Re: looking for prints

From: Chuck Kleinhans (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Sep 13 2009 - 08:58:15 PDT

While Jim Carlile has a point that a heightened demagoguery and
hysteria about child sexuality develops after the 60s, this is also a
function of feminist scrutinizing of image culture in general and
images of women and children in particular, especially at a time of
changing legal definitions and procedures and practices around sexual
images. One of the points that I was making in addressing this was
that there are distinct differences at any one time in what is or
could be actionable in terms of policing and the law depending on
locale. The Supreme Court's Miller decision in the early 70s
allowing for local variation (community standards) which meant that
large urban areas liberalized sexual censorship (thus allowing for
Deep Throat and other commercial hardcore porn), but in suburban and
rural areas this could mean all kinds of things from continued police
watchdogging to unrestrained exhibition depending on what the
jurisdiction allowed.

As Fred Camper points out, individual audience members could show a
wide range of reactions. And campus screenings might on the one hand
seem more liberal than local town values, they were still beholden to
the school's administration in terms of what was acceptable and

The question of norms and censorship is almost always part of,
sometimes the heart of, defining what is experimental, avant garde,
etc. And it runs through the whole history of such films/videos and
their production (e.g. labs that won't process things), distribution,
and exhibition. There is no "standard" for sexual censorship or self-
censorship at any one moment and place there are only scattered
points along a spectrum that can be read retrospectively as a pattern.

I've discussed how increased awareness and surveillance of sexual
images actually changes the legal and practical understanding of the
issues in an article which was printed in two places.

Chuck Kleinhans, “Virtual Child Porn: The Law and the Semiotics of
the Image,” Journal of Visual Culture, 3:2, April 2004, 35-52.

Chuck Kleinhans, “Virtual Child Porn: The Law and the Semiotics of
the Image,” More Dirty Looks: Gender, Pornography, and Power, ed.
Pamela Church Gibson, second edition, expanded (London: British Film
Institute, 2004) 71-84.

Chuck Kleinhans

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.