This illustrated presentation will offer two viewpoints on the “pre-Code” era (1930 to 1934), when Hollywood ignored the lax Production Code, releasing films that dealt with adult themes. Mark A. Vieira says: “These saucy, cynical films were an honest expression of the times, advancing the art of film.” Tiffany Brannan says: “Pre-Code films were exercises in sensationalism, warping impressionable young minds solely to boost box office.”
Mark A. Vieira is a photographer and historian. His fine-art books on Hollywood’s Golden Age specialize in genres, photography, and careers. He has written about film noir, George Hurrell, Greta Garbo, and Irving Thalberg. He has authored two books on the pre-Code era. Sin in Soft Focus was published in 1999. Forbidden Hollywood was published on April 2, 2019, and is in its second printing.
Tiffany Brannan is an operatic soprano, travel writer, ballet writer, and film historian. As co-founder of the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society (PEPS), she is working to replace the MPAA Ratings System with the Motion Picture Production Code of 1934. She and her colleagues are raising the public awareness of the Code’s value and are providing new information about its co-author and administrator, the late Joseph I. Breen.
Book sales and signing to follow the presentation.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! I am going to be co-hosting a PowerPoint presentation with a respected Hollywood historian and published author on June 23! Mark A. Vieira has used his knowledge and insight about pre-Code Hollywood and his skill for restoring vintage photographs to illustrate and describe the films which led to the formation of the Production Code Administration in 1934 for over twenty years; he also has tried to clarify misconceptions about Joseph I. Breen and the other Code administrators. He wrote his first book about the Pre-Code Era, Sin in Soft Focus, in 1999. On April 2, 2019, he published his newest book on the four years of unrestrained filmmaking in the 1930s, Forbidden Hollywood: When Sin Ruled the Movies. This book is already in its second printing and is the #1 bestseller in Cinematography on Amazon. You can read more about Mr. Vieira on his website.
Mark Vieira contacted me for the first time on May 25, 2018. He left the following message on our website via the Contact form: “I thought I was the only person besides Thomas Dougherty who thought Joseph Breen was an honorable and principled man. Twenty years ago, I became friends with Jack Vizzard, who worked with Mr. Breen for ten years at the PCA. I was friends with Mr. Vizzard for the last two years of his life.” I researched him and realized that he was a published author on subjects of Hollywood history, so I quickly responded to him. In his next message to me, he told me that he had found my website while looking for the number of films which were submitted to the AMPP jury during the Pre-Code Era. He wanted the figure for the book on which he was working, which would eventually become his new bestselling book. While he didn’t find that statistic on my website, he did find another admirer of Joseph Breen and the work of the PCA. We kept in close contact via email and phone for the next several months.
In April, Mr. Vieira greatly honored me by inviting me to co-host his upcoming PowerPoint and book signing event on June 23 at the Central Library in Los Angeles. He was impressed by my knowledge of the Code and its administration, my research, my unique perspective on the Breen Era, and the fact that I had contacted and befriended several descendants of Joseph I. Breen. I had dreamed of someday collaborating with Mr. Vieira, but I was so honored that he invited me! I gladly accepted his offer, and we have been planning this event ever since. We are calling it “Pre-Code vs. Pro-Code,” and it looks to be a fascinating event. You can read the post about it at the library’s official page.
This free event will take place in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. It will be illustrated by a rapid succession of beautifully-restored 1930s photographs. Mark Vieira and I will take turns telling the story of the Pre-Code Era, the Production Code Administration, and the lasting effects which both these times had on Hollywood and American entertainment. We will be revealing new stories and anecdotes and never-before-seen photographs in our amicable debate to determine whether Hollywood was better off before the Code or with it. Come to see whether Pre-Code or Pro-Code will win!
If you can’t wait until June 23, click the above image to buy Mark Vieira’s new book at Amazon and support PEPS through the Amazon Affiliate program!
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Only the Code can make the sun rise on a new day of pure entertainment!