The New Censors: Movies and the Culture Wars (Culture And The Moving Image)

The New Censors: Movies and the Culture Wars (Culture And The Moving Image)

Charles Lyons

Language: English

Pages: 235

ISBN: 1566395127

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


After the Supreme Court's rejection of legal movie censorship in the 1950s and the demise of the Hays Production Code in the 1960s, various public groups have emerged as media watch dogs, replacing nearly all other sources of control. Responding to explicit violence against women, negative stereotypes of gay and lesbian images, \u0022racist\u0022 representations, and \u0022blasphemous\u0022 interpretations of the Bible, groups from bot Left and Right have staged protests in front of theaters and boycotted movie studios. The New Censors shows how groups on the Left empowered by social movements in the 1960s, and groups on the Right propelled by the successes of the New Christian Right and \u0022The Moral Majority,\u0022 have used similar strategies in attempting to control movie content. The New Censors, the first study of the complex ways movies have been shaped in the years since the demise of the Code, covers a wide range of movies, protests, and government actions. From feminists against \u0022Dressed to Kill,\u0022 to religious campaigns against \u0022The Last Temptation of Christ,\u0022 to homosexuals ire over \u0022Basic Instinct,\u0022 Lyons links a study of public outrage against movies to the broader culture wars over \u0022family values,\u0022 pornography, and various lifestyle issues. This book provides a contemporary history of controversial movies and a timely discussion of how cultural politics continues to affect the movie industry.

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Snuff. In most other places, protests failed to prevent theatres from showing the movie.23 In 1977, Rochester-area feminists' protests against Snuff was the latest in a short but significant series of militant actions against sexual imagery. According to Martha Gever and Marg Hall, the first action occurred early in 1977, when ten women formed an ad hoc group in response to a billboard advertising a movie entitled Penetration. The ad's caption read, “Unbelievably violent . . . graphic . . . a

structured and maintained their marginalization. By protesting against stereotypes in the movies, these groups advanced their struggle against oppression in everyday life, strengthened their groups' sense of identity, and raised public awareness about the effects of ethnic stereotypes.7 Native Americans were among the first of these groups to attack the film industry. In 1960, at the instigation of many tribes within the state, the Oklahoma legislature passed a resolution against media

American in the part [of Chan], but I just couldn't do it. When you package a film like this, you've got to have box office names.” Page 91 When the Screen Actors Guild supported the coalition's position, Sherlock responded: “We can't cast an Asian American in the lead. There are no bankable Asian American stars.” He considered changing the script but finally did not. Now CAA and AAPAA, among other groups, staged protests in front of the San Francisco chan set. Carrying placards with such

claimed with Michelangelo Signoreli that the protests against Basic Instinct, combined with actions like the demonstrations at the 1991 and 1992 Academy Awards, had proven that activism paid off: “The entire two-year period beginning in 1990 seemed like an Academy Awards production in and of itself, a fantasy epic in which an industry begins to deal with an oppressed minority it has continually mistreated. Though they are just a start, the changes are many in comparison to the conditions

letter written by Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs urging people to boycott Last Temptation. Other demonstrators wheeled a mannequin dressed as Christ. As in New York, police officers were positioned inside of the Avalon Theater and a sign posted at the entrance announced: “The theater will be emptied after each showing of ‘The Last Temptation of Christ.’ We regret that no stayovers will be permitted. Management reserves the right to inspect all carry-in items.” Washington police reported a

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