6 user 22 critic

Obscene (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 27 February 2009 (UK)
3:18 | Trailer
A look at the life and work of American publisher Barney Rosset, who struggled to bring controversial works like "Tropic of Cancer" and "Naked Lunch" to publication.



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Credited cast:
Amiri Baraka Amiri Baraka ... Himself
Lenny Bruce ... Himself (archive footage)
William S. Burroughs ... Himself (archive footage)
Jim Carroll Jim Carroll ... Himself
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Lawrence Ferlinghetti ... Himself
Al Goldstein ... Himself
Erica Jong Erica Jong ... Herself
Ray Manzarek ... Himself
John Rechy John Rechy ... Himself
Barney Rosset Barney Rosset ... Himself
Ed Sanders Ed Sanders ... Himself
John Sayles
Joseph Strick Joseph Strick ... Himself
Gore Vidal ... Himself
John Waters ... Himself


A look at the life and work of American publisher Barney Rosset, who struggled to bring controversial works like "Tropic of Cancer" and "Naked Lunch" to publication.

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27 February 2009 (UK) See more »


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User Reviews

New hero...
23 May 2010 | by denmnSee all my reviews

The story of a ballsy little American hero, Obscene recounts the life of Barney Rosset who's fought a lifelong battle against censors, philistines, bullies, and shrieking 'won't somebody think of the children!' nanny-state-ninnies, and made America slightly less stupid because of it (I, personally, can't think of a better legacy). A naturally-rebellious guy, Rosset, after WWII found himself, almost by accident, the owner of tiny publishing house Grove Press and almost immediately made a career out of provoking court battles with the self-proclaimed 'forces of decency' by seeking out and publishing controversial works of literature. He started off with Lady Chatterley's Lover, moved on to Tropic of Cancer, Waiting for Godot, Naked Lunch, and many others 9and founding the groundbreaking journal Evergreen Review), fighting, and winning, the battle for free speech, free expression, and all of the rest of that Commie stuff, running through all his resources (and more than a few wives) in the process. In addition to the official, court-sanctioned harassment, he got death threats, smear campaigns, and, oh yeah, somebody bombed his office. Way to go America! Rosset, still impishly subversive well into old age, recounts his various struggles against The Man with obviously pride, even as he spells out the most difficult and unjust ways in which the foes of art tried, and ultimately succeeded, in bringing Grove down. Filled with saucy excerpts, indignant interviews, racy archival footage, and an inherent love of the written word, Obscene is a thrilling, fascinating, and infuriating watch, and you'll have a new hero at the end. Unless, of course, you're an illiterate prig.

Movie geeks unite! http://videoportjones.wordpress.com/

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