So a while back I sent the following email to the BBFC (click on it to enlarge):
Dear I Only Watch 18s,
Thank you for your email regarding strong detail of male nudity in UNDER
The BBFC’s Classification Guidelines at 15 state that ‘there may be nudity
in a sexual context but usually without strong detail’, thus allowing for
the possibility of strong detail when it is justified by context. Indeed,
there have been rare cases in the past when similar images have been
permitted at 15, including during the montage at the beginning of Ingmar
Bergman’s PERSONA, and in the film KINSEY, about the famous sexual
As you may be aware, our classification standards and decisions are based
on regular large scale public consultations, typically involving around
10,000 respondents. The most recent consultation, carried out during 2013
and published in January 2014, looked specifically (among other things) at
the issue of strong detail of male nudity. We showed part of the film HOLY
MOTORS to focus groups as part of that public consultation exercise. HOLY
MOTORS was a recent film that had been awarded an 18 because of a scene
showing, somewhat more explicitly and for a greater duration, the kind of
detail contained in UNDER THE SKIN. The focus groups were clear that the
male nudity in HOLY MOTORS could have been allowed at 15. You may find a
copy of the consultation results here. It is the first document on the
In the case of UNDER THE SKIN, we concluded that the strong detail of male
genitals was relatively brief, quite shadowy and near the bottom of the
screen, rather than being placed in the foreground or particularly focussed
upon. We also noted that it occurred with an essentially fantastical and
highly stylised context. Given the brevity and context, and alongside the
views of focus groups on HOLY MOTORS, we concluded that the strong detail
in UNDER THE SKIN could be allowed at 15.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to express your views to us.
Please be assured that the BBFC takes these issues seriously, and that your
comments have been noted.
BBFC Feedback Team
So, although I appreciate that they replied – they’ve also made me look a cunt. I admitted to everyone that I watched a 15 because I thought it was an 18 – this is unforgivable. As such, I shall retreat to my shed to place a number of splinters into my penis as punishment. I will then attempt a wank.
I’m sorry guys, this won’t happen again.
But hey, at least I got to see Scarlett Johansson’s peng whoppers and fench batty. Every cloud.