The British Board of Film Classification has ruled that a 607-minute documentary about paint drying is unlikely to offend or harm anyone that may view it, and has classified the film as “U for Universal”.
Paint Drying by director Charlie Lyne is, he says, a protest against the BBFC’s role in what he sees as censorship. In the UK, films must be mandatorily classified, and there are restrictions upon what can be classified: the highest ratings are 18 and R18, but even in those categories some material — for example, “very dangerous or criminal behaviour”, or “promot[ing] or encourag[ing] drug use” — must be removed.
Lyne raised almost £6000 — over $12,000 — to film Paint Drying and submit it to the BBFC. All of that money raised went to the BBFC to pay for the cost of classification, at a cost of £121.80 plus £8.51 per minute of runtime; that’s where the film’s seemingly random 10 hour and seven minute length comes from. The U rating is for films acceptable to be watched by viewers of ages 4 and up, so you can even show it to your kids.
Lyne also said he didn’t actually watch the film in its entirety before submitting it, either; two BBFC employees had to sit in front of the flick for over a day — they’re only allowed to watch nine hours of footage daily. There are currently no plans to screen Paint Drying widely, although YouTube would seem like the perfect place for such cinematic brilliance to be shared widely forever. There’ll be a little bit of compression needed, though — the 2K DCP file is a mere 310 gigabytes in size.
Note: The following text may contain spoilers
PAINT DRYING is a film showing paint drying on a wall.