Dear Backers and Future Backers,
Keep reading and you’ll get to see luscious, pre-Tarantino Jennifer Jason Leigh topless.
Our Updates are the most intriguing on Kickstarter so stay tuned and dial in your friends.
This is your film now, and as you all know, Kickstarter is all or nothing, so we need your help to SPREAD THE WORD so we can launch this documentary early this fall. We hope this latest post on the legacy of Barney Rosset will galvanize you to relay the following call to action, on email and on your social media networks:
(cut and paste)
#Jointheunderground! Help save Barney’s Wall!
And now, patient readers… Jennifer!
The official trailer for the film adaptation of Hubert S. Selby’s notorious novel, “Last Exit to Brooklyn”, published by Barney Rosset’s Grove Press in 1964. The ultimate in-your-face censor-baiter, the book created a sensation. It was subjected to an obscenity trial with John (“Rumpole of the Bailey”) Mortimer leading the successful appeal that toppled censorship in Britain. This made Selby a celebrity on NYC’s Lower East Side.
Guest Editor Rami Shamir, author of the last novel Barney Rosset edited, introduces you to Selby’s other great work, “Requiem For a Dream”, in uniquely poetic and highly unconventional prose.
Over to Rami:
“Without Barney Rosset to debut Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, Selby would never have given the world his later work, Requiem for a Dream. It’s the summer of 2000. The first anniversary of Columbine has just passed; September 11 is still a year away; and you’re a teenager for this last carefree summer of America’s waning Empire. As such, you’ll casually embrace the cinematic violence of the recently released film, Requiem for a Dream. It’s true that the film stars Jared Leto, at the peak of his Adonic beauty, and that’s what really draws you in. The seeming quiet of this summer has freed you to indulge: by collective detachment from the great violence of the modern world, from the safe distance of an audience, you and I leisurely consume Requiem’s gruesome decline into nihilism. Along with Christian Bale’s business-card envy in American Psycho, the amputation of Jared Leto’s beauty and the phrase “ass-to-ass” become impressed upon our consciousness. Such references to Requiem provide some common ground when years later we meet, strangers at a party.”
The official trailer of the film adaptation of “Requiem For A Dream”, starring the other Jennifer (Connelly), (pre-Oscar) Jarod Leno, and the magnificent Ellen Burstyn
“Requiem’s author, Hubert Selby Jr. is the type of artist who most misfits those moments in American history, which our Post-9/11 era continues to exemplify: abandon, hero worship, apathy, alienation, gluttony, disunity, a daily drudge eradicated in rituals of nightly decadence, expression censored to the confines of circus and parade. Stuck. On. Repeat.
That Hubert Selby reveled in struggle; that he was much too much the realist, can be explained by his biography. The son of a Kentucky coal miner, Selby inhabited the savage underworld of whores, thieves, opportunists, gangsters, and drug-pushers found on the fringes of the American underclass. To imagine then, as now, that such a place could be the origin of great American literature was incomprehensible. Had it not been for the once-in-a-lifetime existence of a publisher composed of all the attributes that made up Barney Rosset, publishing a debut like Last Exit to Brooklyn would still be unthinkable. Although Last Exit had to win a landmark legal victory against censorship in the British courts to reach readers in the United Kingdom, it was released in the States without any similar to-do. Five years of judicial victories, amassed in Barney’s battles to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer, and Naked Lunch, brought about an America in which the greatest challenge for a book such as Last Exit—overt in its homosexuality, admitting the transgender, drowning in drug use, violence, and sex—became finding a publisher.Much like his fellow Grove author William S. Burroughs has influenced Kurt Cobain, Patti Smith, and Sonic Youth, Hubert Selby has been a major source of inspiration for important contemporary countercultural figures, especially Henry Rollins. Like every great author that exists because of Barney Rosset’s championing, Selby stands in counterpoint to the technicolor spectacle of today’s culture. Selby’s work provides for a moment of peace; outlines a place of reflection; reverbs in the quietude of a true modern religion.
If any one space symbolizes the essence of authors like Selby, it’s Barney’s Wall. Imagine losing such a space forever: it’d be like losing your chance to make that last exit to Brooklyn… finding you have no way to turn the car around… no way to break, the doors are jammed, and you’re heading straight for the cliffs of Montauk…”
Former Black Flag punk rocker turned motivational speaker Henry Rollins channels Hubert:
Thank you, Rami, one of our many brilliant cast members.
(That’s Rami in our Kickstarter video, saying,
In this wall is Samuel Beckett….
..And Anais Nin…
and Malcolm X, and Henry Miller…)
SO DEAR BACKERS, HOW CAN YOU NOT HELP US SAVE BARNEY’S WALL?
Don’t drive us off the cliff, keep us motoring to a fall premiere.
Thank you for all your support.
Strike a blow against censorship.
Stand up for an open culture and indie filmmakers,
Sandy and Williams