Nine Inch Nails are at the centre of a
controversy surrounding the video for their ‘Happiness In Slavery‘ track, which
has been banned by the British Board Of Film Classification.
The censors have refused to certify the video, effectively
ruling out its public release. NIN‘s label, Island, have been told that any
attempt to duplicate copies of the film will make the company liable to
prosecution. As a result, only invited visitors to Island‘s London HQ are
legally allowed to view it.
The video is the joint work of Trent Reznor and
director Jonathan Reiss, aided by several special effects experts, and aims to
portray “a world in which people willingly submit to ritualised sadomasochist relationships
with devouring machines“. It features self-confessed masochist US performance artist Bob Flanagan
undergoing extreme physical torture at the hands of a robotic device.
The film includes shots of sharp objects
penetrating Flanagan‘s hands and chest, a mechanical claw tearing at his skin
and cutting wheels ‘severing‘ his genitals. It climaxes with Flanagan falling into
a coffin and being turned into mincemeat.
A spokesperson for Nine Inch Nails told NME:
“We find it ironic that it should be the UK that bans this film when we‘ve had
no problem at all in the USA and didn’t really expect to.“
The video, originally intended for inclusion on
a complication of tracks from the band‘s ‘Broken‘ LP, now looks set to remain in