Carl Panzram is sent to Leavenworth Prison for burglary. While there, he is brutally beaten by a guard. Neophyte guard Henry Lesser feels sympathy for Panzram, befriends him, and gets him ... See full summary »
Robert Sean Leonard,
Biographic movie of the witty, overachieving, hot-tempered Rudy Giuliani, spaning from his rising days as a New York district attorney in the early 1980's to his marriage to part-time ... See full summary »
Penelope Ann Miller,
Based on the true story of Bill W. (James Woods), a successful stock broker whose life falls apart after the stock crash of the 20's and how he comes to grips with his alcoholism. Along ... See full summary »
Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a... See full summary »
Hit man Cleve approaches writer/cop Dennis about a story for his next book: How Cleve made a living, working for one of the most powerful politicians in the country. To get the story right,... See full summary »
Three short stories come to the screen, each focused on a man and a woman. The first is set in the 1940s, the other two in the 1920s. In "The Man in a Brooks Brothers Suit," a businessman ... See full summary »
Redmond is a young guy who can't find what to do with his life. When his uncle Sam gives him the bag to deliver to some uptown connection he fails to do so and it gets them in trouble with ... See full summary »
Televangelist Bobby Paradise "saw God" in some space debris when he was returning to Earth as an astronaut. Or at least he was convinced he did by his wife, a Cape Canaveral groupie at the ... See full summary »
Fact-based story about the court proceedings that followed Cincinnati art museum director Dennis Barrie after his decision to display a controversial art exhibit by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The proceedings start with an inflamed County Sheriff who is determined to put Barrie in jail. A grand jury established to determine whether the sexually explicit photographs were obscene found seven of the pictures to possibly be obscene. The seven pictures depicted nude children, a man ramming his fist up another man's anus, and man with his finger in his penis. Other pictures in the exhibit did depict explicit nudity and sexual connotation. An obviously biased judge made derisive decisions throughout the trial. The strain of the trial also placed Barrie's marriage under duress, which ultimately led to his wife divorcing him, and led to Barrie's children being derided and physically attacked by their classmates. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie missed a good occasion to make a substantial contribution in the discussion about censorship. It's about the law proceedings concerning a traveling exhibition with pictures of renowned photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the year 1990. Some of the exhibits (they are presented in the movie) have a sexual content that a general public may deem shocking. In Washington State the exhibit was not allowed to be shown, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the sheriff started a lawsuit against the curator of the museum in which the exhibition was made accessible to the public in the said town.
The movie gives too much attention to the hysteria on both sides. The accusers are shown as dimwits who want to start a dictatorship, the defendants as ultra sensitive art experts who see themselves as martyrs for a noble cause. I'm not Larry Flynt", whines the curator of the museum. Being compared with the publisher of pornographic magazines is apparently the worst that could happen to him. And exactly at this point I would have wanted an expose about what art is in our present days but there is no response at all to that statement. Nobody tells the viewers how one should differ. After all there never was a society in which so many pictures are shoved in people's faces on a daily basis as ours. A picture in itself has ceased to be art a long time ago. All a good photographer has to do, basically, is excluding any unwanted chance elements in a picture. Once you release the shutter you'll get something.
Unfortunately the movie does not treat the art issue in a satisfying manner. It fails to deliver new food for thought. It does not make the acceptance of image content an issue. The curator argues that in old churches you find naked cherubims without anybody complaining so why should the public be offended by Mapplethorpe taking a picture of a naked boy? I thought that was an extremely bad comparison that should have provoked protest. The presence of cherubims in a church has to do with a specific location. And it has a specific context (which has nothing to do with a democratic society, by the way). I think that's what is missing in displaying contemporary art, a perceptible context (star architects alone won't do the trick). Liberty in expression seems to me insufficient as a purpose for art, if you agree that art needs a public. And the question of censorship should not in every case be ridiculed (how to go about it, that is another story).
Dirty Pictures is a docudrama. It recounts real events from a predictable, uninspired perspective. Instead of including comments of intellectuals (thus strengthening the avantgarde expert angle) including, of all people, Salman Rushide (what on earth has he got to do with graphic art??) the movie should have focused more on the deliberations of the jury who decided in favor of the museum. The opinion of a section of ordinary people would have interested me more.
Let me finish with a short anecdote: Early this year the Kunsthaus of the town of Zurich showed a big retrospective of the Zurich born painter Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) who emigrated to England, became famous with his paintings of scenes from Shakespeare plays and his Gothic nightmare series. He also was at a time president of the Royal Academy in London. Unexpectedly I was confronted with a series of explicit pornographic etchings which were just part of the exhibition, without being specially marked or separated from the rest. I assume Fuseli made them on private commissions" not for artistic purposes but to earn a few extra bucks. I could accept their being included for historical reasons the exhibition had the intention to show the time and life of the man. I didn't read or hear any comment concerning their presence in the much publicized exhibition.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?