Book of the Banned: Devilish Movies, Dastardly Censors and the Scenes That Made Australia Sweat

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Australia has censored it all.

Did you know Aussie audiences were originally banned from watching bona fide classics The Night of the Hunter, Breathless and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (to name just a few out of literal hundreds), or that Australians initially saw a watered-down version of Star Wars in cinemas?

Book of the Banned is a rigorous, rollicking, riotous and righteously-furious jaunt through film history that reveals the shocking stories behind Australia's classification system and how your favourite movies have been snipped down under, featuring interviews with Margaret Pomeranz, David Stratton, a bunch of 'banned' filmmakers and even their censors.

Like any good story, there are heroes, anti-heroes, unexpected criminals and downright dastardly villains, though they're not always whom you'd expect. But by discussing the movies, scenes and lines of dialogue deemed too extreme for Aussie eyes and ears, we can see how far we've come in Australia... and how far we have to go.

Author: Simon Miraudo

Paperback  Published 16 July 2023 

'A uniquely Australian ride into the dark side of film censorship, pearl-clutching outrages and moral panics, Simon Miraudo's Book of the Banned is an essential book for film fans, cinema scholars and card-carrying perverts alike.' - Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

'This book is f***ing great. And if they put asterisks in this quote, the censors will have won again. Impeccably researched and superbly written, Book of the Banned is an endlessly riveting slice of film history that demands to be read.' - Chris Taylor

 'Miraudo masterfully guides us through the tangled and surprisingly fascinating history of Australian censorship and takes us on a wild journey through the rule-breaking films that tested those boundaries. Anchored by a detailed account of film history and censorship policy plus interviews with leading researchers and cinephiles, Book of the Banned is both a lively love-letter to controversial and challenging films and a call for our censorship practices to be reviewed.' - Flick Ford

 'Important, because it pulls together the exhaustive record of snipped and smothered films, lying in the wake of decisions by Australian authorities.' - John Safran

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