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Stille dage i Clichy/Quiet Days in Clichy (1970) - Jens Jørgen Thorsen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Suffused with the improvisational playfulness of the French New Wave and brimming with naked flesh and explicit scenes, Jens Jorgen Thorsen's freewheeling adaptation of Henry Miller's notorious novel offered a different kind of American in Paris and pushed the boundaries of sex on the screen. America pushed back: the film was seized on charges of obscenity in 1970 and condemned by the Catholic bishops review board. Though hardly tame by modern standards, it's less an underground classic than a curious timepiece. Paul Valjean is a colorless star, and behind the hedonism and erotic adventures is a chauvinist portrait of sexual relations (Philip Kaufman's Henry and June offers a more interesting take on Miller). See Quiet Days in Clichy for the marvelous black and white images of late-1960s Paris, an energetic supporting cast (many of them actual Parisian streetwalkers, according to legend), and Country Joe McDonald's ribald songs. --Sean Axmaker
Culture of DenmarkPerhaps the most famous Dane is actually a mythical figure: Hamlet, the title character of William Shakespeare's greatest play. The Dane most well-known in other countries is probably Hans Christian Andersen, a writer mostly famous for his fairy tales, such as The Emperor's New Clothes and The Ugly Duckling. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark#Culture [Aug 2005]
Censorship history, Denmark 1969In 1969 Denmark lifted all restrictions on pornography, and sex crimes declined. For example, between 1965 and 1982 sex crimes against children went from 30 per 100,000 to about 5 per 100,000. Similar evidence was found for rape rates.
Danish experimentThere can be no doubt that the illusion of success which has created an aura around the 'Danish Experiment' has had a profound effect upon the thinking and attitudes, not only of commentators and individuals, but on governments across the free world. I myself found - to my amazement and dismay - during a visit to the Home Office in 1975, that all considerations of pornography and its possible effects upon society had stopped short in 1969 following the publication of Dr Berl Kutchinsky's trivial, now outdated, research into the effect of the repeal of many of the obscenity laws in Denmark. Mary Whitehouse, Whatever happened to sex? , 1977?
Before the mid-1960s, there was nothing particular about Denmark in relation to pornography. Denmark had absolutely no history as a pornography producing or consuming nation. Danish laws against pornography were very similar to those of other European countries. Both in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries books and pieces of art were prosecuted and convicted in Denmark as in other countries, which by later standards would seem perfectly innocent. In as late as 1959 an imported English version of the famous pornographic classic, Cleland's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, was convicted. During the 1960s, however, public attitudes began to change, and in 1964 an unexpurgated Danish translation of the Memoirs, under the title of Fanny Hill, was published for the first time, prosecuted¾and acquitted first by the High Court and, in 1965, by the Supreme Court. Since Fanny Hill is, if anything, pornographic in the true sense of this word, that is, extremely explicit and graphic in its erotic descriptions, this meant that the penal law banning pornographic literature had become obsolete. The Minister of Justice asked the Permanent Criminal Law Committee to investigate the issue, and this Committee, after consulting criminologists, psychologists, educators and psychiatrists presented a report in 1966 which recommended decriminalisation of pornographic writings.
The point made by the Criminal Law Committee was that public attitudes towards moral legislation had changed so that it was no longer reasonable for the state to interfere with what people should be allowed to publish or read, as long as no clear harm was done. As far as harm is concerned, it was generally agreed by the experts that all available evidence pointed in the direction of pornography not being directly harmful to individuals. Particularly influential was the statement of the Medico-Legal Council, a distinguished body of leading physicians, which concluded:On the basis of general psychiatric and child psychiatric experience it cannot be assumed that the sexual orientation, the psychological development or attitudes toward sexual life and sexual-ethical norms in adults or in children can be influenced in a harmful direction through . . . pornographic literature, pictures or films. Whether these media may have a beneficial influence on a group of inhibited and sexually shy neurotic personalities is doubtful, but can hardly be totally excluded. What has been said here, holds true no matter whether the pornographic publications, pictures, etc. describe normal or perverse sexual relations (Penal Law Committee 1966, p. 80).--http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/proceedings/14/kutchinsky.pdf [Oct 2004]
Stille dage i Clichy/Quiet Days in Clichy (1970) - Jens Jørgen Thorsen
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