Screening | America Today
A recreation of the 1966 screening designed to reflect “the social, political, and moral climate of our time, the feelings, issues, and events of the day."
On November 30, 1966, the first and only screening of “America Today,” what was to be a series of topical programs featuring filmmakers from the New American Cinema and New Left political circles, opened at the Village Theater in downtown Manhattan. Designed to reflect “the social, political, and moral climate of our time, the feelings, issues, and events of the day as seen by today’s independent film-makers,” “America Today” brought together films by Jonas Mekas, Peter Gessner, Robert Fiore, Robert Machover, Norman Fruchter, and Bruce Baillie in order to support the Newark Community Union Project (NCUP), an initiative spearheaded by activists from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to organize people of color in Newark’s ghettos. Featuring filmmakers who would go on to form New York Newsreel, the unofficial propaganda arm for the New Left that would be established in December, 1967, the program indicates a moment when radical politics and aesthetics were seen as one. We reproduce this program to show how war, political demagoguery, racial oppression, and economic inequality persist, in ways even more potent, in America Today.
Jonas Mekas, “Newsreel: Report from Millbrook”
Peter Gessner, “Time of the Locust”
Robert Fiore, “Now Do You See How We Play?”
Robert Machover and Norman Fruchter, “Troublemakers”
Bruce Baillie, “Mass for the Dakota Sioux”
Programmed by David Fresko.