded in Dolby Stereo..Secondly they are censored for violence and nudity..And thirdly the extra features is almost non-existent..You probably gonna beg for some trailers..We simply import them from USD, Canada, Australia, Korea, HK and Japan for movies we would like to have in its intended format and content.
Old 06-14-04, 03:25 AM
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once again, we make the news for all the wrong reasons
Old 06-14-04, 11:14 AM
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I take it personally when someone insults durian. I love durian.
Old 06-14-04, 11:19 AM
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ban DURIAN?!?
i didn't even know they got Durian....


damn Singaporian.... damn 'em all!!


Old 06-14-04, 01:01 PM
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Durian. :shudders:

Old 06-14-04, 01:26 PM
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I've only had the nerve to try Durian flavored ice cream :-)
Old 06-14-04, 01:45 PM
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What the hell's a durian?

Seriously, I'm so glad about that Ontario decision. I made a nice project on Ontario's review board for my ethics class a few years ago and it really made me hate the board. I mean, banning the original Scarface? What the hell?

Anyway, I'm really glad Singapore can get the right versions of movies now. Well, I mean, they can legally buy it in stores soon. Now, if only Miramax could follow suit...

Oh yeah, I know where Singapore is... although I'm not American...
Old 06-14-04, 04:03 PM
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**** the country with sensorship. shame on them !!!
Old 06-14-04, 05:23 PM
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Re: Freedom Fries!

Originally posted by blessthemess
Chewing Gum: Only medicinal chewing gum to curb smoking is on sale now. Come to Singapore and look at the streets and see for yourself if there are any chewing gum stains on the pavement and road, then go back and reflect upon why your roads and soles of your shoes are stained with gum marks and why-o-why do people dispose their gum in that manner. Not to mention chewing gum has absolutely zilch nutritional value. Have you ever wondered how much of a hassle it is to clean those stains off? Who do you think should foot the bill? The people's money can be put into better use....
If Singaporians agree with the gum ban, then that's fine... Whatever floats your boat, but in my opinion it's stupid to ban something simply because you're afraid people will litter. Simply have a hefty fine for littering instead of banning an entire product.

And some gums can help prevent tooth decay, etc.
Old 06-14-04, 10:15 PM
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Durian . Try this link so that you can undestand the fruit a little more.It's the King of Fruits
http://www.durianpalace.com/

Last edited by Kumar J; 06-14-04 at 10:17 PM.
Old 06-15-04, 01:59 AM
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Hahaaaa Singapore has already incurred the reputation of a "fine" city. The current fine on littering is 1000 clams. Do fines really work? Will the streets and the bottom of your shoes be gum-free if more inspectors are employed to patrol the streets? Personally i feel that taxpayers' money can be better spent than on gum removal.

"One way of tackling the issue is to use specialist methods to clean the gum off the streets. It's both difficult and costly for local authorities to remove gum from streets. A clean up that was carried out in Hanwell, in Ealing last year cost 9,000 and it's estimated it costs local councils in the UK 150m a year to tackle the problem...." ---so it says here...

Yep- there are certain good things to chewing gum which is why that ban was reviewed and the "good" kinds are on sale now. When all is said and done, i suppose there really isn't just ONE way out; not a matter of tolerance but respect, considering this IS a plural society made up of so many different cultures. You make your own call and bear the consequences responsibly. Like "legally" owning a semi-automatic gun for whatever reason.

Countries with censorship: Tricky isn't it. Gaspar Noe's Irreversible was banned in Australia. Singapore showed it in its entirety. What say you?
Old 06-15-04, 02:01 AM
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Re: Re: Freedom Fries!

Originally posted by DodgingCars
If Singaporians agree with the gum ban, then that's fine... Whatever floats your boat, but in my opinion it's stupid to ban something simply because you're afraid people will litter. Simply have a hefty fine for littering instead of banning an entire product.
Forget the fine, I say the death penalty is definitely the way to go. We waste huge amounts of public money cleaning up gum stains from our roadways and shoes in America. It's bankrupting us, so it is only right and correct that all gum chewers be given mandatory minimum death sentences. And those caught just "holding" gum for someone else need a minimum of 10 years of hard labor.
Old 06-15-04, 02:17 AM
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Down with $ingapore and their cen$orship!

Sorry, I got carried away. I thought this was a Disney thread at first.
Old 06-15-04, 02:21 AM
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Hell- or you can impose huge fines in hopes of alleviating the US budget deficit?

Come on, it's that simple; are you with us or against us?
Old 06-17-04, 02:47 PM
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Re: Freedom Fries!

Originally posted by blessthemess
I'm from Singapore.
Heck. It doesn't even bother us that people like filmerp have a amusing sense of opinion which clearly reflects his mentality. All i can say to our American comrades is this: Stop allowing the media to make up you mind for you and come and see what it's like outside of the US of A. The World welcomes you with open arms.
Whoa messy, didn't mean to hurt your feelings... FYI: I lived in Singapore for 6 months.
Old 06-18-04, 07:12 AM
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Hey filmrep- no worries. You didn't. Hope you enjoyed your stay here. Its a young immigrant nation like once the States was and we are learning as we go along, applying commonsense and humility appropriately.

Most Singaporeans are just too polite to point out other hypocrisies elsewhere. It still amazes me how the media is able to miscontrue the reality by leaving out other intricate details conveniently... which makes me question their integrity. Oh well, c'est la vie... whatever sells advertising space. Don't believe everything they want you to believe. Go and taste a durian for yourself then decide whether you like it or not, be allowed onto public transport or let those who don't be spared, be banned even, etc.

Last edited by blessthemess; 06-18-04 at 07:38 AM.

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