The only film ever directed by author/poet/playwright/activist Jean Genet, 1950s legendary Un chant d’amour was long suppressed by censors for its explicit homosexual content. In 1964, filmmaker Jonas Mekas was arrested on obscenity charges after a screening of the film alongside Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures. Mekas recalls how he smuggled the film into the U.S. in the first place:
"The film was in 35mm and it was bulky. I was afraid that if I went from Paris to New York the film would be confiscated. Customs was very strict. Twice when I came to New York from Paris I had some Olympia publications in my pocket and they were seized. So I said, ‘If I go to New York with this, I have no chance. I have to go first to London.’ And that’s what I did. I cut the film into three pieces and put them in my raincoat pockets, and went to London. When you come from Paris, [US] Customs says, ‘Oh, Paris, hum, Paris.’ If you come from London, well that’s more conservative and you have a chance to pass through.
"I was on the plane to New York from London and I was talking with my neighbor, who happened to be the playwright [Harold] Pinter. When I told him what I had in my pockets, he said, ‘Maybe you should let me go first. You come after me.’ So I followed him and we got to Customs and they opened Pinter’s suitcase. It was full of plays, copies of the same play. They said, ‘What’s this?’ ‘Oh, it’s my play’, he said. ‘It’s opening on Broadway.’ ‘Play! On Broadway!’ The Customs man got so gaga, so excited, that he motioned his neighbors [fellow officers]. They all converged and were so yapping with excitement that I just passed through. And that’s how the film got in the country. If I had been by myself, I don’t know what would have happened. So, thanks Pinter!"