Documentary films on media, from Toxic Sludge to Mickey Mouse
August/September 2003

Inspired by the success of the documentary series the Civic Media Center is co-sponsors with Hippodrome Cinema (first Mondays of the month) the Civic Media Center will be trying its own documentary series on Thursdays in September, from 7:30 until 9pm or so - when the Poetry Jam takes over the space. It also gives us a chance to use our video projector, which we received as a donation last April.

The theme of the documentary series in September will be the nexus of advertising, public relations and the news media, especially relevant now that the walls between the fields are disappearing, to the detriment of our news reporting and our culture itself.

Sept. 4: Video One: Toxic Sludge is Good for You. Takes on the public relations industry, the managers of the public mind, working with corporations and feeding both news and advertising with information spun to the corporations benefit. September 4th at 7:30pm sharp.

Sept 11: Video Two: Merchants of Cool, a devastating look at the marketing aimed at youth culture to steer their tastes in music and fashion. You'll never look at MTV the same way again. September 11th 7:30pm.

Sept. 18: Video Three: Mickey Mouse Monopoly, Disney, Childhood and Corporate Power. Offers a critical deconstruction of Disney films from a race, gender and class perspective, looking beyond the innocence and fun to the values they project to a worldwide audience.

Sept. 25: Video Four: Fear and Favor in the Newsroom. Cycles the series back to news reporting and who decides on what news we see. Ownership of the media does affect what is reported and self-censorship becomes a survival skill. Among the many journalists interviewed are four Pulitzer Prize winners.

All videos are under an hour long and will begin at 7:30pm sharp, so we can allow time for some time for discussion afterwards. If the series goes well, perhaps in October we will look at some historical documentaries from the seventies and eighties; those who come can voice their interests and we will accommodate peoples' interests within the CMC's collection. We'll ask for a free-will sliding scale donation at the door to support the CMC and cover the cost of future video purchases.

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