Beyond the Image: Approaches to the Religious Dimension in by Ronald Holloway

By Ronald Holloway

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In the movie version Theda Bara is depicted as an innocent living in Greenwich Village who becomes a dissolute artist's model for a painting of the Madonna. She assumes the pose in Brown's painting. Later, after succumbing, she slips to the depths, then returns to the same painter to pose for a portrait of the Magdalen. She wreaks her revenge. The early filmmakers were fascinated by the double standard in the melodrama. It is said that Russian director Sergei Eisenstein once found two postcards of the same model while touring Mount-SaintMichel: in one, she posed as "The Little Flower," St.

To summarize, the bite of the legal watchdog had been severely reduced by the mid-1960s. Statutes had to be rewritten to be effective, and the sole standard of "obscenity" with immediate judicial response was the only pillar on which they could stand. It was only a matter of time before the word "obscenity" would be challenged. The famous "Ginsberg Case" in 1966, in which the publisher of Eros magazine was convicted for the distributing of "obscene" material, received wide and unfavorable attention.

From inside the industry itself came complaints, particularly over the repulsive and dishonest advertising practices that accompanied even decentminded material. They predicted the downfall of a strong and experienced organization if the abuses were allowed to continue. Where the industry particularly failed was in not sponsoring research into the influences and effects movies have on children and adolescents. Such research was always sparse in the history of the industry: only the Payne Fund Studies of the 1930s (helping to establish the Legion of Decency) and the 1956 Hearings of the Kefauver Committee on Juvenile Delinquency stand out as notable attempts in this direction.

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