June 11 – Lolita

Banned Cinema

Movie history is littered with films that, for one reason or another, governments have banned its constituents from viewing or possessing. I’m a staunch supporter of anti-censorship. In my opinion, the discretion falls on the person themselves to decide what they do or don’t want to see, or, in the case of children, it is the responsibility of their parents to make these choices. That said, here are some notable movies that have been deemed forbidden:

Lolita

The name of today’s cocktail comes from the classic novel by Vladimir Nabokov (those crazy Russkies) that was later adapted into two movies. The story centers on an older man’s lust for a young girl, which brings about obvious concerns over subject matter. Lolita is one of the most controversial works of all time, but it’s also one of the most highly regarded, most likely due to the poetic language of its writing. I just hope the drink is decent!

Lolita

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface is one badass dude, hacking his way through any unfortunate victim(s) who stumble upon his messed up backwoods family. One of the creepiest parts of this film is right at the start when the viewer is informed that what you’re about to see is based on a true story. Of course, it isn’t, but that thought sticks with you throughout. I don’t understand why this film was banned while other similar entries in the genre flew under the radar. Perhaps, it was just ahead of its time.

Monty Python Films

The movies, Life of Brian and Meaning of Life, from the comedy troupe were banned in a few countries, such as Ireland, because they were considered blasphemous. Of course, the clever team used the bans to their advantage, creating ads that said “So funny it was banned in Norway!”.

Barney’s Great Adventure

Personally I wonder why the entire world couldn’t ban the giant purple dino! Good on Malaysia for realizing that a figment of children’s imagination that tells kids to love and hug each other is sending bad messages to youth. The government found that the film was unacceptable for children and never provided any further details… and why should they?

Barney

Cannibal Holocaust

Where to begin with this film? Most countries banned it due to violence committed on animals, but there were also rumours that actors had legitimately died in the filming and the movie was therefore of the “snuff” variety. While the human deaths were disproven, the animal cruelty was in fact real, which is not cool. The Colombian natives were also treated poorly by director Ruggero Deodato. Credit does have to be given to the makers of this movie for being one of the first “found footage” stories, however.

Last Tango in Paris

Seriously!? A country like Italy banned a movie for strong sexual content??? Didn’t they invent the language of love and all that other junk? Sure there’s a scene that involves the use of butter as lubrication, but come on, who hasn’t reached for the dairy in a pinch?! Italy, I am so disappointed in you.

A Clockwork Orange

Let’s see, why would this movie ever be banned? Could it be the gratuitous violence perpetrated by Alex and company? Could it be the home invasion, crippling and rape of an innocent couple? Not bad enough for you yet? What about the murder of another woman with a giant penis statue? Yeah, that one did it for me, too. Regardless, this cult favourite is actually a intriguing watch. This is yet another adapted screenplay from a novel and perhaps we should just ban all books, so movies don’t have to suffer.

A-Clockwork-Orange

2012

Well, this has got to be one of the craziest bans of a movie I’ve ever seen. Apparently, in North Korea, it was made illegal to show the fictional Apocalypse tale because 2012 marks the 100th birthday of former leader, Kim Il Sung, and North Korean’s had dubbed the year “the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower”. Thus, according to the country, a film that says the year 2012 will bring about the “end of days” was too negative a message. Citizens caught with a pirated copy of the film or even viewing the movie are arrested and charged with “grave provocation against the development of the state”.

Saw VI

Saw VI was banned for scenes of gory violence and torture… yeah, because it differs so drastically from movies I through V! I like the Saw series of movies, particularly the first two entries. While I can see why some would hesitate to watch this franchise (and the many that have followed in a similar fashion since), that is their decision to make and not the government’s.

saw

Goldfinger

The James Bond film was banned in Israel after a short run when it was revealed that Gert Fröbe, who played villain Auric Goldfinger, was once a member of Germany’s Nazi Party. The ban was lifted a few months later when a man came forward saying that he and his mother had been hidden and saved from the Nazi Gestapo by Fröbe. This was the planned sequel to Schindler’s List.

Hostel Movies

These horror flicks were banned for depicting the people of Eastern European countries as buyers of human slaves… which is incredibly accurate, but something the Ukrainian government took great offense to. It’s like if Canada took offense to a movie about hockey goons, who love their poutine.

Drink #162: Lolita

Lolita Cocktail

Of all these banned movies, I’ve only seen a handful of them. I’m intrigued to check out the one’s I have yet to view, with Barney’s Great Adventure topping my list. Perhaps I’ll even review it for all my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The simple recipe largely recreates a Sangria taste and that is totally welcome in my little world! I particularly like how this drink is garnished, especially when you think of the Lolita story.

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