While there’s a big difference animation and live-action filmmaking, sometimes
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the upcoming release of James Franco and Seth Rogan’s The Interview. North Korea is none too happy about the plot of this movie and has been extremely vocal in their displeasure. They even orchestrated the “Sony leak” scandal that is plaguing Hollywood recently. The Interview is hardly the only film to come with controversy though, it’s a long running tradition in Hollywood. Here are just a few of the most controversial film releases of all time.
Before Jennifer Lawrence brought The Hunger Games to life, there was Battle Royale. Kinji Fukasaku directed this horror about a group of Japanese students who are paired against each other in a fight to the death. The film faced a lot of controversy in post-production with Fukasaku fighting against the R15 rating it was given. The Diet of Japan (Japanese legislature) protested the film’s use of teens in the film and said it was harmful to them.
After its release Battle Royale faced even more controversy from the government who said it was “crude”. Across the ocean, it took 11 years for the film to actually be released in the U.S. and Canada officially. Unfortunately, it fell victim to poor timing in the US after being released shortly after the Columbine tragedy.
Many films revolving around teens acting out are met with much controversy. As a society, we don’t generally want to watch young people dealing with severely intense situations like suicide, abuse, sex, etc. Ken Park investigates all of the aforementioned topics in a disturbingly true to life way.
The film was sold to 30 countries but was not shown in the UK after director, Larry Clark, attacked the head of Metro Tartan for his remarks about 9/11. Additionally, Clark neglected to get the rights to use certain music in the film so it was never released in the US.
The internet is a dangerous place, or so your parents would like you to believe. Sometimes parents are right though and the internet can be full of scary people, young and old. Hard Candy tells the tale of a man meeting a girl online with malicious intent. Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that Hard Candy was controversial for not only it’s subject matter but also for its final scene that completely knocks its audience over the head.
Because it dealt with controversial subject matter the budget was under $1 million so that the studio couldn’t ask the filmmakers to change anything. Unlike most other controversial films, Hard Candy was well received by critics.
Requiem for a Dream
There is a lot to find controversial in Darren Aronofsky’s depressing drug-rattled drama Requiem for a Dream. The film follows a variety of interweaving story lines about individuals addicted to certain drugs. It’s well-written, well-acted, and well-directed, but it is a very dark and heavy film and was given an NC-17 rating for its graphic nature.
Requiem premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2000 before its wide release. Upon its release to home video, the film was edited in one scene to drop the rating down from an NC-17 to an R.
Team America: World Police
Tray Parker and Matt Stone are no strangers to controversy and censorship. Their hit TV show South Park has stunned and revolted audiences for years. So in 2004 when they released a feature length film about the US military and North Korea’s then Dictator Kim Jong-il. The film received and NC-17 rating and was, surprisingly, well-liked by critics.
Kim Jong-il did not comment on the film (unlike his son) but he did try to get the Czech Republic to ban the film. They refused stating that North Korea was trying impose on their newly adopted freedom.