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Kino’s ‘Forbidden Fruit’ Series Plays at Film Forum Throughout March

FORBIDDEN FRUIT: THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE EXPLOITATION PICTURE, forgotten features from the 1930s & ‘40s capitalizing on taboo subject matter, will screen on select dates at Film Forum from Friday, March 1 to Saturday, March 30.

In the years when Hollywood was harnessed by the Production Code Authority, a new breed of indie filmmaker emerged, brazenly depicting every Hays Office taboo (primarily sex, drugs and childbirth), disingenuously draping themselves in a banner of moral uplift. More carny showmen than movie moguls, wily entrepreneurs like Kroger Babb and Dwain Esper exhibited these films “roadshow” style, with garish lobby displays, live lectures, and souvenirs.

The series features new restorations presented by Kino Lorber in association with Something Weird and the Library of Congress, including NarcoticMom and DadMarihuana: Weed with Roots in Hell, Test Tube BabiesSex Madness, and She Should’a Said No!, plus rarely seen shorts preceding select screenings: How to Take a BathThe March of Crime, and How to Undress.

Opening weekend includes…

– New 2K restoration of Dwain Esper’s Narcotic, featuring an introduction by Bret Wood.

– New 4K restoration of Mom and Dad, featuring a live medical lecture by “Dr. Elliot Forbes,” with introduction by Bret Wood and Felicia Feaster.

– New 2K restoration of Child Bride, plus world premiere of lost Esper short How to Take a Bath. Introduction by Bret Wood.

FORBIDDEN FRUIT was programmed by Bret Wood, Vice President and Producer of Archival Releases for Kino Lorber.

“As a film historian, I am most interested in facilitating the rediscovery of films that have played an important role in the evolution of cinema, but have been overlooked by traditional histories of the art form,” says Wood. “While exploitation films of the 1930s and ‘40s may not seem as historically significant by comparison, I find these films to be every bit as vibrant to watch, and they have much to teach us about film censorship, studio monopolies, and the evolution of American independent cinema. At the time, no one would have called the people who made exploitation films artists, yet there is an undeniable creativity and craftsmanship in many films of the genre. And there is an irreverence and spontaneity in these films that one rarely finds in their well-funded counterparts at the major studios.”

In his capacity at Kino Lorber, Bret Wood prepares films for repertory theatrical and home video release, including the recent award-winning Blu-ray series PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA (which played theatrically at Film Forum) and PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS. In 1999 he co-wrote with Felicia Feaster the book Forbidden Fruit: The Golden Age of Exploitation Film and in 1998 edited Marihuana, Motherhood and Madness: Three Screenplays from the Exploitation Cinema of Dwain Esper. As a writer and director of films, Wood’s credits include the driver’s ed documentary Hell’s Highway: The True Story of Highway Safety Films (2003), and the independent features The Unwanted (2014) and Psychopathia Sexualis (2006). His newest film, Those Who Deserve to Die, will be released in 2019. In 2018, Wood ventured into the world of podcasting, writing and directing the scripted drama The Control Group (HowStuffWorks). His new podcast series, The Seventh Daughter premieres February 28, 2019 from iHeart Media.

From Test Tube Babies

Public Screening Schedule

Friday, March 1

NARCOTIC (1933, Dwain Esper) DCP
Introduced by Bret Wood
8:50

From Narcotic

Saturday, March 2

MOM AND DAD (1945, William Beaudine) DCP
Plus live medical lecture by “Dr. Elliot Forbes”
Introduced by Bret Wood and Felicia Feaster

9:10

Sunday, March 3

CHILD BRIDE (1938, Harry Revier) DCP
HOW TO TAKE A BATH (1937, Dwain Esper)
Introduced by Bret Wood
7:30

From Child Bride

Friday, March 8

MARIHUANA: WEED WITH ROOTS IN HELL (1936, Dwain Esper) DCP
THE MARCH OF CRIME (1936, Dwain Esper)
9:35

Saturday, March 9

TEST TUBE BABIES (1948, W. Merle Connell) DCP
10:10

From Test Tube Babies

Saturday, March 16

SEX MADNESS (1938, Anonymous) DCP
HOW TO UNDRESS (1937, Dwain Esper)
9:50
 
Saturday, March 30

SHE SHOULD’A SAID NO! (1949, Sam Newfield) DCP
THE MARCH OF CRIME (1936, Dwain Esper)
9:15

From She Shoulda Said No!

Restoration Details
NARCOTIC: Includes three minutes of previously censored footage.
2k master assembled from two 35mm prints preserved by the Library of Congress

SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
2K master from 35mm material preserved by the Library of Congress

MOM AND DAD
4K master assembled from two 35mm prints courtesy of Something Weird, and the Academy Film Archive

CHILD BRIDE
2K master from a 35mm print courtesy of Something Weird

HOW TO TAKE A BATH
2K master from a 35mm print courtesy of Something Weird

MARIHUANA: WEED WITH ROOTS IN HELL
2K master assembled from three 35mm prints courtesy of Something Weird, Library of Congress, and UCLA Film & Television Archive

THE MARCH OF CRIME
2K master from a 16mm print courtesy of Something Weird

SEX MADNESS
2K master from a 35mm element preserved by Library of Congress

HOW TO UNDRESS
2K master from a 35mm print courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive

TEST TUBE BABIES
2K master from a 35mm print courtesy of Something Weird

SHE SHOULD’A SAID NO!
2K master from a 35mm print courtesy of Something Weird

 

For the full schedule, visit the Film Forum’s website by clicking HERE.

 

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