Art or Porn?: Filmmakers Who Tested the Limits

These films were censored for obscenity when they first screened. Now they are shown at museums and on YouTube.

BY Christopher Harrity

August 01 2014 4:00 AM ET

Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’Amour
Directed by Genet in 1950, this short film borrows from his work book The Miracle of the Rose. Later films that take inspiration from this are Werner Fassbinder's Querelle and Todd Haynes's Poison, both based on books by Genet. The rumors that Jean Cocteau assisted are probably based in truth as Cocteau and Kenneth Anger were friends and Un Chant d’Amour (A Song of Love) shows influences from Anger's Fireworks. In and out of jail from many years as a young petty thief and prostitute, Genet was most likely little suprised that his film was also busted. It can be viewed in full on YouTube here and still manages to evoke dark, moody sexuality and the desperation of men in prison wanting to connect.



Tags: film

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