Try to learn something about everything & everything about something.

Mondays aren’t quite the same in London as they seem back home as I am much more excited to wake up and begin the day. I worked out this morning and made myself a grilled cheese for lunch. I had Censored! today and there was a guest lecture from Mr. James Blatch, an examiner of the BBFC, British Board of Film Censorship. There are 14 examiners all of whom spend about 6 hours a day watching vilms and rating them. He wasn’t overly official and was casually dressed. His powerpoint was very interactive with many clips and he promted a lot of discussion. We got to see the cut and uncut version of a clip from the Hunger Games in which the producer worked closely with the Board in order to reach a (12) rating. There are much more video and cinema ratings over here than back in the stats. (U) for universal, (Uc) for childrens movies which don’t need parental guidance, (12) for 12+, (15) fro 15+, (18) for adults, (18R) for porn essentially and a few ratings have come and gone. Last year only two films were banned completely. We saw clips also from the King’s Speech involving the language, they have to count the use of derogatory terms, and it is counted more harshly against the film when it is used with aggression. We also learned about how many Lassie dogs they had to go through to create the movie, to imagine one Lassie dog dying while drowning in the river and it’s a completely different Lassie dog pretending to have just survived. I didn’t like that bit. The cruelty of animals in the film, The Devine Weapon, in which they force horses to fall forward on their necks for the film, which basically paralyzes them, kills them or causes the producers to shoot them after production. This area I fully support the BBFC on. However, a girl in my class from Beijing tried to explain that to her it didn’t matter so what it is a horse. In her culture they kill animals all the time for movies and it didn’t affect her. This got a rise out of not just the entire class who was ready to argue with raised voices but as well as our professor and the lecturer. She was not well received by any means. We attempted to get our point across before the lecturer saved her in changing the subject. Many mentioned also after class about matter. Different cultures it is true but hard to accept when she was unwilling to have any sympathy on the matter after trying to explain further. After class I went grocery shopping for the next week or two. I went to Tesco for whole wheat bread, eggs, cheese, crumpets, some cans of soup, orange juice, little lemon biscuits that were on sale and a few apples. I looked at the grapes there and they didn’t come close to comparing to the treasure that Jane provided so I think I will wait and see if I can get something more fresh at a market. I also am considering looking for some strawberries as well. It cost about 12.65 pounds overall but I am hoping that it will last me awhile. We then went and all chipped in about a pound to get a treat for Annie’s birthday meal sort of thing. After that, I did some reading and then started my paper for Censored! which was over the lecture and based around the thought “The work of the BBFC is vital in contemporary British society. Discuss.” It is our midterm but she wants to get it out of the way so it is due on Monday. So who wants to write it for me? 🙂 I have 1200 and it has to be 1500, a really really easy midterm compared to any I have had at Knox. I am sending her my outline tomorrow to prompt any additional ideas she may have. Will write more on how my Tuesday goes tomorrow…….to be continued…….

Tuesday began with Courtney and I traveling the furthest on the Central Line that I have gone thus far to White Chapel Station.  There we merely crossed the street to the BBC Today Centre.  This is where we spent our Media & UK Politics class, on a field trip.  Neither of us were that excited about it ahead of time but we were pleasantly surprised.  We were given a tour by two guys who were probably only five years older than I am.  They showed us various studios where they film Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and the weather.  We saw the news and travel agency area where they are shipped off when news such as September 11th happens.  They also discussed how they rehearse celebrity deaths or the Queens death every so often so that they are prepared, e.g. Michael Jackson.  Thus, if you have your death rehearsed for BBC news you have done something with your life, right?

We also got to walk by the Beach Boys and the Muse dressing rooms, doors open! We lingered of course and it was really cool.  We weren’t of course allowed to talk to them or anything.  We got to see other dressing rooms used by Lady Gaga, John Lennon, Paul McCartney.  There is a circular walking area around the entrances to the dressing rooms in which three instances has been used by a vehicle–one by the Queen, one staged for comedy, and the final by Jennifer Lopez who refused to walk about 20 feet from the drop off point to her dressing room door…..hence the reason her bum is so big? It was magnificent seeing all of it.  We got to go by the creative design and marketing seciton, which appealed to me most. Can I work there? Or the portion they have in the US? We also saw the new stage the Alicia Keys is singing on a couple hours after we left! The old football news studio has a white round couch which DAVID BECKHAM has sat on and we took pictures sitting on the same couch, I enjoyed that bit :).  A bunch of set pieces from Dr. Who as well.  After that we had History of London class back at the IES Centre which is nothing exciting really, I have a quiz next week in that class but I think I am all caught up on reading, etc.  This evening I am going to attempt to get myself to work out as well as fine tune my paper for Censored!

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