Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Here's a game. I'd say fun, but tastes differ.

Go to which is the Singaporean film censorship database and see if the movies you own would be banned in Singapore, or perhaps only allowed with editing.

I've been going through my collection. Here's what I've found so far:

Apocalypse Now - Passed Clean, that is unadulterated. I was surprised - war violence, the proximity in Southeast Asia. Huh.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - Passed Clean. Apparently child torture is okay.

Clerks. Passed Clean.

The Shawshank Redemption. Passed Clean.

Blazing Saddles. Passed Clean.

Milk. Passed Clean. Even though homosexuality is illegal... Same goes for Brokeback Mountain.

The Godfather. I don't actually own this, now I'm just seeing if I can push buttons. Passed Clean.

Snatch, Scarface, White Heat, Taxi driver. Passed Clean. (The latter, almost cutely, warns "violence AND course language" D'aaaw.)

Romeo and Juliet. Passed Clean. I guess there're no objections to depictions of underage nudity, either.

Passion of the Christ, Schindler's List. Passed Clean. ("some nudity" is the warning for the latter.)

Well, I guess that's it. Maybe I was wrong. Singapore is apparently pretty tolerant. I guess I'll just go through the rest of my collection. What have we here? Oh, yes

Life of Brian. BANNED.
Well, shit.

Of all of my movies, and many movies I don't own but could rationalize censorship for, my copy of Life of Brian is what's banned.

Here's what's interesting. Some titles are both banned and not banned. Like The Big Lebowski or A Clockwork Orange.

Also, some titles don't even appear, like The Third Man. Dr. Strangelove does not exist either. If they were banned they'd show up. They simply...aren't.

My entire collection is a-okay for importing (at a fee) except for a Terry Jones comedy. Because it pokes fun at religion. You can't do that. But you can:

Depict open homosexuality
Glorify crime
Demonstrate drug use (which in Singapore would result in death)
Show underage nudity and child violence and torture
Exhibit violence of any variety
Present any harsh language, including racist slurs and profanity
Make fun of bureaucracies and government incompetence

Oh wait! Wait! I had forgotten I own a movie. Let's see if I can get away with

Reservoir Dogs. BANNED.

Right. So the pattern here is...? I mean, Taxi Driver and Scarface, those are fine. Zatoichi, with outlaws killing outlaws and cross-dressing...a-okay. Both parts of Kill Bill are Passed Clean, too.

So I guess there is no pattern. Arbitrary decisions made by mindless bureaucrats. Fear the mindless.

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