2020 CIFF Selects season opens with festival favorite

Jan 13, 2020
A promotional still from "Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project" (2019, USA).

Camden — The Points North Institute and the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St., will kick off the 2020 CIFF Selects series on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. with a screening of the award-winning documentary "Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project" (2019, USA). The film premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, and has screened at numerous festivals and art museums across the world.

"Recorder" is a film about Marion Stokes, who for more than 30 years obsessively and privately recorded American television news 24 hours a day. A civil rights-era radical who became fabulously wealthy and reclusive later in life, her obsession started with the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979 — at the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle. It ended on Dec. 14, 2012 as the Sandy Hook massacre played on television while Stokes passed away. In between, Stokes filled 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, wars, triumphs, catastrophes, bloopers, talk shows and commercials that show us how television shaped the world of today and in the process tell us who we were.

A mystery in the form of a time capsule, "Recorder" delves into the strange life of a woman for whom home taping was a form of activism to protect the truth (the public didn’t know it, but the networks had been disposing their archives for decades into the trashcan of history) and though her visionary and maddening project nearly tore her family apart, her extraordinary legacy is as priceless as her story is remarkable.

The film has been called “weirdly exhilarating” by The New York Times, “outstanding” by the New Yorker, and “intriguing from first minute to last” by the Hollywood Reporter.

“We are thrilled to kick off another season of our wildly popular documentary screening series,” said Ben Fowlie, Executive and Artistic Director of the Points North Institute. “'Recorder' is a fascinating and moving trip, and a reminder of just how far we’ve come — and media consumption has changed — since the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle. It is a privilege to start our 2020 CIFF Selects season with this film.”

Additional CIFF Selects titles will be announced shortly. Upcoming screening dates include March 25, April 22, May 27, June 24, July 22, Aug. 26, Sept.23, and Oct. 28. Q&As with filmmakers, either in person or via Skype, will follow select screenings.

Tickets are $10 for adults and can be purchased on the day of show at the Camden Opera House box office, or in advance online at pointsnorthinstitute.org. All screenings are free for students younger than 18, or who present a valid college ID. CIFF Selects is a program of the Points North Institute, and is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.

 

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