A new technology called Movie Mask is sure to be a hit with parents. The software allows you to filter out sex, violence, and cursing from your household DVDs. Imagine We Were Soldiers without any blood or GoodFellas who never utter a discouraging word. Since meetings between Trilogy representatives, studios, and the MPAA are proceeding, the software may be coming to a home theater near you. The success of another Utah-based company, CleanFlicks (which was covered in a recent CT story) indicates that the venture could be quite successful.
That is, if legal action from the Directors Guild of America doesn't get its way. Moviemakers are not thrilled about the new services, calling them a form of censorship. Just as this edition of Film Forum was getting a final edit, headlines began appearing that announce the attempt to stop this trend before it really spreads. For starters, check out stories at The Directors Guild of America (here and here.)
Director Steven Spielberg, a member of The Film Foundation, argues, "Every film represents a truth which is morally and exclusively the right of the writer and director. No one is authorized to impose their truth on top of ours despite how strongly they may disagree with it. Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan have been cited as two of my most important contributions to history through cinema. The public has a choice to make—do they or do they not want to share in this experience. No one has the right to delete, re-shuffle, or in any way alter our films without our permission or the permission from the copyright holder."
Why such a fuss over bleeping out bad words? Don't network television ...1
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