Director: Dan Eckman, Daniel O'Connor, Neil Ortenberg
Cast: Barney Rosset

DVD (Wide Screen)

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To countless avant-garde novelists, filmmakers, and playwrights, publisher Barney Rosset -- proprietor of the legendary Grove Press -- qualifies as an undisputed hero. Via scores of in-court legal battles, Rosset fought aggressively and valiantly to defend the release of works as varied as William S. Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch, Henry Miller's novel Tropic of Cancer, and Vilgot Sjöman's classic arthouse film I Am Curious (Yellow). As co-directed by Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor, the documentary Obscene builds a case not only for the idea that Rosset was utterly indispensable in the battle for freedom of speech that descended on America in the late '60s and early '70s, but that he deserves hearty praise for championing works that pushed accepted moral standards into theretofore unacceptable territory. Via a combination of extensive archival footage and interviews, Obscene traces Rosset's professional and personal life, beginning with his early years at the Parker School and Swarthmore through his involvement in the armed forces and his presence in the Manhattan avant-garde with wife Joan Mitchell during the late '40s and early '50s. The film places heaviest emphasis on (and devotes most of its screen time to) Rosset's censorship battles for various works during the mid- to late '60s, before moving into an exploration of his troubled subsequent years that were marked by financial difficulty, violent attacks from disapproving groups, government surveillance, and a host of other complications. Interviewees include Rosset, Al Goldstein, John Waters, Gore Vidal, John Sayles, and Ray Manzarek.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/25/2010
UPC: 0767685214787
Original Release: 2007
Rating: NR
Source: New Video Group
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time: 1:34:00
Sales rank: 73,426

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Audio Commentary from Derrick Comedy (Dominic Dierkes, Dan Eckman, Donald Grover, Meggie McFadden, and DC Pierson); ; "The Making Of Mystery Team"; "Who Is Wally Cummings?" Comedy Short; ; Gag Reel/Deleted Scenes Montage; Pre-production Test Scene; Sword Club

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barney Rosset Participant
Amiri Baraka Participant
Jim Carroll Participant
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Participant
Al Goldstein Participant
Erica Jong Participant
Ray Manzarek Participant
John Rechy Participant
Peter Rosset Participant
John Sayles Participant
Gore Vidal Participant
John Waters Participant
Michael McClure Participant
Donald Glover Participant
D.C. Pierson Participant
Dominic Dierkes Participant
Aubrey Plaza Participant

Technical Credits
Dan Eckman Director,Original Story
Daniel O'Connor Director,Executive Producer
Neil Ortenberg Director,Executive Producer
Askold Buk Score Composer
Dominic Dierkes Original Story,Screenwriter
Donald Glover Original Story,Screenwriter
Meggie McFadden Original Story,Producer
Tanya Ager Meillier Editor,Producer
Alexander Meillier Cinematographer,Producer
D.C. Pierson Original Story,Screenwriter
Derek Sample Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Obscene: A Portrait of Barney Rosset and Grove Press
1. McGinty [3:31]
2. Boysenberry [4:12]
3. School [3:46]
4. A Client [5:09]
5. On The Case [4:32]
6. Jordy and The Hobo [3:49]
7. Bowling Alley [3:27]
8. Strip Club [8:22]
9. The Ring [4:47]
10. Little Me [2:03]
11. Breaking And Entering [4:19]
12. Leroy's House [3:17]
13. Kelly's House [7:16]
14. Chase [:57]
15. Low Battery [:08]
16. Baseball Field [1:33]
17. It's Our World [1:52]
18. It's A Clue [4:08]
19. Holden & Charles [3:05]
20. Showdown [6:09]
21. New Mystery Team [8:57]
22. Credits [6:30]

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