Before YouTube, There Was This

The funny thing about anti-communist propaganda films from the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties is how much they resemble pro-communist propaganda films from the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties, according to Kevin Wynn of Cinema Vortex, which is showing a montage of the former called Public Domain Playhouse: Propaganda American Style tonight at 7:00 at the Wolfsonian-FIU.

So instead of railing against capitalist pigs and the alienation of consumer society, From Dawn to Sunset (a Thirties industrial film produced by Chevrolet that comprises most of the program) cheerfully espouses “the pleasure of buying” as a long column of factory workers drives nail after nail into the heartbeat of America. As Marx would have inevitably pointed out if he were still with us, it's only a short while before we're all paying through the nose to download right-wing, sexist, Guantánamo-style torture-porn onto our iPhones. Oops! Too late! True propaganda fans can also head upstairs to the über-hip John Heartfield exhibition, after Cinema Vortex’s mesmerizing presentation.
Fri., Oct. 12, 7 p.m., 2007
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P. Scott Cunningham