Nov 28, 2020
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Director Cronenberg pans Bill C-10

OTTAWA – Award-winning director David Cronenberg accused the Harper government Wednesday of trying to go back to the days when censors chopped a scene in one of his films in which a woman chewed on an external uterus growing on her hip.

Nicknamed the Baron of Blood for his movies that include large doses of violence, sex and horror, Mr. Cronenberg said a Conservative tax proposal would allow a “cumbersome committee” to censor movies that it deems repulsive.

Mr. Cronenberg said he is still shocked by the Ontario Board of Censors’ decision to remove a portion of his 1979 film The Brood, and worries that such subjective decisions could once again be made in the name of “public policy.”

He said the proposed tax change in Bill C-10 would cause an exodus of Canadian filmmakers to other countries, and would shatter Canada’s fragile industry of independent filmmakers.

“There has never been a pornographic film made with government money, there has never been a criminal film made with government money, there has never been a hate film made with government money, so why is this happening now?” he told a Senate committee studying the controversial Conservative proposal.

The contentious clause in Bill C-10 has created a furor in Canada’s artistic community and in the opposition parties, prompting fears it would allow bureaucrats to remove funding from Canadian productions that go against “public policy.”

Mr. Cronenberg’s 1996 movie Crash alternated between searing accidents and steamy sex scenes, with characters getting turned on by car collisions. In last year’s Eastern Promises, actor Viggo Mortensen played a Russian mobster who was fully naked as he fought off two assassins in a spa, ultimately using their knives against them.

Mr. Cronenberg, who also made movies such as Dead Ringers and The Fly, said any of his controversial projects “could have been denied funding.”

Such a system, he said, would lead filmmakers to engage in self-censorship, akin to the work of artists in the Soviet era.

And he said that financial institutions would no longer support Canadian productions if tax credits could be withdrawn after movies are produced.

“To me, that is totalitarian, which is what we would expect in Beijing, perhaps, but not Canada,” he said.

Mr. Cronenberg joined actress Sarah Polley and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association in saying that tax credits should only be denied to films that violate Criminal Code articles on child pornography or hate material.

“Anything else is too vague, too slippery, to be acceptable,” he said.

Canadian Heritage officials said the law will trigger consultations on new rules that will expand the criteria for denying the credits to include gratuitous violence, sexual content that lacks an educational purpose, or denigration of an identifiable group.

However, Mr. Cronenberg saw no redeeming value in Heritage Minister Josee Verner’s plan to carry out a year of consultations before the regulations would come into effect.

“That proposal chills the heart of every filmmaker,” Mr. Cronenberg said.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has told the Senate that C-10 must be adopted as it stands, otherwise it will be seen to be a non-confidence vote against the minority Conservative government.

The Liberals, who oppose the measure, argue that C-10 is not a confidence matter because it is just a collection of income-tax changes, not a budget bill.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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Headline, Industry News

Director Cronenberg pans Bill C-10

OTTAWA – Award-winning director David Cronenberg accused the Harper government Wednesday of trying to go back to the days when censors chopped a scene in one of his films in which a woman chewed on an external uterus growing on her hip.

Nicknamed the Baron of Blood for his movies that include large doses of violence, sex and horror, Mr. Cronenberg said a Conservative tax proposal would allow a “cumbersome committee” to censor movies that it deems repulsive.

Mr. Cronenberg said he is still shocked by the Ontario Board of Censors’ decision to remove a portion of his 1979 film The Brood, and worries that such subjective decisions could once again be made in the name of “public policy.”

He said the proposed tax change in Bill C-10 would cause an exodus of Canadian filmmakers to other countries, and would shatter Canada’s fragile industry of independent filmmakers.

“There has never been a pornographic film made with government money, there has never been a criminal film made with government money, there has never been a hate film made with government money, so why is this happening now?” he told a Senate committee studying the controversial Conservative proposal.

The contentious clause in Bill C-10 has created a furor in Canada’s artistic community and in the opposition parties, prompting fears it would allow bureaucrats to remove funding from Canadian productions that go against “public policy.”

Mr. Cronenberg’s 1996 movie Crash alternated between searing accidents and steamy sex scenes, with characters getting turned on by car collisions. In last year’s Eastern Promises, actor Viggo Mortensen played a Russian mobster who was fully naked as he fought off two assassins in a spa, ultimately using their knives against them.

Mr. Cronenberg, who also made movies such as Dead Ringers and The Fly, said any of his controversial projects “could have been denied funding.”

Such a system, he said, would lead filmmakers to engage in self-censorship, akin to the work of artists in the Soviet era.

And he said that financial institutions would no longer support Canadian productions if tax credits could be withdrawn after movies are produced.

“To me, that is totalitarian, which is what we would expect in Beijing, perhaps, but not Canada,” he said.

Mr. Cronenberg joined actress Sarah Polley and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association in saying that tax credits should only be denied to films that violate Criminal Code articles on child pornography or hate material.

“Anything else is too vague, too slippery, to be acceptable,” he said.

Canadian Heritage officials said the law will trigger consultations on new rules that will expand the criteria for denying the credits to include gratuitous violence, sexual content that lacks an educational purpose, or denigration of an identifiable group.

However, Mr. Cronenberg saw no redeeming value in Heritage Minister Josee Verner’s plan to carry out a year of consultations before the regulations would come into effect.

“That proposal chills the heart of every filmmaker,” Mr. Cronenberg said.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has told the Senate that C-10 must be adopted as it stands, otherwise it will be seen to be a non-confidence vote against the minority Conservative government.

The Liberals, who oppose the measure, argue that C-10 is not a confidence matter because it is just a collection of income-tax changes, not a budget bill.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

Director Cronenberg pans Bill C-10

OTTAWA – Award-winning director David Cronenberg accused the Harper government Wednesday of trying to go back to the days when censors chopped a scene in one of his films in which a woman chewed on an external uterus growing on her hip.

Nicknamed the Baron of Blood for his movies that include large doses of violence, sex and horror, Mr. Cronenberg said a Conservative tax proposal would allow a “cumbersome committee” to censor movies that it deems repulsive.

Mr. Cronenberg said he is still shocked by the Ontario Board of Censors’ decision to remove a portion of his 1979 film The Brood, and worries that such subjective decisions could once again be made in the name of “public policy.”

He said the proposed tax change in Bill C-10 would cause an exodus of Canadian filmmakers to other countries, and would shatter Canada’s fragile industry of independent filmmakers.

“There has never been a pornographic film made with government money, there has never been a criminal film made with government money, there has never been a hate film made with government money, so why is this happening now?” he told a Senate committee studying the controversial Conservative proposal.

The contentious clause in Bill C-10 has created a furor in Canada’s artistic community and in the opposition parties, prompting fears it would allow bureaucrats to remove funding from Canadian productions that go against “public policy.”

Mr. Cronenberg’s 1996 movie Crash alternated between searing accidents and steamy sex scenes, with characters getting turned on by car collisions. In last year’s Eastern Promises, actor Viggo Mortensen played a Russian mobster who was fully naked as he fought off two assassins in a spa, ultimately using their knives against them.

Mr. Cronenberg, who also made movies such as Dead Ringers and The Fly, said any of his controversial projects “could have been denied funding.”

Such a system, he said, would lead filmmakers to engage in self-censorship, akin to the work of artists in the Soviet era.

And he said that financial institutions would no longer support Canadian productions if tax credits could be withdrawn after movies are produced.

“To me, that is totalitarian, which is what we would expect in Beijing, perhaps, but not Canada,” he said.

Mr. Cronenberg joined actress Sarah Polley and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association in saying that tax credits should only be denied to films that violate Criminal Code articles on child pornography or hate material.

“Anything else is too vague, too slippery, to be acceptable,” he said.

Canadian Heritage officials said the law will trigger consultations on new rules that will expand the criteria for denying the credits to include gratuitous violence, sexual content that lacks an educational purpose, or denigration of an identifiable group.

However, Mr. Cronenberg saw no redeeming value in Heritage Minister Josee Verner’s plan to carry out a year of consultations before the regulations would come into effect.

“That proposal chills the heart of every filmmaker,” Mr. Cronenberg said.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has told the Senate that C-10 must be adopted as it stands, otherwise it will be seen to be a non-confidence vote against the minority Conservative government.

The Liberals, who oppose the measure, argue that C-10 is not a confidence matter because it is just a collection of income-tax changes, not a budget bill.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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