Sickies Making Films

The fascinating and often hilarious story of film censorship in America, as told through Maryland’s infamous State Board of Censors.
November 2018
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Ticket Prices

$11 regular admission
$9 matinees (before 6pm)
$9 students/seniors/active military with valid ID
$8 MdFF Members
Sickies Making Films
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Director: Joe Tropea

Starring: John Waters, Laura Wittern-Keller, Robert Headley, Pat Moran, and Senator Howard Denis


2018, USA, 85 minutes, Digital, Not Rated

Language: English

Q&A with Director JOE TROPEA, Director Of Photography SKIZZ CYZYK and Editor ROBERT EMMONS JR.  ON OPENING WEEKEND!

Q&As Friday 11/30 and Saturday 12/1 at 7:30pm and Sunday 12/2 at 4:30pm.

A three film celebration of notoriously censored films, complimenting the opening weekend of Sickies Making Films at the SNF Parkway.

Program Notes

Decades before movies had a rating system, they had censors. Dating back to the silent era, seven states and dozens of cities across the United States empowered government-employed censors to cut films prior to their exhibition — or even ban them outright. Citing unacceptable violence, language, and sexuality, censors literally shaped the moving images audiences in their regions could access—often motivated by their own beliefs, prejudices, and strong personalities.

A love letter to the movies, Sickies Making Films looks at our urge to censor films and asks why? We find reasons both absurd and surprisingly understandable. Using the Maryland Board of Censors (1916-1981) as a lens, as well as archival materials, classic film segments, and interviews with filmmakers and exhibitors who were subjected to censorship, this documentary examines the recurring problem of censorship in America.

“A movie for enthusiasts and lovers of film and film history.”

“Featuring a wealth of great movie clips, archival footage and interviews (beyond Waters), the movie offers a fascinating take on the twisted world of morality-based legislation, provoking horror and derision, both.”
— Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

“Stylish documentary… Tropea keeps things lively by deploying a combination of talking head interviews (including film historians, theater owners, politicians, and [John] Waters himself), old film and TV footage, original illustrations, and the kind of kitschy tableaus of documents, pens, and clippings that would make Wes Anderson proud.”
— Max Weiss, Baltimore Magazine

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Maryland Film Festival

Made in Baltimore!

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Directions to the Parkway Theatre
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway is located at 5 W. North Avenue (at the intersection of North Avenue and Charles St.) in Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District
Parkway Map
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