• Mon 02 Nov 8:00PM

Sorry, you missed this one


1000 £ Bend
361 Lt Lonsdale Street, Melbourne


A Portrait of Barney Rosset and Grove Press

Director • Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O’Connor

Country • USA

Year • 2007

Duration • 97 min

Obscene is the definitive film biography of Barney Rosset, the influential publisher who dared to print such controvertial works as Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, the Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow) and the provocative Evergreen Review.

Rosset acquired the then fledgling Grove Press in 1951 and soon embarked on a tumultuous career of publishing and political engagement that continues to inspire today’s defenders of free expression. Not only was he the first American publisher of acclaimed authors Samuel Beckett, Kenzaburo Oe, Tom Stoppard, Che Guevara, and Malcolm X, but he also battled the government in the highest courts to overrule the obscenity ban on groundbreaking works of fiction such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer and Naked Lunch. Ultimately he won and altered the course of history, but not without first enduring lawsuits, death-threats, grenade attacks, government surveillance, and the occupation of his premises by enraged feminists.

Featuring music by Bob Dylan, The Doors, Warren Zevon and Patti Smith.

“If you want to know who I am, look at the books I published.”

–Barney Rosset

“I feel personally that a word has never been written or uttered which should not be published.”

–Barney Rosset