Film ID:
YFA 3303

PROPAGANDA

1973

Visitor Tabs

Description

Experimental short criticizing the captivating and manipulative mass media culture spawned and supported by the television set.

Titles (appear on television screen):
Propa-ganda
By R Wool-ley
Over a black screen, a TV announcer says, 'The next programme will also be shown on BBC 1 and ITV. The time is now 10:00.'

The TV screen re-appears, displaying a chaotic jumble of various programmes: political interviews including personalities like Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Michael Caine film, the News at Ten with Andrew Gardner and Sandy Gall, a ballroom dancing competition, the Friday Film - Cottage to Let (Anthony Asquith 1941), an advertisement for tobacco, the credits of The Green Man (Robert Day and Basil Dearden 1956), cars driving in the city, a country road covered with sheep, and many, many others. The soundtrack is composed of various mingled snippets of television programmes, usually different from those that appear on the screen. At one point, after a political speech urging viewers to vote, a rousing song that declares that 'times are changing' is actually a jingle advertising glass. Amidst these myriad brief clips and flashes of static appears a man who runs toward the camera and, looking at it through a chain-link fence, asks, 'Am I on the telly?' Later, he approaches the camera in a different location and knocks on the lens, 'Am I in there?' Each time he appears, he is increasingly, fanatically, insistent. Occasionally, another man appears in front of the television screen, watching it, touching it, and holding objects like scissors and a cut-out of a horse and rider in front of it in silhouette. His movements are in jerky, stop-frame animation, just like when black tape covers the television screen and bit by bit disappears, spelling out the word, 'TV.'

In the middle of the film, the Titles:
'Preser-ver of'
'the status quo TV'
appear on the television screen like the opening credits.
As the announcer encourages his viewers to 'vote conservative,' the final shot is of the Queen. The announcer concludes the film by saying, 'That was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative and Unionist Party.'