Letter: Violence on set - but no sadism

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The Independent Online
DAVID GODIN'S letter (10 January) suggested that the British Board of Film Classification 'blanches at passing anything which shows the actual pain of violence'. This is an odd argument when films like Goodfellas, Man Bites Dog and Reservoir Dogs have all been classified uncut.

The board's real concern is with films that invite the audience to identify with the aggressor and to savour the excitement of inflicting pain. It is this casual incitement to sadistic pleasure that we do not wish to encourage. We accept there is a place for 'fantastic' violence (eg The Terminator), and for the sort of gruelling violence that demands the viewer recognise the cost of aggression.

Guy Phelps

Assistant Director, British Board of Film Classification