Wednesday, July 24th, 7:30pm
Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger, 2013, 90 min.
Before entire networks were built on populist personalities; before reality morphed into a TV genre; the masses fixated on a single, sociopathic star: controversial talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr. In the late ‘80s, Downey tore apart the traditional talk format by turning debate of current issues into a gladiator pit. His blow-smoke-in-your-face style drew a rabid cult following, but also the title “Father of Trash Television.” Was his show a platform for the working man or an incubator for Snooki and The Situation? Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie dissects the mind and motivation of television’s most notorious agitator.
Lower the safety bar for a rollercoaster ride through Downey’s euphoric ascent to fame and nauseating plummet to infamy. Évocateur features interviews with Herman Cain, Pat Buchanan, Chris Elliott, Gloria Allred, Sally Jessy Raphael, Alan Dershowitz, Curtis Sliwa, Richard Bey, Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck and never-before-seen footage reveals Downey’s behind-the-scenes fistfights and foibles. Animation recreates the legends of Downey that bounce between executive nightmare and schoolboy fantasy. A significant portion of Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie explores the brawl that took place between Roy Innis and Al Sharpton during a taping of “The Morton Downey Jr. Show” at the Apollo Theater in August 1988. The subject of the show was Tawana Brawley. This screening and Q&A at the Maysles Cinema will mark the 25th anniversary of the Apollo Theater taping. Touré (co-hosts MSNBC's "The Cycle" and is the author of "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means To Be Black Now,") and Roy Innis (CORE) will participate in a discussion afterwards about race and media with director Jeremy Newberger. Al Sharpton has also been invited to attend. In light of Trayvon Martin coverage, the potential reunion and debate guarantees to be fascinating.
Post-screening Q&A with Touré, Roy Innis and director Jeremy Newberger.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/504872066248589/