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Television Event at UW Cinematheque
October 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:45 pmFree
Nicholas Meyer discusses his TV disaster drama “The Day After” in Jeff Daniels’ documentary “Television Event.”
Excerpt from Maxwell Courtright’s review: Television Event, the 2020 documentary by Jeff Daniels (not that one) about the making of The Day After, is a relatively straightforward telling of events, as Daniels gathers a somewhat random collection of people who made the film happen. The Day After director Nicholas Meyer is the star here, positioned as the enfant terrible (hot off his directing of 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan), who insisted on defying censors and filming all four hours of the script despite only two making it to the final cut. His devil-may-care attitude drives the idea of the original film as an heroic act, something necessary that provoked passion in its creators despite their hardship filming it. While censors and restrictive producers feature, the assumed disapproval of the Reagan administration provides most of the conflict.
Television Event shares the same task with many other historical documentaries: showing its audience that now-common tropes were radical in a different context. But the film arguably goes too far in this direction, highlighting nothing but the Sisyphean struggle to get this vitally important story to the small screen. Powers that supposedly made it difficult for The Day After to exist in the first place are also among the ones singing its praises in Television Event.
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