The Loneliest Jukebox

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Homeland Insecurity

A student at UMass Dartmouth received a visit from federal agents after requesting an interlibrary loan of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, according to recent reports. "Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless", protested Professor Brian Glyn Williams, who supervises the (anonymous) student in question. Not according to Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, whose Mao: The Unknown Story is so fixated with the Great Helmsman that it's plausible they could blame him for causing mayhem from beyond the grave. And not forgetting the way that spectacular Chinese economic growth, partly rooted in Maoist labour relations, probably attract the jealous glances of federal agents in other departments.


On a different type of regulation, I recently watched the DVD of Sergio Corbucci's The Great Silence, a bleak Spaghetti western set in Utah. For years it was rumoured that the grim conclusion meant that the BBFC refused it a certificate, as it did Django, although the current (2004) ruling is as follows:
Classified 27 April, 2004 .
Run Time 100m 56s

Dubbed, Widescreen,
Advice for consumers
ConciseContains moderate violence
Language None
Sex/Nudity Infrequent, moderate
Violence Some, moderate

The main spoken language in this work is English.
The BBFC has placed this work in the WESTERN genre(s).

When submitted to the BBFC the work had a running time of 100m 56s.

This work was passed with no cuts made.

At the time of classification Eureka Video was the holder of the rights or the brand name for this work.

Directed by Sergio CorbucciProducer(s) Mar Anendola

The cast for this work includes: Klaus Kinski, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, Vonrtta McGee, Mario Brega, Carlo D'Angelo, Marisa Merlini.

A film or video, together with associated trailers may exist in several versions and all versions known to the BBFC are listed below.
This anodyne synopsis has little in common with the official disquiet reputed to have met the movie in the 1960s. A DVD extra shows the upbeat (and bonkers) 'alternative ending' shot for overseas markets, which DVD Times summarises as '... the extraordinary alternative ending which exists only in a soundless version. Shot for the North African market, where it was considered the downbeat ending would be disastrous, it’s a complete mess which is very funny but also rather frightening when you consider that it was made by allegedly intelligent people. I won’t reveal what it contains but be prepared for the most unlikely ‘arrival of the cavalry’ scenes you’ve ever seen.' Quite. The alternative ending would have made it the Not So Great Silence.


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