'Obscene' deal for docu at Arthouse


"Obscene," the chronicle of a publisher's fight to print the works of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Malcolm X, Che Guevara and others, has been picked up for worldwide distribution by Arthouse Films.

Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor's docu looks at Barney Rosset, the publisher of Grove Press and Evergreen Review who waged repeated U.S. court battles over freedom of the press. Interviews and footage with Amiri Baraka, Jim Carroll, Al Goldstein (no relation to the author), Erica Jong, Ray Manzarek, John Sayles, Gore Vidal, John Waters, Lenny Bruce and William S. Burroughs are featured.

"Obscene," produced by the directors' New York-based Double O Film Prods., examines Rossett's public fights and personal demons. The soundtrack includes music by Bob Dylan, the Doors, Patti Smith, Warren Zevon, X and Ella Fitzgerald. Arthouse plans a 2008 theatrical and DVD release.

The deal was negotiated by Arthouse's David Koh and Curiously Bright Entertainment's Lilly Bright with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of Ortenberg and O'Connor. Craig Emanuel of Loeb and Loeb handled the filmmakers' legal affairs.