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Cinema Vortex Presents 'Analog Antics'
Cinema Vortex presents "Public Domain Playhouse: Analog Antics" on Friday, September 30 at 7:00 pm at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 10th & Washington in Miami Beach. Admission is free.
Before sounds and images could be recorded as rushing streams of bits and bites on discs and hard drives, producing – and enjoying – home entertainment was a job in itself.
Endless undulating grooves had to be cut into wax platters. Miles of magnetic tape had to be dragged across recording heads. Radios were tuned with dials and television viewers had to get up from the sofa, walk over to their set, and fiddle with an array of controls to change the channel they were watching.
It was the golden age of analog technology, a mid-Twentieth Century moment recaptured by "Analog Antics," an amusing and nostalgic selection of vintage film clips. This latest edition of Public Domain Playhouse will premiere at the Wolfsonian-FIU on Friday, September 30. The 7:00 pm screening is a "Free Fridays at the Wolf" event, presented by Cinema Vortex and the Wolfsonian.
Cinema Vortex Co-Programmer Kevin Wynn assembled "Public Domain Playhouse: Analog Antics." His selection was suggested by two exhibitions now on view at the Wolfsonian.
"The title of the new Wolfsonian show, 'X: A Decade of Collecting' actually suggested this screening," says Wynn. "I immediately thought of X, the L.A. punk band and was reminded of buying the band's albums on vinyl. This got me thinking about a whole range of technologies – records, tapes, video – that were familiar to huge numbers of people and are now obsolete.
"I've found tons of hilarious clips. Most of the clips were made to promote consumer products like record players and TV remote controls. The design and promotion of consumer products – from radios to electric fans – is a theme that shows up again and again in both exhibitions now on display at the Wolfsonian."
Among the films excerpted in "Analog Antics" are:
"A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape," a short film promoting an early alternative to reel-to-reel tape – oversized tape cassettes that make tape playing "as simple as, or even easier than, playing a record;"
"Living Stereo," a detailed explanation of home stereo which includes a "ride on the diamond tip of RCA-Victor's new Living Stereo stylus as it plunges down through a canyon of sound" – an animated trip through the grooves of a recording of Ferde Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite;"
"Television Remote Control," a hyped-up tribute to "the greatest advance in television since color television itself" – a wireless remote that allowed TV viewers to turn their sets on and off, change channels, and adjust volume, fine tuning, color, tint and brightness;
"Finding His Voice:" Animated by Max Fleischer, creator of the Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons, "Finding His Voice" explains early film sound by following the adventures of "Talkie" and "Mutie," two strips of movie film, in a talking picture studio. Produced in 1929 from a story credited to "W.E. Erpi" – an acronym for "Western Electric Electrical Research Products Incorporated."
For more information visit the Cinema Vortex website: http://www.cinemavortex.org or call 305-614-5700.
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