Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (2019) - News Poster

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Oscar-Contending Doc ‘Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project’ Reveals “Reclusive Activist” Behind Massive News Archive

  • Deadline
Oscar-Contending Doc ‘Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project’ Reveals “Reclusive Activist” Behind Massive News Archive
The late Marion Stokes, the enigmatic woman at the center of the new documentary Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, lived a series of contradictions.

Her nurse described Stokes as “a giving and loving person,” yet she did not suffer fools gladly and for years was estranged from her only son. She believed in bridging political divides, but a stepdaughter characterized her as “dogmatic.” And in the words of director Matt Wolf she was both “reclusive” and an “activist,” which sounds like a contradiction in terms.

About one thing there is no dispute: Stokes (1929-2012) proved doggedly persistent, especially in the pursuit that came to dominate her life—keeping a close eye on the news media. For over 30 years she monitored television on an unprecedented scale, at the local level in Philadelphia where she lived and on the national level of broadcast and cable TV outlets.

“She recorded television 24 hours a day on multiple channels,
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‘Recorder’ Trailer: Meet the News Junkie Who Taped Twenty-Four Hours of TV a Day for Thirty Years

‘Recorder’ Trailer: Meet the News Junkie Who Taped Twenty-Four Hours of TV a Day for Thirty Years
In the early days of network television’s slide into wall-to-wall news coverage, Marion Stokes started a project with the flick of a button. It would consume the rest of her life and result in the creation of tens of thousands of video tapes, all of which were filled with hours upon hours of wide-ranging television footage, most of it focused on the behemoth that is news-based entertainment. A rabble-rouser, activist, and major intellect, Stokes had long been interested in the way media shaped public perception, and as the influence of televised media grew, she became obsessed with capturing as much footage as she could, all the better to see the world changing through a TV tube.

Matt Wolf’s remarkable new documentary “Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project” uses Stokes’ recording obsession as a way to explore both Stokes herself and the world she literally committed to video tape. The results are fascinating,
See full article at Indiewire »

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