|Title||Charge her with smoking|
|Description||Charge her with smoking, indeed! What a wag! Today she certainly would be charged with smoking in a public place, but this is not all: the American board of film censors, the MPAA, has brought in guidelines by which movies themselves can be charged with smoking, and Stone's particular style of inhalation would be as significant a factor in deciding the film's rating as the scene in which she does sex-play with an ice pick. Pressure from US anti-smoking lobbies has forced Americans to follow the example set by the British Board of Film Classification in 2005, and certify films not only according to the language, sex and violence on display but also on whether they 'glamorise smoking' or 'feature pervasive smoking outside of a historic or other mitigating context'. So serious is the drive to save children from temptation that the HannaBarbera studio has already stubbed out the scenes from Tom and Jerry in which Tom rolls his own, thus making the most violent cartoon on television 'safe' for tots to watch. We are told that the new St Trinian's will be wilder than ever; the girls will 'do anything and everything - there's drugs, sex, tattoos, piercings' but, heaven forbid, no cigarettes behind the bike-sheds. At the same time as we are given rebellious schoolgirls who don't smoke, we get hobbits in The Lord of the Rings who do. How 'historic' is that? So these days Basic Instinct would be awarded its 18 certificate as much because of Stone's cheeky little puff as the glimpse we get of her privates. If young Newport 100S audiences are as influenced by what they see on the screen as we are being taught to believe, it is a wonder that frying pans have not been banned by the RSPCA and more women do not remove their knickers before being interviewed by the police. The warning that films 'glamorise' smoking is a contradiction in terms. Films glamorise everything but smoking is glamorous anyway, as anyone knows who has seen pictures of Marlene Dietrich, a smouldering fag glued to her lipstick, one heavily made-up eye winking at the camera; James Dean looking more in need of a mother's love with every drag he takes; or of Kate Moss, clutching her Marlboro Lights like a Chanel handbag, slipping home in the early hours of the morning. Teenage filmgoers were apparently exposed to 13.9 billion 'smoking impressions' between 1998 and 2003, but the BBFC says that contemporary films are cutting down on smoking. What more could one want?' Our culture is, Marlboro Gold or rather was, as smoke-filled as a room in the Garrick. Darwin smoked, as did Freud, who gave us the immortal line, 'sometimes a cigar is just a cigar', while Einstein, in need of inspiration, would pick up cigarette butts from the street. Gray has done much of his writing in bars in Barbados where he can smoke all he likes, but it is his love of London restaurants that will suffer once the 'delayed revenge', as he calls it, of the anti-smokers begins. On the bright side, he mused, 'the smokers will stand together outside and all sorts of new friendships and adulteries will occur.'|
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