The film, Perfume, which directed by Tom Tykwer and released in 2006, was rated R because of its restricted scenes. Back to the 1930 to 1968 the United States, such a film like Perfume may have difficult in being released based on the Production Code. Production Code was an industrycensorshipguideline that governed most of United States motion picture. It has 3 General Principles which stated the films could not lower the audiences’ moral standards, should contain the correct standards of life and not be ridiculed.
According to the Production Code, Perfume will have 3 main problems, Crimes against the Law, Sex and Costume. Perfume has a subtitle called the Story of A Murderer. Obviously, it describes a story of crime. However, in the film, there are so many directly bloody, crucial scenes about murder, which are violation of the first rule in Production Code, Crime against the Law. For example, at the beginning of the film, when the main character, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was a baby, he was sent to the orphanage.
While other orphans wanted to suffocate him with a pillow in order to keep their own possession. In this scene, the director showed the whole process of killing, which is against the rule that indicates brutal killings are not to be presented in detail. As the same, there are also brutal scenes about the old woman being cut the throat as well as Jean’s mother and the scapegoat of the murder being hung to death. All these scenes are clearly projected without any editing. Besides the violation of the Production Code of Crime against the Law, there are also restricted scenes about Sex.
For instance, one of these scenes is the birth of Jean. The director shot the whole process of the mother giving birth to Jean, even included her cutting umbilical. It must be against the rule of Sex that stated scenes of actual child birth, in fact or in silhouette, are never to be presented. What is more, in the end of the film, when Jean was about to be killed in the square, he used his perfume to make onlookers excited and have sex with each other, even includes homosexual kiss.
In order to make shaking visual effect, the director didn’t do any editing on this scene, which strongly offense the Production Code of Sex. Apart from Crime against the Law and Sex, what the film violated the Production Code most must be Costume. Perfume told a story about odor. The murderer, Jean, found the most beautiful scent came from the natural smell of virgin. So he killed 13 virgins and took off their clothes to purity their scent. After each murder, the girl’s corpus would be found naked.
As a consequence, the violation of Costume can not be avoided. In the Production Code of Costume, it claimed that complete nudity is never permitted and undressing scenes should be avoided. Nevertheless, these scenes were all projected in Perfume. Moreover, the scene mentioned before about the group sex also conflict the Production Code of Costume. As an R rated film, Perfume exactly contains various restricted scenes. Except the violations mentioned before, there are also scenes counter the Production Code.
For example, Jean used a cat for experiment and put it into the distillation furnace, which can be considered as apparent cruelty to animal; as well as theviolenceand expletives. A movie like this apparently can not get PCA approval to be released. Nevertheless, the film can be played in theaters today without any cut and edit, even though it was rated R and could just be watched by portion of people. It witnessed that social standards of motion picture has changed a lot over time.