Last year, British filmmaker Charlie Lyne set up a Kickstarter with the goal of forcing the British Board of Film Classification to watch a lengthy film about paying drying.
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The point was to protest film censorship and the BBFC’s role in deciding what the public are allowed to view.
Well, nearly 700 people helped Chalie raise £5,963 which was enough for Charlie to send the BBFC 10 hours and 7 minutes of paint-drying footage. The BBFC charge £8.51 per minute to watch your film.
I was amazed, not just by the amount raised but by the sheer number of people who got involved from all around the world.
I wasn’t sure whether the project would mean much to people outside of the British film industry, let alone outside of the UK, but censorship seems to be a fairly universal concept, sadly.
— Charlie Lyne (@charlielyne) January 20, 2016
The BBFC had no choice but to plan for two examiners to watch the film in its entirety on January 25 and 26 (they’re only allowed to watch 9 hours a day), which means they might literally be watching footage of paint dry as we speak.
It’s literally 10 hours and 7 minutes of this:
— Charlie Lyne (@charlielyne) January 25, 2016
In truth, those 10 hours are really just the catalyst for everything else: people reading about and joining the protest; people questioning (or defending) the role of the BBFC; this conversation we’re having right now.
I’ve been talking to a cinema in London about showing the film, but as somebody pointed out on Reddit yesterday, I shouldn’t even be thinking about screening it until I have the approval of the BBFC.
Like all British filmmakers, I’m at their mercy.
Now that’s what you call A+ trolling. Properly sticking it to the man using their own rules and regulations. Do you have any idea how brutal it is watching paint dry for 10 hours? Not even in real time either – a 10 hour video of paint drying. I bet these guys use the phrase “I’d rather watch paint dry” in their line of work all the time. How’s it feel actually doing it though? Not great I imagine.
Here’s a run-down of 10 totally screwed-up movies we put together earlier – in case you’re stuck for choice tonight.