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Banned in the UK: Approaching the Industrial Analysis of "Video Nasty" Distribution

MCKENNA, Mark (2014) Banned in the UK: Approaching the Industrial Analysis of "Video Nasty" Distribution. In: Industrial Approaches to Media: Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies, 5 June 2014, University of Nottingham. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

In 1984 the Video Recordings Act (VRA) was introduced and it effectively criminalised the sale or rental of 72 videos that had been released by what turned out to be, largely independent distributors. Most histories frame these distributors as ‘merchants of menace’, and suggest that they were actively courting the controversy that led to the introduction of the VRA, through the lurid artwork used to promote the videos. Historically, discussion around the ‘video nasties’ has quite rightly foregrounded debates around ‘harm’ and censorship. While these debates are essential in our understanding of the period and the implications that this rhetoric may have upon future ‘moral panics’, they have often been at the expense of a deeper industrial analysis – preferring to depict the distributor as a comic book villain, preying on children with their debased product. This paper seeks to demonstrate some of the difficulties inherent in approaching a revisionist history, and will present some of the problems encountered both from a practical and a methodological perspective.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Event Title: Industrial Approaches to Media: Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies
Event Location: University of Nottingham
Event Dates: 5 June 2014
Depositing User: Mark MCKENNA
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 10:27
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 10:27
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5270

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