Underground Film Journal

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UnionDocs: Campaign Spots And Spin

By Mike Everleth ⋅ October 28, 2010

UnionDocs flag logo

Nov 2
6:30 p.m.
322 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Hosted by: Cinebeasts

What better way to spend Election Night than watching classic campaign ads and a political documentary? That is, what better way after you’ve actually gone out and voted. You’re going to vote, right? You better!

Plus, after tonight’s screenings, David Bushman of the Paley Center for Media and investigative reporter Danny Schechter will lead a panel discussion on the “evolution of political media language.”

As for the screenings, it seems that every year politician TV ads get more and more mean-spirited and deceptive. But, is that really the case?

UnionDocs and Cinebeasts have collected a treasure trove of classic campaign ads that reach all the way back to Eisenhower. Some of the better well-known ads that will screen are ’70s Coke commercials that featured Richard Nixon as a punchline and Ronald Reagan’s famous — or infamous, depending on your point of view — “Morning in America” ad.

Those ads will be contrasted with more recent “winners” like The Red Phone, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing and more.

After the ads, will be a screening of Brian Springer’s rarely screened 1995 documentary Spin, which is a collection of raw outtakesĀ  and bloopers scavenged from satellite feeds during the 1992 Clinton/Bush election.

See all the scary styling and preparing that goes into putting together “unscripted” television interviews and media events where in fact every last detail and nuance is deliberated right up to airtime. This film shows in fascinating detail the early days of the 24/7 news industry.

Lastly, don’t forget the panel discussion with Bushman and Schechter after the films.