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Recently I was rewatching Love Actually in TV and before it started a warning appeared:

This movie contains stroboscopic effects.

Since you don't often see this kind of warning before a movie it made me really curious. I spent the entire projection trying to spot these effects, but I failed to notice anything unusual. However, as a layman on the subject, I don't know if they can be easily spotted by an untrained eye.

Could anyone help and tell me where are the stroboscopic effects in Love Actually?

  • Was this a warning by the TV company or part of the movie? There was a phase in the UK when stroboscopic effects and epileptic seizures for those affected by such was a hot button topic...hence the warnings became prevalent, Now, not so much. – Paulie_D Jan 30 '17 at 10:33
  • It was added by the TV company. – Chanandler Bong Jan 30 '17 at 10:44
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    There are scenes in Love Actually were the British Prime Minster played by Hugh Grant is photographed by the press, which includes a lot of flash bulbs going off. The strobing caused by those flash effects could be the ones the warning refered to. – Sarriesfan Jan 30 '17 at 14:13
  • @Paulie_D Turns out you were right that this is due to UK regulations - see my answer. – Chanandler Bong Feb 8 '17 at 11:02
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There are scenes in Love Actually where the character of the British Prime Minister played by Hugh Grant and the President of the United States of America played by Billy Bob Thorton are at a press conference together.

During this scene there is flash photography from photographers covering the press conference. The scene is here in this You Tube clip.

These may be the stroboscopic effects the warning refers to.

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I've decided to contact the channel and ask the question. This is the answer I received:

There are several such moments - e.g. flashes during the school play, that ends with a kissing scene between the Prime Minister and his office employee, or earlier, during the Christmas party for the employees of the character portrayed by Alan Rickman. The last moments of the film, where the pictures of the people greeting at the airport multiply are also treated as containing stroboscopic effects.

Adding information about the stroboscopic effects and/or flashing lights (that could cause seizures in those suffering from photosensitive epilepsy) before the projection is required by Ofcom (...). CBS Europa channel broadcasts on the basis of a license issued by Ofcom.

CBS Europa is a Polish channel owner by CBS/AMC. The email was in Polish, the translation is mine.

Ofcom is:

the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom.

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