Monday, June 1, 2015

FANDOR | June Film Highlights




Produced by the Academy Award-winning Peter Davis (Hearts and Minds), the Emmy-winning six-part Middletown series made for PBS in 1982, documents middle class life, American values and customs in “Middletown”—a.k.a. Muncie, Indiana, through local politics, high school sports, a family business, religion, marriage and divorce, and interracial dating.  However when Xerox, the corporate sponsor of the series, discovered that the film Seventeen showed interracial romance and contained vulgar language, it systematically shut the film down. Seventeen was effectively censored by its corporate sponsor (a real no-no for “public” television) and to this day has never been aired.


Films from the series include:




Seventeen (1983)

Fandor SVOD Debut: June 5 |Director: Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines

High School seniors hurtling toward maturity experience joy, despair and an aggravated sense of urgency. They are also learning a great deal about life, both in and out of school, and not what school officials think they are teaching. 



The Campaign (1982)

Fandor SVOD Debut: June 5 |Director: Tom Cohen

Focusing on a mayoral race in Muncie, Indiana, The Campaignfollows closely the personalities, strategies and pressures of an American political contest. In particular, it examines the sharply contrasting styles and backgrounds of the Democratic and Republican candidates.



The Big Game (1982)

Fandor SVOD Debut: June 5 |Director: E.J. Vaughn

The role of competitive sports, in this case basketball, in the community, for the coaches, and, most of all, for the players themselves. As Muncie Central and Anderson High prepare to meet for the annual basketball game, a game charged with the spirit of long-established rivalry, The Big Gameexamines what this competition, and the sport itself, means to the community, the coaches, and most of all to the players themselves.




Family Business (1982)

Fandor SVOD Debut: June 5 |Director: Richard Leacock and Marisa Silver

Howie Snyder is an archetype: a retired Marine colonel in his mid 40's, he is a prototypical American entrepreneur struggling to make his business go. Howie's Shakey's Pizza franchise in Muncie, Indiana employs his whole family: wife, nine children, and Howie himself. He's the representative of the American Dream: the chance to invest long hours and hard work in exchange for financial security for oneself and family. To watch Howie Snyder as he dickers for better treatment by the Shakey's chain, as he seeks additional financing to stave off looming bankruptcy, and as he sits morosely counting an evening's disappointing receipts is to watch America at work. And to see Howie's family rally around him in the hour of his greatest need is a heartwarming experience. Family Business will appeal to businessgroups as well as small business owners. Franchising organizations will find it valuable as a case study. Schools will find it appealing as a study of a family in challenge. And everyone will find the drama of daily life compelling.


5.pngSecond Time Around (1982) 

Fandor SVOD Debut: June 5 |Director: Joel DeMott and Jeff KreineThe complexities of contemporary American marriage. Focusing on the wedding arrangements of David and Elaine, each of whom is a divorcee, Second Time Around presents the complexities of contemporary marriage in the United States.

More Featured Films for the Month of June



The Builder (2010)

Fandor SVOD Debut: June 12 |Director: Rick Alverson 

Following an Irish immigrant carpenter from coastal Queens to the Catskills and beyond, The Builder is an American existential portrait that explores the gulf between the idea of a thing and the thing itself. 



Mondovino (2004)

Fandor SVOD Debut: June 26 |Director: Jonathan Nossiter

Epic in scope, this multi-generation, globe-trotting saga covers not only the entire gamut of wine making, but wine's place in a treacherously globalized and hyper-marketed world. From the billionaire power brokers of Napa Valley, to the aristocratic rivalries of competing Florentine dynasties, to the efforts of three generations of a Burgundian family fighting to preserve their few acres of land, Mondovino: The Series About Wine and Culture brings to life the human drama (and comedy) of wine making.