‘The Tenor of the Times’: An Interview with James Ferman

Julian Petley

in Film and Video Censorship in Contemporary Britain

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780748625383
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670871 | DOI:
‘The Tenor of the Times’: An Interview with James Ferman

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This chapter discusses an interview with James Ferman. John Trevelyan has close relations with many British film-makers, frequently advising them on censorship matters before and even during production. Ferman puts the public first, and is more concerned with basically moral questions than was Trevelyan. The Video Recordings Act requires that virtually all videos currently on the market be classified within the next three years. Despite the fact that there have been no prosecutions of British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) certificated films for many years, Ferman is keen to discount suggestions of a ‘gentleman's agreement’ between the Board and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The DPP has to consider who is likely to view videos taken into the home. Ferman is equally determined to reject the suggestion that the ‘video nasties’ affair (and the Video Recordings Act) was greatly facilitated by a new crusading spirit in the DPP's office.

Keywords: James Ferman; John Trevelyan; censorship; Video Recordings Act; British Board of Film Classification; gentleman's agreement; Director of Public Prosecutions; video nasties

Chapter.  3299 words. 

Subjects: Film

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