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Our indignant editor, Andrew L. Urban, flays the flaccid principles of our moral watchdogs for failing to safeguard us from Tadpole, with Sigourney Weaver and a teenager as the lovers in this new film that brings us the corruption which infests modern filmmaking. MA? Get this film banned, he shrieks. Where’s the Attorney General’s lapdog … er .. watchdog classification review board when you really need it, he asks.

Where’s the outraged lobby group outside the Attorney General’s office demanding a review of the classification of Tadpole? A 16 year old boy having an affair with his stepmother! And to make things worse, his stepmother is played by an icon of cinema, Sigourney Weaver, lending an air – nay, a cloak - of respectability to the whole idea. The community will be depraved and corrupted, audiences will be deeply offended. Society will disintegrate.

I remember 1967 when Dustin Hoffman, then a graduate, was seduced by Mrs Robinson, and director Mike Nichols was hung drawn and quartered by the inquisition (but only in the frightful fantasies of the fundamentalist few.) That film led to the mass seduction of older women by graduates, and the subsequent deflowering of young men at the hands (ahem) of women who knew better – than their daughters.

Whether we see actual sexual penetration or not (excuse moi, Baise Moi), we know that’s the end game in stories of love on screen. (But only on screen.) What matters, says the Lord, is the intent. If you so much as think of your neighbour’s wife’s ass, you are committing adultery. And if she’s not your neighbour’s wife but your girlfriend’s mother, hot damnation awaits you and all who see the motion … picture. 

"a salacious piece of evil"

Look, as I write this, I haven’t even seen the film (Tadpole) but I can tell from the poster and the advertising that it’s a salacious piece of evil, about a 16-year-old boy, Oscar, who falls in love with his stepmother, Eve. That’s enough for anybody: for a start, 16 year old boys are at a very vulnerable age. All they want to do is love somebody – or some body. Films that glamourise the unnatural attraction of boys to women who could be their mothers do not belong in cinemas. They belong in Canberra’s adult movie shoppees. (Attorney General’s Dept. based in Canberra, please note.)

To demonstrate how easy it is to have this film banned, let me show you what just three people’s complaints achieved, when the film Baise-Moi was first released with an R 18+ classification. Here is a passage (excuse moi again) of a letter from Attorney General’s Dept on the subject to yours truly: 

“There have been many complaints received from people opposed to the release of Baise-Moi. Some were received before the Attorney-General requested the review, and some were received after the request. Complainants did not usually indicate if they had seen the film. As at 27 August 2002, the Attorney-General had received 419 letters regarding Baise-Moi. Approximately 161 were opposed to the film and either sought a review of the Classification Board's decision, or were supportive of the Attorney-General's request for a review, or were in favour of the Review Board's RC (refused classification) decision. Twenty-seven indicated that they had seen the film and of those, three were opposed to the film.” (my emphasis)

"the moral rectitude"

So you see, dear reader, why I am so darned agitated that not even three people had the moral rectitude to feel sufficiently offended by the low morals displayed in Tadpole to want it banned. Just three! 

What is the world coming to?

Addendum December 3, 2002: Now that I’ve seen the film, I stand corrected: the 16 year old has a one night stand with a 40 year old woman who is not his stepmother. Which just goes to show how useful it is to see movies before commenting on them. Point made, I hope.

Published December 5, 2002

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Baise Moi - the outrage

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