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U.K. to cut ‘Club’

Aside from 2 scenes, pic panel defends content

LONDON — The British Board of Film Classification has demanded cuts in David Fincher’s “Fight Club” for its U.K. theatrical release.

According to a BBFC statement, the censor has trimmed two scenes in which “there was an indulgence in the excitement of beating a (defenseless) man’s face into a pulp.”

“Fight Club,” which will be released Friday by 20th Century Fox, has been awarded an 18 certificate, restricting the film to an adult-only audience.

It is very rare for the BBFC to impose cuts upon the theatrical release of a mainstream Hollywood movie. Most BBFC interventions come at the video-release stage, when there is greater chance of children being exposed to difficult material.

The BBFC is clearly bracing itself for a media uproar about “Fight Club.” Its statement points out that the film has less violent content than many other pics that have passed entirely without public concern.

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The panel considered but dismissed claims that the film contained “dangerously instructive information” and could “encourage anti-social (behavior).”

And the BBFC noted, “The film as a whole is — quite clearly — critical and sharply parodic of the amateur fascism which in part it portrays,” adding, “Its central theme of male machismo (and the anti-social behaviour that flows from it) is emphatically rejected by the central character in the concluding reels.”

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