Monday, January 19, 2009

Saint Elmo's Fire Controversy

Throughout the last few weeks of College Lit. we've been talking on and off about the effects of censorship. While in a deep conversation (like the many we have in that class.) I remembered reading about a movie that changed the way that critics looked at "freedom of speech".

Saint Elmo's Fire. For most of you youngsters out there, this is probably not a movie in you're top 10. Released in 1985 it was the last movie of the nick name "Brat Pack" collection. Along with Saint Elmo's Fire, there was also "The Breakfast Club", and "Pretty in Pink."

Seven friends fresh out of Georgetown University struggle to overcome the issues that keep them from growing up and moving on past their College glory days. Sounds like any other teenage 80's movie right? Wrong. This movie created such a censorship battle that with the directors complete disagreement, there was cuts from the film.

For example. In the movie there is a scene of a girl who decides she found the guy who she wants to loose her virginity to. If the director would have gotten her way, there would have been a (excuse me Mr. Kunkle) but a straight up porn film on the big screen.

There were numerous scenes like this, and here was the big issue. THERE WAS MALE NUDITY. Oh no, big absolute not. I mean, we have a adapted a bit to male nudity in the new millennium, but we are still very sensitive to it. Why? Who knows, but that's not what my blog is about.

Critics were completely insulted by the directors request for an R rating. For male nudity? Completely out of the question?

That's where it all started. Why is it OK to have women nudity vs. males? What's the difference. She also argued that she was only showing real-life situations, and that people are just uncomfortable watching their bad behavior on the big screen. The movie's release date continued to be delayed and delayed. Which actually ended up working well for the director (it created great suspense).

Although the directer finally agreed to have her movie shown without the nudity, it was only because X movies are not able to be shown regular cinemas.

The question is. Should the movie have been cut? One can argue both ways. One side could say that it's based on real-life "finding you're way through life" experiences. There are really males who, if you can believe it, get naked.

The other side could argue simply this. If you want to watch naked men and women, rent a DVD.

I guess in the end it just goes back to the famous unanswerable question. Should freedom of speech be limited?

1 comment:

Ollie said...

That is rediculous. They shouldn't get all censor happy just because its a male nudity. They have no problem showing women. Weird huh!