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Mattographer
Jun 5th, 2004, 11:59 AM
Harry Potter ratings wrangle

By Garry Maddox and Sasha Shtargot

June 4, 2004

Is the new Harry Potter movie too dark for young children?

The Australian distributor has appealed against a rating that makes Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban not recommended for anyone under 15.

The M15+ rating, with advice that the movie contains horror elements, is potentially damaging for its box office compared with the PG - for Parental Guidance - for the first two movies.

Managing director of Roadshow Film Distributors Joel Pearlman said yesterday that the third instalment also deserved a PG. He described the M as the toughest rating for the movie in the world.

"We believe that parents are going to make their own decision about whether the film is appropriate or not for their children," he said. The appeal is due to be heard on Tuesday, two days before the movie's national release. It opened during school holidays in Tasmania yesterday.

Vice-president of the Australian Family Association, Bill Muehlenberg, said last night that it was unfortunate the film's makers had included scenes that gave it an M rating.

"You would think the filmmakers would get the gist of the book and not make it so it would get the M rating," he said.

Mr Muehlenberg said the rating would prevent some parents from taking their children to see the movie, but most would be undeterred because Harry Potter was so popular.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification's M15+ category recommends that a film be viewed only by those aged 15 and over, but does not legally bar under-15-year-olds.

The MA15+ restricted category requires that anyone under the age of 15 is accompanied by an adult. The rating was based on a five-three decision by the classification board.

The director of the Office of Film and Literature Classification, Des Clark, said the classification had been decided partly for the depiction of the Dementors, who suck the life essence out of humans.

"It also covers the depictions of a character who transforms into a werewolf and takes part in a frightening fight with a black wolf during a pivotal scene in the film, before stalking Harry and Hermione through a dark wood in a later sequence," he said. Mr Clark said parents should assess a child's maturity to handle horror elements.

The Brad Pitt epic Troy had its original classification of MA altered to M less than two days before it was released in Australia on May 13 after distributor Roadshow Films appealed.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/04/1086203598451.html

Mattographer
Jun 5th, 2004, 12:10 PM
M stamp is no curse for new Potter film

By Andrew Darby and Garry Maddox

June 5, 2004

There may be a werewolf and a giant spider, not to mention dementors who suck the life essence out of humans.

But the first Australian children to see the new Harry Potter movie shrugged the monsters away. Not too scary, was their verdict - and their parents agreed.

The movie's distributor, Village Roadshow, is appealing against an M15+ rating for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It is a tougher classification from the Federal Office of Film and Literature than the PG for previous Potter movies.

Before its release next week on mainland screens, and even ahead of the premiere in the US, the latest instalment of the series has been released in Tasmania to coincide with the state's school holidays. Yesterday queues snaked outside Village's central Hobart cinema despite polar air and snow on Mount Wellington.

Some waiting in line were unaware of the classification, such as Birgit Tanase of Berriedale and her 10-year-old son Jay. "M rating?" she said. "Well, I think Jay has travelled extensively around the globe and is used to things. I'm sure Harry Potter can do no harm."

Others had heard of it, among them a group of 14-year-old schoolgirls at the head of the queue. "If you've read the book, you're not worried," said one, Jodie Bosworth. Frances Atkinson added: "It's not a horror movie. It hasn't got anything sexual. It's fantasy."

Many of the audience for the morning shows were teenagers, but parents accompanied younger children, including what seemed to be a large number of nine-year-olds.

"Nine is about the age that children start on Harry Potter," said Karin Eickhoff, who took her son Aaron. He enjoyed it. "It was better than the last two, but not scary," Aaron said.

An appeal against the film's classification is due to be heard on Tuesday, two days before the movie's release in other states. Cinemas are divided over whether the rating is a marketing disaster or a side issue, given that the audience for the series is growing up.

One rival distributor, who asked not to be named, said the buzz about the movie being darker could limit the under-12 audience unless the rating was changed to PG.

"If it's between maybe Shrek 2 and Harry Potter, they might go with Shrek 2 because it's PG."

The marketing director for 20th Century Fox, John Scott, admitted to worrying about whether to take his own six-year-old, who has read all the Potter books but has never seen an M movie.

"I'm a little bit torn as a parent," he said. "Half of me thinks he'll get it but the other half feels quite responsible for exposing him to something like that. I think a lot of parents will be having the same deliberation."

But Mr Scott thought the popularity of the series and the strong British opening suggested the rating would have only a marginal impact on box office.

"It's definitely going to be one of the biggest grossing films of the year," he said.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/04/1086203624207.html?from=storyrhs

Julian
Jun 5th, 2004, 12:56 PM
kids watch worse material then this on normal television! lol

I thought it was a little "dark" but hey thats how it was in the book. But I agree this is all fantasy, none of it can be true..theres a happy ending to it neway lol

DutchieGirl
Jun 5th, 2004, 02:05 PM
Well firstly I can say, at least it's only an M, and not a MA...coz then you really HAVE to be over 15 to see it... at least with an M you can still go with your parents.

Secondly, you REALLY don't wanna know what I think about that twat Bill Muelehnberg...he's a total moron...anything he can make an issue of he does with glee! :fiery: :mad: :smash:I mean what he says about the filmmakers getting the gist of the book...well there are dementors and a werewolf in the book so wtf does he think they are gonna do with the movie? Cut them out?