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Are Teen Readers Granted More Blood, Guts and Sex than Moviegoers?

Are Teen Readers Granted More Blood, Guts and Sex than Moviegoers?

Well, are they?
Jan 12, 2011

A weekend or school holiday trip to the movies has long been a staple occurrence to the coming of age of millions of teenagers the world over. Catching a flick without Mummy or Daddy for the first time is a monumental right of passage: more-so if you’re daring enough to let them buy you a ticket to something they want you to see and then sneak into a movie they would be horrified to know you have seen. When you’re fourteen-and-a-half and really, really want to see Not Another Teen Movie because all those in your class who are just old enough highly recommend it, the reality of that little MA15+ rating can feel like such a biaaaatch. Encouraged by the folks at the Aussie Classifications Board and exercised by the pimply kids usually also too young to buy a ticket to the films they are selling, the right to refuse younger teenagers access to certain movies has always let parents feel in control. In hindsight, keeping underage kids out of MA15+ movies exists for a reason and I can see why my folks still think it is a bad idea to watch Not Another Teen Movie, regardless of age.

On the other hand, when a kid drags their folks into a bookstore and heads for the teenage fiction section, no warning labels discourage the parents with their cash at the ready: “Thank God, after so many years of school, Little Johnny knows how to read!”. And while literature classification most certainly does exist, many teenage fiction novels appear to get away with a lot more when it comes to heavy themes such as sex and violence.

As Katey Rich writes for Cinema Blend, the highly anticipated teenage fiction trilogy The Hunger Games is set to tone down the violence when it is adapted into film by director Garry Ross later this year. Violent depictions of a world where teenagers are forced to fight each other to death, as ordered by an over-zealous government intent on distracting the masses with life-and-death reality entertainment, are to be edited to keep the movie within the grasp of its 14-21 readership demographic. Funny thing is, fans of the books in this demographic have already been exposed to such explicit content, so what’s the big deal?

Are words on a page any less impacting than combinations of sight and sound?

The issue here lies in that if these kids have already read books depicting such scenes, why should they be denied a cinematic translation? Is this a double standard lost in the translation of two different mediums of entertainment or is there validity in supporting what can be read but not what can be seen and heard?

On the other hand, Ramascreen reports Twilight fans are salivating at the thought of a faithful Breaking Dawn adaptation: “Vampire-Human Sex” …”Mixed Marriage Spawn”…

In reality, does anyone really want to see that?

Category: Opinion
Date Published: January 12th, 2011
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