Film & History's Guide to Controversial Films
Film & History receives daily requests from the working press and scholars about current films and their historicity-or lack of it. Often, we talk with members of the press over the telephone or try to provide email messages which will be helpful and timely. Each week, we go on talk radio or provide patter for “drive time” programs across the land. Such has been our informal “system” in the past. At our 2002 conference-held in Kansas City, Missouri-we talked with many of the participants about pooling opinion and information concerning current films. The Editor-in-Chief has opinions like anybody else, but it is always better to hear from people whose background, scholarly agenda, or personal commitment make them true “experts” on a subject. In addition, there are those who feel so strongly about a topic that their message is pungent and worthy of consideration-even when they are not experts.
In this section we seek to offer an informed, balanced and scholarly approach to controversial films. The term ‘controversial’ may be understood in a broad way as productions that prompt, are marked by or are capable of arousing controversy. Although we are particularly interested in contemporary films we also welcome contributions on ‘older’ films like The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978) or Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom (Italy, 1975), which was released in Britain not until 25 years after it was made. Inasmuch as we appreciate contributions by historians we, in the tradition of the Film & History journal, invite scholars from other fields to contribute to the controversial films section.