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Kinokima

Banning of Films

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> {quote:title=Kinokima wrote:}{quote}

> Just because it doesn't have a license or a US distributor does not mean it is banned. I am also a fan of Japanese animation/manga. Do you know how many series are not released in the US. Is it because there are banned? No it is because for whatever reason US distributors do not think there is a market for these series.

 

There probably isn?t, but trust me, there IS a ?market? in the US for all Ingrid Bergman films.

 

These European Bergman films are available from Amazon USA:

 

Intermezzo (FLV1437), June Night (FLV1438), Only One Night (FLV1439), Dollar (FLV1440), A Woman?s Face (FLV1441) and Walpurgis Night (FLV1442)

 

Die vier Gesellen (1938) is not available.

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*that warns people of these stupid and offensive scenes, and explains that that was simply part of the movie.*

 

Which is what happens every year with TCM's *Race and Hollywood* series. A few years ago, the focus was on *Asian Images on Film* and TCM showed a number of Charlie Chan films. About ten years ago, Fox was pressured by an Asian group to pull a festival of Chan films from their channel because the group that the character of Chan because he was played by two white actors was racist and offensive.

 

What we learned in the aftermath and during the TCM festival was that a number of Asians were not offended by the Chan portrayals but were, instead, influenced by seeing an Asian character at the center of the movies.

 

My point being is that there is no one group that speaks for all.

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I agree with Fred...there is most definitely a market for obscure Ingrid Bergman films. There's probably a market for lockets of her hair.

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Artists can both entertain and enlighten, but it is likely to be enlightenment on a

personal and subjective level, which is something that will not necessarily be

transferred to large groups of people.

 

Mr. Yunioshi plays a smaller part in the novel than in the film. Besides being a

stereotype, he's simply too annoying. All of Holly's racist remarks about blacks,

though they are few, were omitted from the film also. It's too bad another version

of Breakfast can't be made, one that would be more true to the book, it would be

interesting to see.

 

Haven't seen the Our Gang shorts in a long time, and I doubt there would be too

much interest in broadcasting them today, but they should remain in their original

state, without edits and deletions. In practical terms, I don't think they would have

much of an impact. Some of the African American actors who appeared in them

praise them because they showed an integrated group of children, which was rare

for the time.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

>

>

> There probably isnt, but trust me, there IS a market in the US for all Ingrid Bergman films.

 

I am sure there would be people interested but how many? I am not saying the US distributors are right not to release it. Maybe they are sitting on a gold mine (although I somewhat doubt that) but it is not a ban. Every company has the right to release and not release what they want. That is not the same as someone saying "no you can't read or watch this" or we are going to destroy all traces of this.

 

And most of those films you listed seem to be out of print. So no one felt there was market enough to keep them in print.

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I think you are making assumptions.

 

Sometimes the ownership of a film is in dispute and litigation rages on for years, maybe decades. I am not saying that is the case with all the titles Fred alludes to, but surely we cannot say there has never been a market or that someone felt they couldn't make money releasing or rereleasing a title. It could very much be the opposite that they do know they have a goldmine and they are trying like the dickens to resolve legal issues and get the films out to the public.

 

Again, let's be careful about making too many assumptions in these posts. Thanks.

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Artists can both entertain and enlighten, but it is likely to be enlightenment on a

personal and subjective level, which is something that will not necessarily be

transferred to large groups of people.

 

Definitely do not agree with that.

 

Yes, a film is experienced on a subjective level, but it is also experienced in a much greater group sort of way. A filmmaker's thesis is very much related to the collective consciousness of his or her fellow artists and patrons.

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It was very clear to me that when you used the term 'market' it implied 'market enough' as in 'enough of a demand to jusify a release' and that there being an 'interest' in a movie doesn't create a 'market'.

 

Thinking more about this topic do believe there is one legit area where a type of work could be banned and where this ban would actually equate to more individual freedom instead of less.

 

Say a school district has a list of required reading books. i.e. all students have to read and report on the books in this required list. Well if books with racist content were in this list of required books than those students forced to read those required books with racist content would have their freedom of choice violated. So in this type of situation a ban of books with racist content from the list of required books is reasonable and promotes choice and free will.

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}

> It was very clear to me that when you used the term 'market' it implied 'market enough' as in 'enough of a demand to jusify a release' and that there being an 'interest' in a movie doesn't create a 'market'.

>

 

Thank you that is exactly what I meant.

 

And *Classicviewer* yes maybe there are legal issues over these titles it doesn't really refute the point I was making that just because a film is not distributed in the US does not mean it is banned.

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Yes. I see what you are saying.

 

Incidentally, I have been waiting to see THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND by Orson Welles. After nearly 40 years, it is still tangled up in the courts and has never premiered. Only a handful of people have seen the finished film. I am sure that once it does get cleared for release, there will be a relatively strong market for it. It will be the first instant classic to bow as a new picture.

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Should we ban *The Wizard of Oz* because it might lead to the degenerate society of *Zardoz* ?

 

Should we ban *Logan's Run*, because it might lead to that sort of society?

 

Should we ban *Fahrenheit 451*, because it might give some, like ClassicViewer, the idea to ban and burn books, and films?

 

Back in the 30s Alan Cranston, then a newsman but later a US Senator (just before Barbara Boxer,) published Mein Kampf in an unexpurgated, annotated form, at his own expense. He did it because the official US release was sanitized by removing Hitler's more racist stuff, and his military plans, including dividing the US with Japan. Cranston thought the American people needed to know the whole truth. The Nazis didn't. They sued in a US court, and made Cranston stop publishing it.

 

So, I am for censoring, banning, burning, eliminating *nothing*. To do so is to *LIE*.

 

Banning those who would ban or burn books or films, I would support most wholeheartedly.I'm against capital punishment, so I'm not for burning or eliminating them. But, if the US Constitution didn't outlaw cruel and unusual punishment, I would be all for making them listen to Frank Zappa's Who Are The Brain Police, constantly, for the rest of their lives.

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Now, that may be true technically, CV, but you did start the conversation about this going on another thread. In a way, although I did not originally post this thread either, it was at my urging that it was initiated. (See a page or two or three back on the Emma Thompson/Audrey Hepburn thread).

On that thread you raised the extremely controversial idea of "burning" politically incorrect films. So it's not like this thread just started out of the blue - it was a response to a stand you were taking on another thread. I'm just sayin',,,

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> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> I don't think moral and ethical standards are contentious among like-minded individuals who belong to groups with the same societal objectives.

 

There may be certain things we all agree on as Americans but have you watched/read/listened to the news lately? Prop 8 is all over the place. We're debating whether Muslims should be able to build a mosque near ground zero (and they're getting flack in cities and towns across the country for attempting to build new mosques and Muslim community centers.) Stem Cell Research has receded but it's still an important issue. Abortion, of course. Immigration and our borders. Our spending. Our ongoing wars. These are the kinds of important moral and ethical issues we grapple with everyday. The fact that we're debating issues of censorship here is yet another moral/ethical divide. These marks are all over the country.

 

> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> That is an opinion. We are all entitled to opinions, but remember that others do not have to agree with you on that.

 

Of course it is, I never said you weren't entitled to your own opinion.

 

> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> Number three: "I'd think they'd know that The Communist Manifesto and Capital are terribly dated in a number of ways."

>

> How do you know that? I think you are making assumptions.

 

It is an assumption but one based on logic. The CM and Capital were written in the middle of the 19th century. This was halfway into the industrial period. Society has changed greatly over the course of 150 years. We've had a century and a half of people continuing to write about and expand on Marxist theories, any communist who still based their philosophy strictly on Marx's writings would be ignoring, among other vitally important developments, the rise of the information age.

 

 

> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> Moving on: "Mein Kampf and Our Gang are often in the two different realms of censorship..."

>

> How? Just because they are different works of 'art' does not mean that censorship would be applied differently. Censorship is censorship, whether we're talking about an opera or a dime store novel.

 

Because Mein Kampf is in the potential position of being banned outright from legal consumption, there is modern precedent for that. No one would think of doing that to Our Gang in this day and age. One is potentially subject to government intervention, which would be a clear violation of the constitution, the other is stuck in the machinery of corporations and public interest groups, nothing more.

 

> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> Next: "I think it would do us all some good to remember that the political spectrum of the United States is far more complex than it is always reduced to..."

>

> Again, that is an opinion.

 

Sure but what's the other side of the coin? I find it both depressing and humorous when I see the Tea Party stuffed neatly in the pocket of the Republican party. If these people were sincere about shaking things up politically, they wouldn't simply be replacing Republican senators, representatives, and governors with different Republicans. They're just doing what we always do: Not satisfied with the Democrats? Vote in Republicans. Not satisfied with Republicans? Vote in Democrats. We often complain about the consolidation of power in congress yet we never begin to do anything about it. The Tea Party isn't and I find this endemic of all American political life. We continue to insist that all of our ideas and aspirations rest with the system we already have, We're limiting the free market of ideas. I'd like to see communists, socialists, anarchists, libertarians, capitalists, theocrats, racists, fascists, everyone and anyone trying to get their piece of mind out there.

 

By the way, the only reason I wrote such a long post in the first place is because I don't post as often as other people do, usually only at one point in my day, so there were lots of things I thought I'd like to chime in about since this is a topic that people can really dig into.

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On another thread, ClassicViewer wrote:

 

"I think BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S should be burned and should be forced into becoming a lost film. BIRTH OF A NATION is another one that should become extinct. We may argue that it's historical to keep those films, but I really don't think it serves much purpose. Why should we remind ourselves of our uglier nature, our blatant racism as human beings?"

 

and:

"Let it be scary. Sometimes we have to take bold action to eradicate the mistakes of our forbears. And to use history as a lame excuse for allowing such ill-conceived entertainment and propaganda seems irresponsible."

 

On this thread:

"History is often recorded and preserved in a biased way."

 

*"There is such a thing as revisionist history. Dismantling some of the old films is a form of revising our collective conscious as a society. It may be scary, but it also may be paramount to the advancement of civilization."*

 

 

I have collected all these statements together because I perceive them as being at the heart of what ClassicViewer is advocating. It seems to me it is nothing less than revisionism. I could take a cheap shot, and cite *1984*, the ultimate story on a society that revises history to suit its own purposes. (Well, I guess I just did.Just to mention that title is enough, so I won't raise any more Orwellian spectres.)

 

I am profoundly disturbed at the idea of re-writing history, going back and tweaking it a little here, editing it a little there, with the goal of somehow making us "better": no, stupidity and racism didn't exist in the past, ok, maybe, but here, we have a few photographs and quotations , that should be enough. We don't really want to acknowledge how completely a part of our culture it was, that would be like keeping old tins of food that have gone bad, it would be like keeping cockroaches in the basement instead of bravely and steadfastly eradicating them.

 

At the essence of this debate lies the question of whether we value truth, in all its often ugly manifestations, or whether we want to alter the truth, "make it better". I truly believe that the idea that eradicating past evidence of racism and homophobia will not improve our current culture in any way. Films and books from the past are documents of what was. Destroying them or snipping bits of them out will not change history, nor will it somehow inspire us today to be finer people. If anything, I believe the opposite to be true, that retaining these records (including fictional movies) that record and reflect the way things were, will be inspiration for us never to return to that kind of world.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 15, 2010 11:16 AM

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 15, 2010 11:18 AM

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 15, 2010 11:19 AM

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misswonderly wrote:

<< I am profoundly disturbed at the idea of re-writing history >>

 

This is my main objection to the Disney version of "Annie" (1999). They showed minority kids in an orphanage in *1933* knowing plainly well that segregation back then didn't allow it.

 

This is political correctness taken to the extreme and can cause confusion for future generations.

I can just see a child watching this movie in 2050 and say to their parents I was told there was segregation in the early 20th Century, they lied to us!

 

This is how myths are born.

 

Speaking of banning, I've watched on the History Channel "Banned From the Bible" Parts 1 and 2 and that was an eye opener. I have both the Apocrypha and the Gospel of Saint Thomas. The Book of Jubilees is now for all to see.

 

Glad to say, they who banned (or try to ban) has failed. After this thread I am now making it a hobby to collect banned stuff like this whether if I agree with it or not. Just to make a point.

 

Edited by: hamradio on Aug 15, 2010 11:45 AM

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> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}

> misswonderly wrote:

> << I am profoundly disturbed at the idea of re-writing history >>

>

> This is my main objection to the Disney version of "Annie" (1999). They showed minority kids in an orphanage in *1933* knowing plainly well that segregation back then didn't allow it.

>

> This is political correctness taken to the extreme and can cause confusion for future generations.

> I can just see a child watching this movie in 2050 and say to their parents I was told there was segregation in the early 20th Century, they lied to us!

>

> This is how myths are born.

 

That?s a result of the new modern-era ?Hays Code?. That?s why I say that many modern films are censored and politically controlled today, more than films were in the old days.

 

There are certain ?requirements? that must be followed when films are made today. Films today can?t be made without the approval of certain political groups in Hollywood who must approve all of them or they don?t get made.

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I did not suggest making another thread for this. It was originally a throw-away comment about TIFFANY'S in the other thread and why I despise that movie and feel it should be burned. You are the one who suggested this thread and another poster then created it. Do not put the blame on me. I am not the fall guy around here. Thumbs down to that kind of blame-shifting.

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Well take it as seriously as you want, but don't turn it into an attack on me. I don't care how threatened you feel your rights are...this is just an intellectual conversation as far as I'm concerned. I don't see anyone saying they are planning on taking your rights away. Now if you want to make that sort of dramatic leap and say that some of these comments infer that you are in danger of losing your constitutional rights, then you make that leap on your own...and you let the rest of us label it as crazy.

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I read your post from 3:28, but it's so full of nitpicking and it would require me to be even more nitpicking to write a detailed response to each of those points. I may be in the mood later to hash over some of this, but not now. Sorry.

 

And I definitely refuse to get into a debate about abortion, immigration and wars. This is a forum about classic films. The banning of films is a relevant topic in my book, but political issues that cannot possibly be solved in one day are not relevant to this discussion at all.

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The only thing I am advocating is that people get jarred out of their complacency and feel something about what makes up our history, how it is rewritten and how film corroborates that. To suggest I have any other motive is ludicrous.

 

Edited by: ClassicViewer on Aug 15, 2010 12:49 PM

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*"I can just see a child watching this movie in 2050 and say to their parents I was told there was segregation in the early 20th Century, they lied to us!"* - hamradio

 

C'mon! It is a fantasy. Do you think children in 2050 will believe all orphans sang and danced in the 1920s too?

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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*"So, I am for censoring, banning, burning, eliminating nothing. To do so is to LIE."* - VX

 

Nicely said.

 

But my favorite -

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Thomas Jefferson, as quoted in *Born Yesterday*

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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CV, first, there's no need to refer to this as "blame shifting". Why would the word "blame" enter into it? This is clearly a thread that is generating a lot of interest; you yourself have indicated it is a subject well worth discussing. Therefore, if any word should be applied to whoever started this thread, perhaps it should be "approbation" rather than "blame", since it appears to something people are interested in examining.

It was actually kinokima who started this thread, but in a way I started it, it was at my urging, as I freely admit. This is what I said in the post to which you are referring:

 

"you did start the conversation about this going on another thread. In a way, although I did not originally post this thread either, it was at my urging that it was"

 

I never "blamed" you for starting the thread. There's no question you brought the subject up while talking about something else, and I felt very strongly that it was not a "throwaway" comment. *I* was the one who suggest a new thread, because others were responding anyway and I thought it was too important a subject to leave on an unrelated thread.

 

So there's no "blame shifting". Let's remember a phrase from that song in "Guys and Dolls':

 

..."Let's keep the party polite."

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