Movie Mom

Movie Mom


What is Obscene? Arthouse Films Documentary About Obscenity Trials

posted by Nell Minow

Arthouse Films, a terrific new company specializing in documentaries about art, has released an important documentary called Obscene: A Portrait of Barney Rossett and Grove Press. As was once said about another film, this one has “something to offend everyone.” Rossett published allegedly obscene books by everyone from William Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg, and Henry Miller to the “anonymous” works of Victorian pornographers. Many of these works are now considered classic texts, studied by scholars and appreciated by millions of readers. And of course, by today’s standards, they are by no means considered shocking or fringe.
Jeannette Catsoulis wrote in the New York Times:
Appropriately framed by Mr. Rosset’s raucous 1989 interview with Al Goldstein, the colorful publisher of Screw magazine and no stranger to litigation himself, “Obscene” is a warm, entertaining compendium of counterculture voices (including Jim Carroll and Amiri Baraka) and literary landmarks. It’s the story of a man who follows his own drummer — usually with rum and Coke in hand — and believes in “nourishing the accidental.” We should all be grateful that he does.
Rossett’s story is an integral part of the cultural tumult of the era and a precursor of the culture wars of today. He was a pioneer in publishing — and in First Amendment law. His courtroom battles are as important as the works he published. To paraphrase the words attributed to Voltaire, “We may not agree with what he said — we may find it disturbing, disgusting, or offensive — but I would defend to the death his right to say it.”



Previous Posts

Dr. Martin Luther King's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
This week's release, "Selma," begins with the ceremony honoring The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King with the Nobel Peace Prize. Here is the real footage of his famous speech. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5r98tT0j1a0?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 12:00:34pm Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

A Child's Christmas in Wales
The whole family will enjoy this beautiful version of Dylan Thomas' classic memory about his family Christmases in Wales. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GrLDaAG7j_o?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:23am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Pride
The ingredients for this film were so irresistible that it is a unexpected bonus to find that it is so much better than it needed to be. It's based on a true story of extraordinary kindness, generosity, and friendship and it stars a bunch of adorable English actors (Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy) w

posted 6:00:25am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Ava DuVernay of "Selma"
My favorite movie of the year is "Selma," the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the

posted 9:41:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child's world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year's best ads.

posted 12:06:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.