If you've ever bought a wonder wallet, a food slicer, a canapé maker, a patty stacker, a miracle brush or a super knife, you may know that the CNE, the Calgary Stampede, and virtually every home show, car show, craft show, fall fair and ploughing match in Canada has at least one thing in common. At hallway intersections and bleacher exits work the second cousins of the carnival barker, the crowd pleasers and teasers, jugglers of people, product and pitch: the point-of-sales professionals known as pitchmen. This documentary looks at the psychology of the impulse sale and provides a view of the world of commerce, salesmanship and advertising at the grass-roots level.
This film is a collection of 1-minute cartoons produced by NFB animators for government sponsors. Showcasing a playful selection of animation techniques, the clips include reminders about television programs, traffic safety rules, and admonitions from the Department of Labour.
This funny yet serious short film demonstrates the effectiveness of advertising and the marketing machine. Its comic appeal lies in the characters and the absurd situations they find themselves in, but it also shines a harsh light on our tendency towards needless consumerism prompted by a steady flow of commercials.
This experimental animated short takes a critical look at consumerism in a material world. Thousands of cut-out ads are presented in increasingly fragmented, rapid succession. The film's disorienting and hectic pace seeks to interrogate the extent to which seductive advertising is a shockingly strong force in shaping our desires, needs, and lives in contemporary capitalism.
This animated short is an entertaining and incisive satire on some of the material that is disgorged via the "boob tube." The opening pitch of the television salesman establishes the tone of this pithy film: a solid-state model guarantees high-quality entertainment, and programs are always designed around products, not spectators.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Peter Watkins, an Oscar®-winning British filmmaker who, for the past 4 decades, has proved that films can be made without compromise. With the proliferation of TV channels, documentaries are enjoying an unprecedented boom fuelled by audiences seeking an alternative to infotainment. But now documentary filmmaking, too, finds itself constrained by the imperatives of television. However, there is a rebel resisting this uniformity of the spirit. Pre-eminent among today's documentary filmmakers concerned about this mind-numbing standardization, Peter Watkins has never strayed from either his principles or the cause.
This short live-action comedy satirizing TV's violent ways tells the story of 4 children who go searching for their school’s 2 missing turtles. In this task, the children are assisted by a television set that morphs to life as a goofy action superhero. As the search progresses, the children discover that TV solutions and real-life solutions don't always mix. When the kids take charge and use their own wits, the turtle mystery is solved in a jiffy.
This short fictional film is a zany spoof of TV content with plenty of violence borrowed from the very source it seeks to parody. Our protagonist is a housewife who has lost her family to the television set. Suddenly, her home is invaded and her life is taken over by characters that seem to spring from the V screen. Initially, she attempts to get the intruders out of her house. But eventually, she begins to see that perhaps a life on TV wouldn’t be so bad after all. Will her distracted husband even notice her departure?
This short documentary depicts Christmas time in Montreal. The milling crowds, department store Santas, Brink's messengers, kindergarten angels and boisterous nightclubs all combine to make a vivid portrait of the holidays.
A film report of the hearings of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications investigating the effects of television violence. An NFB crew recorded the four days of intensive debate in Washington, where representations were made by the three major networks, the Surgeon General of the United States, independent scientists, and representatives of concerned parent groups. The hearings established that there is a correlation between violence on the screen and violence in real life.