Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, November 20:
TVTV: VIDEO REVOLUTIONARIES
theatrical release (October 2018)
The story of an early collective of videomakers in the 1970s.
With strong parallels to the Videofreex, chronicled in Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon’s fascinating HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX, TVTV was a West Coast analogue that operated between 1972-1977, first in San Francisco and later in Los Angeles. Short for the cheekily-named Top Value Television, TVTV was a loose collective of early adopters of Sony’s Portapak, the first commercially available videocassette recorder and camera. Full of youthful energy and brashness, with no one older then 25, the group started to offer an alternative to mainstream news coverage, working with public television to tape documentaries on current events, including the 1972 Republican National Convention, and used the novelty of their equipment to gain access to Washington DC parties and other coveted spots. After dabbling somewhat in entertainment journalism, including behind-the-scenes event coverage like the Super Bowl, TVTV relocated to Los Angeles and started to lose its journalistic focus, resulting in fractures within the group, eventually disbanding in 1979. Directed by TVTV mainstay Paul Goldsmith, there’s some clunkiness here, particularly in his narration and a general episodic structure, but it’s more or less made up for in the remarkable video footage he shares with the viewer – an impressive time capsule of burgeoning video journalism and entertainment coverage with early appearances by the likes of Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, and John Belushi, among others.