Using intercepted satellite footage from official broadcasts including footage of unsuspecting 1992 presidential hopefuls, this film presents American politics in a fascinating, unfiltered form.
Available Online: Monday, October 26th – Saturday, October 31
Director: Kevin Rafferty, James Ridgeway
Film Details: 1992, 79 minutes, color, sound, English
The films will be available for FREE to watch starting Monday, October 26th through Saturday, October 31st through Eventive.
Filmmaker Sierra Pettengill and editor Daniel Garber will attend a virtual Q&A with the DocYard’s Curator, Abby Sun on Thursday, October 29th at 4PM EST. Register to attend the Q&A HERE. You can submit your questions ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org!
A scathing, hilarious expose of the broadcast media apparatus in a brief period of time when network TV stations used a particular satellite feed setup, Feed covers the 1992 presidential primaries in all of its twisty-turny glory. The cast of characters is one still familiar today, from George H.W. Bush to former California governor Jerry Brown to the Clintons, though its machinations and scandals are tame in comparison to today’s 24 hour news cycle. The film’s operating mode of catching and showing us its subjects in the liminal moments before they knew they were being recorded—and before others were supposed to be able to see what was being recorded—points to a time when there were strong boundaries between our online and offline (and seen and unseen) selves. Co-directed by Kevin Rafferty and the then-Washington correspondent for the Village Voice, James Ridgeway, and utilizing video artist and media archivist Brian Springer’s satellite recordings, this film is both sly entertainment and a roadmap for how films can resist complicity in media narratives. (This story was also a bit of a personal one, too. Rafferty was Barbara Bush’s nephew!) Rafferty passed away this past summer—the DocYard is honored to present just one of his several landmark films, which always challenge the structure and logics of power with humor and great wisdom. (AS)
“The result is a revealing look at these specific candidates and the political process itself, at least as it manifests itself on television.” Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Instead of moments of oratorial intensity, director Kevin Rafferty assembled all the painful clips of dead air, of the silence following a joke that didn’t quite land or the mutely grinning face of a politician who can’t hear the interview on the other end of the satellite link.” Alex Chambers, Little White Lies
Kevin Rafferty Select Filmography
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008) Feed (1992)
Radio Bikini (1988, as producer)
Atomic Cafe (1982)
Film Details: 2020, 18 minutes
A chilling all-archival deep dive into Harlon Carter’s leadership of the NRA, looking beneath the public face of the secretive organization to find a half century of white supremacist ties. (AS)
Sierra Pettengill Select Filmography
The Rifleman (2020)
The Reagan Show (2017, DocYard Fall ’17) Graven Image (2017)
Town Hall (2013, DocYard Winter ’14)