In a protest against censorship and mandatory classification, filmmaker Charlie Lyne raised funds to force the BBFC to sit through a borderline experimental odyssey - 607 minute film of paint drying
Charlie Lyne’s film is titled “Paint Drying”, and will be free for audiences of any age to watch following its classification of a “U” certificate by the two BBFC censors who recently sat through it.
The film comprises, in its entirety, a static shot of white paint drying on a featureless brick wall. Its runtime is 607 minutes – a shade over ten hours.
Lyne originally crowdfunded the film on Kickstarter as part of a protest against the fact that films in the UK have to be classified by the BBFC, a stricture that Lyne believes effectively amounts to censorship.
He managed to raise £5,963 to cover the BBFC fees, meaning he’d be able to force two of the organisation’s censors to watch it (a feat that took more than a day, as BBFC examiners are only allowed to watch a maximum of nine hours of material per day).
He’s taken to Reddit to answer a few questions about his film (which, he admits, he has not watched in its entirety) and it’s worth having a read as there’s some interesting debate about the nature of film classification and its relationship to censorship.
Lyne also wrote an article for Vice last year outlining his reasons for the project, in which he points out that the BBFC is largely left to its own devices when it comes to what it rejects and what it doesn’t, and its reasons for doing so.
As he points out, the main reason we accept the BBFC’s rulings seems to be tradition – the organisation has been going for as long as anyone can remember. Setting something like it up would be a difficult trick to repeat – as Lyne points out, “any new organisation that sought to limit access to an art form — say literature, or music — would likely be met with outrage.”
What do you think? Is Lyne right to protest the BBFC or does the organisation provide a vital role in safeguarding children from harmful material?
Photos: @Charlielyne / Twitter