Cleanflix: One way to sanitize Hollywood movies

arts-cleanflix-392.jpg Cleanflix chronicles the rise and fall of companies that provided "clean" versions of popular movies. (TIFF)

Last night I caught a compelling doc that deserves to find an audience beyond the festival circuit. Cleanflix is about a highly profitable business that sprung up in Utah about 10 years ago: several video-DVD rental outlets started to provide cleaned-up versions of Hollywood favourites for Mormons who liked movies but didn’t want their families exposed to any sex, violence or swearing. Case in point: a lot of these folks wanted to watch Titanic, but without that scene where Leo paints a portrait of the topless Ms. Winslet. Thanks to modern technology, it wasn’t that difficult to add in some clothing for her doomed character.

Things were going along swimmingly: the owners of stores such as Clean Flicks and Flick’s Club were making oodles of cash and the customers were satisfied. But then some A-list Hollywood directors – including Michael Mann and Steven Soderbergh – found out about the rather radical changes being made to their films without their permission or copyright clearance. Needless to say, all heck broke loose.

Directors Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi grew up in the Mormon community and they’ve made a very smart and critical – but never dismissive – film about two vastly different worlds colliding over artistic censorship.

-- Greig Dymond

Comment (1)

mgs wrote: Posted: 2009/09/18 at 4:29 PM

It is wrong for anyone at anytime to edit a film, it is wrong to show a film on TV that has been edited for content or even time. If you do not wish to watch the film in its original form then please do not watch it. No one has toe right to edit a movie unless you are the person who made the film in the first place. I would say that even showing a film on TV in a pan a scan form is the same as cutting out strong language or violence or nude scenes. Either show it as it was made or don't. My view anyway.