Re: adding porn to collection

Steve Fesenmaier (fesenms@wvlc.lib.wv.us)
Tue, 28 Jan 2003 09:32:56 -0800 (PST)

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I screened many porno films at the University of Minnesota Film Society
in the Seventies [NY Erotic Film Festival] and another group had US
college premiere of DEEP THROAT, and was an advisor to the first
American sociologist who used porn in his classes....Look magazine did a
story on him....when I came to WV as director of film services, I ran
into a lot of internal opposition from Baptists and high school staff
members, but I persisted in buying "art porn" films like my fav film of
all time, WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM, TOKYO DECADENCE, CALIGULA, etc.
In 1997 David Price became director of the agency and immediately
removed them, but from 1978 to then we had no complaints.

You may want to read Sandy Berman's letter to AL about why American
libraries should all have DEBBIE DOES DALLAS - since it is very highly
rated, popular, etc.

Porno has gone mainstream in many ways...check out this current piece in
alternet -
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15042

and read the Village Voice's reviews - the first national publication to
have a weekly porn reviewer -

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0304/fmaldoro.php

You also may want to read my posted MLS thesis on "selection policies" -

http://www.libr.org/rory/Fesenmaier.html.
As I note, few library officials have any awareness of film history, and
certainly don't understand the artisit value of many films called
"porno" by typical Americans.

For thirty years I have screened sexually explicit films, in
Minneapolis, and here all over WV...and have received few complaints
from OUTSIDE the bureaucracy.

You may also want to read various articles by Sanford Berman in his
"Alternative Library Lit" books including the recent one which has a
history of the "x" rating, showing how un-official it is. - Steve
Fesenmaier, Graffiti magazine film critic, director of West Virginia
Library Commission Film Services 1978-99

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