THE MICHIGAN DAILY
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29,1967
PAGR SIX TIlE MICHIGAN DAILY TUESDAY. AUGUST 29. 1987
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Now Playing a Cinema Guild: Fundament
By RON LANDSMAN
The fundamental questions
raised by the arrest of three stu-
dents and a faculty member for
the Cinema Guild showing of an
"obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy",
motion picture are basic to the
role of the university in modern
The students, Ellen Frank, '68;
Mary Barkey, '68, and Elliot
Barden, '68, officers of Cinema
Guild, and Hubert Cohen, assist-
ant manager and engineering
English instructor, were arrested
after a movie they had selected,
"Flaming Creatures," was inter-
rupted in midreel and confiscated
by Lieut. Eugene Staudenmeier,
chief of the Ann Arbor Police
A large segment of the faculty
and most administrators see the
Cinema Guild case as one where
a few students merely "went too
far," and thus must confront the
municipal authorities on their
own. However, other professors
and students see the confiscation
of the film, as intrinsically op-
posed to the responsibilities of an
The Cinema Guild case has
evolved to include five significant
0 The relationship between the Fund Raising Campaign, warned,
University and the Ann Arbor "This type of stuff is going to
community; have to stop."
* Academic freedom and the President H a r 1 a n Hatcher,
responsibility of the university to however, dissuaded the Regents
test comtemporary values; from any hasty action, suggesting,
0 The artistic and social value that they follow a 'wait and see"'
of underground films; policy, depending on whether the
0 The constitutional question Regents were deemed responsible
of search and seizure without due or not. Hatcher's statement, while
process of law, and averting adverse Regental reac-
* Pornography and censorship tion, criticized Cinema Guild for
with or without judicial action. poor taste and vulgarity.
The first question-the Univer- "The new art wave is interested
sity and its relation to the com- in . . . vulgarization and destruc-
munity-was the primary concern tion , like 'Flaming Creatures,'
of the Regents and the adminis-
tration. At their monthly meet- which goes beyond decency,"
ing shortly after the incident, the Hatcher said.
Regents declined to discuss the Vice-President for Student Af-
matter at their public session. fairs Richard L. Cutler knew be-
However, at their closed discus- forehand of the planned presence
sion later they showed no interest of the Ann Arbor police at the
in giving Cinema Guild any legal movie. An architecture professor
aid. had complained to the police
As the case grew in impor-
tance, though, the Regents be-
came more concerned. By the
middle of February they seemed
interested in acting against
Cinema Guild. Regent Paul Goe-
bel of Grand Rapids, worried
about the deleterious affect the<
incident would have on alumni A
contributions to the $55 Million
about the showing of the film.
Cutler met with Cinema Guild
board members the day before the
showing and informed them,
"You know you're responsible for
anything that happens tomorrow
and the University isn't."
After the confiscation and
arrest the administration issued
a statement which attempted to
absolve itself of any responsibil-
ity for the individuals involved.
It left the students to their own
devices, saying that they must
"accept the responsibilities of
citizenship. If a public law is
allegedly v i o 1 a t e d, established
procedures should be used. ...
If a citizen is guilty, he takes the
The administration's refusal to
act on Cinema Guild's behalf in-
curred the wrath of a number of
professors. Speaking at a Law
Club seminar on "obscenity and
the law" shortly after the Regents discussions and regret-filled mis-
first meeting, Prof. Terrence sives. The recently created Civil
Sandalow of the Law School said j Liberties Board of the Faculty
the administration's inaction was Senate immediately began an ex-
"an alarming failure." It showed, haustive investigation into the
he felt, "an incredible picture of nature of the Cinema Guild case.
someone's understanding of the The Board interviewed Frank
nature of the University commun- and Cohen a few days after their
ity and the administration's re- arraignment to determine the na-
sponsibility to those who make ture of Cinema Guild. Whether,
it up." according to Prof. Abraham Kap-
Sandalow was not alone in his lan of the philosophy department,
protest against the administra- "it is just a group of students try-
tion's recalcitrance. Prof. Robert ing to annoy the administration
Weeks of the engineering English or a group with serious educa-
department, Prof. Daniel Fusfeld tional and cultural goals in mind."
of the economics department, Worthwhile Group
visiting Prof. Henry Aiken of the The Board decided that the
philosophy department, and writ- Cinema Guild was a worthwhile
er-in-residence Leslie Fiedler all group and that the members'
viewed the series of events with rights had been violated and de-
"discomfort" and "strong disap- cided to enter the case as
proval." "amicus curiae," a "friend of the
The faculty's reaction, however, court." As "amicus curiae" the
was not limited to polite panel Board is recognized as an inter-
I ---- ..... ..... -
ested party and can be involved
in the court proceedings.
Sandalow and Prof. Joseph Sax,
also of the Law School, attorneys
for the Civil Liberties Board,
filed a brief first in support of
the motion of the defense for dis-
missal because of illegal search
and seizure, and later asked for a
favorable decision on the grounds
of academic freedom.
A few faculty members, despite
the actions of the Civil Liberties
Board, have been opposed to notj
only possible administration in-
volvement on behalf of Cinema
Guild, but to the actions of
Cinema Guild itself. While most
such reaction has been limited to
letters to The Daily, and panel
discussions on the topic, a few
have forced the issue farther.
A resolution of the engineering
college faculty condemning Cine-
ma Guild was passed largely due
to the efforts of one man, Prof.
John E. Powers of the chemical
and metallurgy department. With
only a third of the faculty present,
Powers, in an impassioned plea.
asked for passage of his motion
urging "appropriate action to re-
gain some point of equilibrium"
between "those outside the aca-
demic community who might seek
to restrict it and from those in-
side who interpret such freedomj
as license to go beyond the
bounds of common decency."
Prof. Robert Beyer of the zoo-1
logy department, answering a let-
ter of Powers attacking Cinema
Guild, wrote to The Daily, "I
would suggest that some thought
be given to the role of the Univer-
sity in, and the contribution that
the University can make to, so-
ciety. Society is well able to pre-
serve the old customs when they
have utility and value. Unfortun-
ately, society also seems anxious
to preserve old customs which
have lost their value. It has been
the historic responsibility of the
University to question the values
In the same vein, Prof. Daniel
Fusfeld of th economics depart-
ment in a panel discussion on the
University and Cinema Guild re-
ferred to "the University's right
to investigate things now sacred.
The University must give maxi-
mum play to the area of shaping
ideas of the future."
For all the noise and commo-
tion of resolutions, long and ex-
pensive legal procedures remain.
Two separate cases are presently
being pursued in both federal and
municipal courts. Besides the role
of the Civil Liberties Board as
"amicus curiae," SGC offered bail
money for the defendants and
were active in a fund raising drive
for the defense. The length of the
legal proceedings is indefinite.
The first stage in the legal pro-
cess is a pre-trial examination to
determine whether all elements
of a crime under the criminal
statutes had actually been com-
mitted. It is being held in Ann
Arbor Municipal Court before
Judge Sanford J. Elden. When
prosecutor William Delhey at-
tempted to submit the film
"Flaming Creatures" as a state
exhibit, the defense attorneys,
William Goodman and D e a n
Robb, objected on the grounds
that the film had been seized
illegally and so could not be in-
troduced as evidence. In the fol-
lowing two months the prosecu-
tion replied and the Civil Liberties
Board entered the case as "amicus
curiae." Sandalow and Sax, Civil
Liberties Board attorneys, sub-
mitted a detailed brief explaining
the Supreme Court precedents in-
volved in illegal searches and
The Civil Liberties Board brief
stated: "A consistent line of re-
cent decisions by the United
States Supreme Court establishes
with abundant clarity that pro-
cedures employed to suppress ob-
scene materials must contain
adequate safeguards to assure
non-obscene material the consti-
tutional protection to which it is
entitled. For whether or not the
film 'Flaming Creatures' is found
to be protected . . . the mode of
seizure utilized here, unless held
to be illegal, can freely be used
another time to remove from cir-
culation any item, however clear
its constitutionally protected sta-
tus might be.
"The Supreme Court has re-
peatedly emphasized that any
seizure prior to an adversary
hearing before a judge on the ob-
scenity question is unconstitu-
tional . .. a community is not ef-
fectively prevented from enforc-
ing laws against the exhibition
of obscene films.
"It simply takes the power to
czaro~om over the literary life if
the community out of the hand
of the policeman, and returns the
job of determining the scope of
First Amendment rights where it
belongs-to a judicial officer."
Despite the brief, Elden still
ruled that the evidence was per-
missible. In doing so, he explain-
ed, "The question involves the
power of the' state to prevent
crimes which take place in the
presence of a police officer."
Classical, folk, electric instruments, accessories, private instruction,
repairs, rentals, instruments from around the world
209 S. STATE ST. 665-8001 ext. I1
FOLLOWING TIE CONFISCATION of the film, "Flaming Creatures," by Ann Arbor police, Cinema Guild sympathizers stage an all-
night prote,-t at the City Hall.
TT O KIN YOUR FUTURE WITH
ANN ARBOR'S FRIENDLY BOOKSTORE
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7 T-T"TT i T T T "T 1 T i T T i 1 T 1
UNIVERSITY ACTIVITIES CENTER Proudly Announces
A NEW EXTRAVAGANZA IN WEEKENDS
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 - 9:00 - 12:00 P.M.
. with the Long Island Sound
AT FERRY FIELD
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2-9:00 A.M.
m 4THE KING AND HIS COURT
An authentic rally for both cars and
Ford Motor Company. PRIZES WILL
motorcycles, sponsored by
8:30 P. M. - IN HILL AUDITORIUM
LOUIS ARMSTRONG SHOW
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 -2:00 P.M.
KING & HIS COURT
The FOUR softball players will be challenging one of Ann Arbor's
best softball teams to one of the greatest softball games ever!
5:00 P.M. -AT WINES FIELD
For a perfect Sunday evening join us at an old-fashioned
picnic. Food will be sold by the Ann Arbor Jaycees.