Obscene (US, 2007)

Described by one of his many admirers as the “last maverick in American publishing,” Grove Press and Evergreen Review founder Barney Rosset is the subject of Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O’Connor’s wryly affectionate new documentary. The censorship battles that Rosset waged in defense of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, an unexpurgated Lady Chatterly’s Lover and the X-rated Swedish art flick I am Curious (Yellow) are only part of the story. The film makes a persuasive case for Rosset’s cultural and historical importance, and a treasure trove of archival material helps give it a pungently nostalgic flavor. Rosset, whose friends included everyone from Samuel Beckett to Alan Ginsberg and Jackson Pollock, lived an extraordinarily rich life, and Ortenberg and O’Connor are to be commended for doing their fascinating subject justice. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, October 25 and 8:45 p.m. Sunday, October 26. HHH
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