Chicago Underground Film Festival- I'm depressed

Discussion in 'Community' started by leekohler, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    Guys- I just got back from opening night at The Chicago Underground Film Festival in which I'm involved. And while the crowd was huge, I have to say I'm depressed. So many directors, artists and the like either couldn't come or barely could because they've been laid off from their jobs. The stories I heard tonight from so many people really got me down. The worst was from my friend Cynthia Plaster Caster. Cynthia was a groupie in the late sixties/seventies who did plaster casts of male rock stars' genitalia. She has become something of an underground icon since then- doing exhibits of her casts in cities around the world. Despite what you might initially think, she's a wonderful, warm, sweet human being and one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. Tonight she told me that her cast of Jimi Hendrix's "member" was not allowed to be shown at her exhibit in Boston which people have to pay to see. It was banned. That really scared the crap out of me. Are we really going back to the puritan age? I mean, it's a man's genitalia- we all know what they look like, so what's the big deal? It seems like we're in a War Against Artists as well as Terrorism. I'm sorry, this is not meant to be political, but I'm scared. Somebody please give me an encouraging word, because America is beginning to scare me a lot.
     
  2. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    Nobody? Wow. Maybe I should be scared.
     
  3. neildmitchell macrumors 6502a

    neildmitchell

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    #3
    Your not the only one. I fully agree with you and have seen noticed the changes. Artists and creatives in America seem to be the new Witches of Salem. But the change has also had its impact on other groups also.

    I trust no mass media news, one case being that I had not hear nor seen any coverage of the mass protest of the Republican National Convention in NYC a year or two ago, I only found out about it because my friend was captured in a snare net (along with many other including but not limited to 80 year old grandmothers, reporters, ACLU workers), and recieved her frantic phone call from jail.

    Another example

    On http://www.gapingmaw.com (from www.rotten.com)
    CENSORED BY US GOVERNMENT
    18 USC 2257

    Yes, that is correct. The wonderful things that used to be here, the very funny things that you want to read, have been made retroactively illegal by the US government, in a side-handed attack on the pornography industry.

    We might mention that the material here isn't even pornography as you normally think of it -- this site is just adult humor, in essay format, with some illustrations. The government is mandating that we meet certain bookkeeping requirements, ones impossible to meet for this site. Never mind that those requirements do not actually gain the public anything. This is the strongest attack on free speech since the passage of the CDA, and oddly, the media seems to have hardly noticed. The penalty for not abiding by these bookkeeping requirements is five years prison.

    The regulations were promulgated by Alberto Gonzales, US Attorney General appointed by George Bush. If you voted for Bush, this is your fault. If you think this country is free, you are sadly mistaken. No nation has freedom when it is run by religious zealots.

    Regulations effective 24 June 2005.


    F!@# THAT! and F!@# YOU CENSOR BASTA**S! :mad:

    "Puritan Age" is very appropriate, but I would call it something along the lines of Americas Puritan Renaissance. But somedays it seems that America is turning into Oceania. I have nothing positive to say about, nor an encouraging word to offer, I see the change also, and its scary.
     
  4. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    Chicago, Illinois
    #4
    OMG! That's bad. And just to add clarification, Cynthia's been doing exhibits for years. This is only a recent development.
     
  5. neildmitchell macrumors 6502a

    neildmitchell

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    #5
    I know, I have heard of her. There is also an artist that my friend knows that has the government up his ass, claiming that his work is "Pornographic", and I believe that he has had fines, and a bunch of hassel about selling his drawings.
     
  6. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    #6
    And the creepy thing is- my parents who are extremely conservative, like Cynthia. She's the most innocuous, harmless person you'll ever meet. An Iraqi filmmaker friend of mine has also had FBI problems, even though he's an American citizen and has been for at least a decade.
     
  7. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    #7
    So- is it just neildmitchell and I seeing this? Or are there others? I can tell you this- I won't put up with this crap. I'm ready to go on the offensive if need be. Do NOT mess with my friends.
     
  8. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #8
    Oh, I see it... much too often, living in Texas and all...

    Something definitely needs to be done :(.

    scem0
     
  9. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    #9
    Well, Texas is one thing- but BOSTON, MA? It's the definitive blue state! If it's happening there, it's happening everywhere.
     
  10. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #10
    Wow-this is depressing. Nobody can think of anything encouraging?
     
  11. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #11
    Yay ... this reminds me about some recent developments here in Norway. A new TV channel was officially opened yesterday by our Minister of Culture, who happen to be from "Christian Peoples Party" one of the three parties that hold the government here. Anyway, this channel is called the "Value channel", and in norwegian that doesn't mean we're not talking about a channel for price conscious consumers. We're talking moral values, so you could call it the "Moral channel".

    On the program is Fox News (yay), "The 700 Club" (hurray (I haven't really heard about it before, but they say it stars the fundamentalist Christian church leader, Pat Robertson and some interesting theories on homosexuality)) and a norwegian show which directly translates to "Prayer and Caring" (yippee) where people can get healed and have their problems solved through prayer.

    I fear we may be heading in the same direction as the USA if this continues. :mad:
     
  12. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    #12
    Leekohler, what do you do for the festival? I'm currently enrolled at Columbia College for film producing, have a writing backgrond, etc. A teacher at my school has worked at the festival in the past. His last name is Pedito. His dad is involved in choosing the films for the doc festival. Back to your topic. I was living in London when Maplethorpe's exhibit was there. It had previously been banned in NYC. The U.S. has always been more conservative compared to Western Europe. Our country was founded by Puritans whom were too uptight and got kicked outof England. :D I love the U.S., but I'll probably expatriate myself back to London once I'm done with school. Take care.
     
  13. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
    #13
    It's all cyclical. When wallets are fat and things are good, people become jaded and are willing to "see" controversial and challenging things. When money is tight and life sucks, people want to see happy colors and bunnies in bowties. Everyone is busy listening to someone else because they don't know how the hell to improve their lives. They turn to religion or any other authority, because any plan is better than no plan at all. When you have money, you can do everything yourself. When you're broke it's "Somebody fix this!"

    The government can kiss my ass. Them taking my painting off the wall doesn't change the fact that I painted it.
     
  14. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    #14
    Let's all get together and make our own mini-Woodstock.
     
  15. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 15, 2003
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    #15
    I'll go to your woodstock, but everything has to be free. No $6 water or pay-toilets.
     
  16. neildmitchell macrumors 6502a

    neildmitchell

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    #16
    Well another Woodstock, no.

    But I did think of some sort of mass gathering for the name of art and anti-censorship. This would be for Cynthia and others who have had their art censored

    I would love to see and be a part of a huge gathering of people who support creative expression and freedom and want to end censorship, and snub the conservative fundamentalists (of any religion).

    I was thinking something along the lines of huge event where the main event will be everyone lays on the ground fully nude creating a pattern or a symbol that will be ariel photographed for a heliocopter. The gathering Might even make it into Guinness World Records. Every participant will also have a chance to be part of a book, where participants will be photographed from the shoulders down to mid theigh (non erotic) (The human body is natural, men have penis and women have breasts and a vagina, every body is a work of art....) Art indeed if your a tranvestite, cancer patient/survivor, sex change, or into BodMod and Adornment.........

    Just about every living thing on this planet has either a penis or a vagina and breasts, and in some cases all or most of the above. Hell even nuns know what a pensis looks like, and the know what their own body looks like. So why should we put up with closed minded conservatives, that view the human body as something of shame.
     
  17. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    I'm on the screening committee and I do all the graphic design and advertising.
     
  18. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #18
    That would be really cool. I wonder how many others this has happened to recently?

    I have appeared nude in two films myself that played on the festival circuit in many countries (Look me up on imdb.com, but I won't mention them here, the titles are racy). One got banned in London (shame on you guys! :) ) So I guess they'll come after us next.
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    I'm not trying to sound like a dick, but were you not aware of censorship and the fight against it before you attended this film festival? Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel (i.e. start you own crusade) you should hook up w/already established anti-censorship grounds and possibly the ACLU.


    Lethal
     
  20. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #20
    Umm- gee, you pretty much did sound like a dick. :) Of course I'm aware of censorship, I've been censored before and if you had read the rest of this thread you'd know that. I don't see where I said I'd start my own crusade, although neildmitchell mentioned it as an option and I thought it a nice idea. Of course, if any action would be taken, it would be through already established avenues.
     
  21. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #21
    censorship - it sucks, but its not going anywhere, especially not in this too-tight anal country. i just got my nipples pierced yesterday, you have no idea how many people are shocked, disgusted, leery, and think i am some freak now just because i got 'em done. This country isn't liberal, and Chicago is surely one of the more liberal areas of the country. i have other piercings, and i work at Navy Pier often, i see a lot of tourists, many/most are taken aback by a simple Labret piercing. come on, its not like its an uncommon thing anymore. Censorship is going to happen, i hate it, and people are going to be uptight because they think that things should be a certain way. it is scary, especially since i am a writer, although my stuff may not be extreme to warrant censoring, i am still considered a weirdo and freak, which is censorship in its own right because people are closing themselves off to something due to a certain perception. i am all for open-mindedness.
     
  22. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #22
    Well- if it's any consolation, you ARE in the middle of tourist central at Navy Pier. Most of those people are out-of-towners or suburbanites. So it may be a bit more extreme than the rest of the city.
     
  23. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #23
    indeed, but it does show how close-minded our country is as a whole, i get a pretty good sampling of people from all over at the store, and very few seem to be accepting. with my co-workers they aren't put off, but because i am different i am scary i guess, go figure
     

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