Four More Years
Program Available for Three Days Only, October 20–22
“Instead of stand-up reportage or sit-down analysis we wanted to see if TV could cover politics by letting people and events speak for themselves.”—a TVTV member
In the sixties, it would have been obvious to say the mass media dictated what was newsworthy. But how does one rebut such a self-serving, monolithic system? One gesture was to turn portable video technology toward alternative documentation of the historical ferment. And so it was that in the early seventies Michael Shamberg, Megan Williams, and Allen Rucker formed Top Value Television (TVTV) and set out to show that dissident, raggedy mediamaking could serve as a DIY solution. TVTV’s start point was auspicious—the 1972 presidential conventions. Their ragtag camera crews wandered the events, gathering overlooked stories with a frankness the networks shunned. Four More Years is TVTV’s glimpse of the GOP convention with Nixon up for reelection. Inside the arena, a highly orchestrated political event is delivered, while outside antiwar protesters lean toward anarchy. TVTV’s offhanded confabs with network icons like Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite convey the humdrum nature of this prepackaged spectacle. Also included in this streaming program are a handful of never-before-seen TVTV outtakes restored by a BAMPFA preservation project. Essays, interviews, and further information about this project are available at Preserving Guerrilla Television.