Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Deciding Our Ethics

Drive past the controversial ornate St. James sign and make a sharp right turn. You come to what is known as The Police Training Barracks. Turn right after the police bungalow and you come upon the tennis courts. Drive past the courts and you come to a group of Art Deco inspired cottages that house media based companies. The surroundings feel like an interpretation of ‘old’Hollywood that you see in movies starring Clarke Gable or Vivian Leigh. As you park your car, you see a small ‘parlour’. You almost expect to see a reedy man in khaki pants and a vest walk out of the establishment with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. The place feels as though you have stepped back fifty years or more, and next to this parlour is the censors’ board.‘The Censors’ Board! Does that place still exist? What with readily available DVD’s and the latest movies reaching us almost the same day they are released in the United States.

The Bookman and Adele remembered when the board censored the film, the Exorcist. Pronounced Ex-or-sis to many. We were too young to see it, but were shocked by the rating system that our parents had to explain to us. There is a whole generation growing up thinking that they can see anything they want. Oddly, not being able to see something at a certain age made you aware that you wanted to grow up and be able to see what the fuss was about. The censorship board still looks at movies. Whether they have any control over what we watch is dubious. But there was a time when they were all powerful. - Adele

The Top: The Censors board sign next to a small snack shop, St. James, Trinidad, West Indies. Centre: In a dark cramped room a projectionist is rewinding the film the “Illusionist.” Bottom: The screening room as official as a Court room with a gavel to approve or disapprove a scene that may be objectionably. See an old movie house

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