BOOK - Dylan Douglas Professor Richard Koszarski Special Topics in Film New York Motion Picture Industry Freedom to Offend How New York Remade

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Dylan Douglas Professor Richard Koszarski Special Topics in Film: New York Motion Picture Industry 2/8/2009 Freedom to Offend: How New York Remade Movie Culture Raymond J. Haberski Jr. provides a detailed history and investigation of the development of film culture in New York City in his book, Freedom to Offend , beginning in the late 1940’s and into the 1970’s. This eight-chapter book thoroughly explores the development and breakthroughs in the laws regarding censorship in its continuous depiction of what can and cannot be permitted on film. This raises a very broad and subjective question that many answer differently, a question of what constitutes being considered ‘art’ rather than being obscene, irrelevant, purely entertaining, or just part of a trend. Haberski accomplishes this through his diligent account of films, but more specifically by the popular response of audiences, critics, religious organizations (The Catholic Church), and the Government, all of which he provides. It is a very interesting topic that he chronologically dissects from its initially restricted nature, through a gradual expansion in freedom of cinema, and to the grim conclusion: New York film culture became controversy-crazy. The first chapter centers on the 1949 emergence of the foreign film, The Bicycle Thief , an Italian movie in which the protagonist father spends his time searching for his stolen bicycle. This story ends unhappily, but realistically as the man never finds his bicycle and ultimately it met wide acclaim. Joseph Burstyn, the film’s distributer, wished to have it screened all over the country but it met with controversial censoring issues, which while it did not stop it from passing on to be screened, it did make for a difficult task that increased its popularity. This is mainly due to the official laws of New York that stated “the right to exhibit a movie was a matter of “privilege granted by the state” and not an “absolute one” (Haberski, 31). This privilege met with other factors that could deem a movie unacceptable if they were, for example, considered to be “obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, sacrilegious, or of such a character” that if it promotes “corrupt morals, or incites crime” (31). These are the sorts of restrictions that prevented the showing of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on the grounds that it was unacceptable
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
to depict a subject dealing with birth control. Similarly prude laws restricted films that contained any themes of sex regardless of context. The backbone to these laws was the American government and the Catholic church, while the main perpetrator, the first oppositional figure in the book, Joseph Burstyn, “embraced everything that the American film culture had been designed to prevent: controversy, foreignness, seriousness” (36). His work and success put the wheels in motion so to speak, in metaphorical vehicle of
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/05/2011 for the course FILM 315 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

Page1 / 5

BOOK - Dylan Douglas Professor Richard Koszarski Special Topics in Film New York Motion Picture Industry Freedom to Offend How New York Remade

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online