Later this month, Japanese moviegoers will be able to see male genitalia on a movie screen without any cuts or edits for the Japanese premiere of Kinsey. Films that have previously tried to push the boundary of censorship were not saved for artistic merits and instead were regarded as pornography.
Japan’s Eirin, the name commonly used for the Administration Commission of Motion Picture Code of Ethics, has traditionally taken a hard line against the display of reproductive organs on celluloid, requiring moviemakers to blot them out of view by using a digital mosaic.
The biggest dispute over sexual censorship involved Nagisa Oshima’s In The Realm Of Senses.
Oshima claimed the famously revealing movie was art, but Eirin insisted it was pornographic and censors sliced through the movie. Even when given a re-run in Japanese theaters five years ago, Eirin still make adjustments to 15 parts of the movie.
But in regards to Kinsey, the Commission decided not to edit the film.
The scene in “Kinsey” where the genitalia are displayed features Liam Neeson as the title character explaining the reproductive act to a group of university students. The scene is depicted as an earth-shattering moment in Kinsey’s life because it prompts him to realize that existing sex education is insufficient and he begins his study to find data to back up his demand for improvements.
The scene of nudity was deemed both artistic and educational and “did not touch on Eirin’s regulations.” Some say that this film might kindle debate on how Japan views sexuality and how Japan censors its films.
“There’s a chance that showing this movie without a mosaic may deepen discussion about sex education. Hopefully, this movie could establish a precedent for how sexuality is depicted,” says Japan’s foremost sexologist Kim Myung Gan.
Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday has given Japan its closest imagery to date of male genitalia in a scene where “a male member pops up when two football players clash.”
It think this is a huge first step toward possibly the end of film censorship. I know I’m being over-optimistic, but one can have hopes and dreams.
The news link was found by reading Boing Boing.net.