Record #1298

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Reel 5
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National Board of Review (NBR)
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Perhaps it's the NBR's willingness to give a platform to people like Kalien that leads Joy to suggest they cease funding them. At the same time that some of the arguments advanced here are noticeable for their invocation of a psychological model of the audience, the tone of it is thoroughly complacent, and it seems unlikely that this mode of arguing is going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree with him.

Address by Prof. Horace M. Kalien at the 4th National Board of Review (NBR) Conference, 28 January 1928.


Censorship (112) Show all keywords…


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Address by Prof. Horace M. Kalien at the 4th National Board of Review (NBR) Conference, 01-28-1928. General denunciation of censorship, but at the same time that he accepts its inevitability. Presumably he is a psychologist, given his insistence that censorship is a form of repression, but his tone is dismissive throughout: "they say that the exposure of exhibition of nudity and maternity in profile -- I think that it is one of the dolts of the Association of Motion Picture Producers headed by Mr. Hays -- and so on, is likely to demoralize people and cast aspersions, I suppose, on maternity or something of that kind." He proposes that an excessive concern with censorship is evidence of pathological repression, and argues that the MPPDA panders to protest groups too much -- citing the King of Kings business as an instance. "I have yet to see a motion picture, for example, which presents the position and the interest and the point of view of organized labor honestly and candidly. Invariably where organized labor is concerned in the movies, it is mean, malicious, vicious and dangerous to established society. "I have yet to see a motion picture which presents the position of any Communist or Fascist interest candidly and honestly, which refers rather to the facts instead of trying to make propaganda for the sake of not hurting the interests of this group or that group. ... You can please the public only by finding what its affective hungers and interests are, what its living unrests are, and how those can be most happily and healthfully enchannelled. That takes intelligent study and not reaction to what is at the bottom threats, not reaction to fear, but the endeavor after scientific social control."

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