The Secret Cinema
THE MARCH OF TIME
On Thursday, March 8, The Secret Cinema will present a retrospective of THE MARCH OF TIME, the groundbreaking, influential series of topical newsreels made by film pioneer Louis de Rochemont. Produced under the banner of Time and Life magazines between 1935 and 1951, THE MARCH OF TIME presented fast-moving, concise summations of crucial current events, and vivid histories of facets and trends of life in America.
THE MARCH OF TIME's unique style employed breathless narration and an unusual yet seamless blend of actuality footage and skillfully staged recreations (or in some cases, simply creations) of the unfilmable. This manipulation of reality was understood and accepted by audiences as an effective story-telling method, and was eventually incorporated into other films (most memorably in the MARCH OF TIME tribute/parody newsreel that begins CITIZEN KANE). In a pre-television era filled with the dozens of competing short subjects that accompanied all feature film screenings, de Rochemont's creation was particularly successful, and eagerly consumed by millions of theatergoers every month.
Our program will showcase an assortment of episodes, showing examples of the variety of topics chronicled by THE MARCH OF TIME.
One 1946 short, ATOMIC POWER! (called "quite remarkable" by Raymond Fielding in his definitive book about the series, THE MARCH OF TIME, 1935-1951), could boast of the participation of virtually every scientist involved in the then-recent development of the atomic bomb. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Albert Einstein and 10 others did not simply answer questions, as most documentaries would show, but they appeared as actors playing themselves, recreating the crucial events, decisions and conversations that led to the creation of man's most terrible weapon.
Other episodes look at topics as diverse as the THE AMERICAN TEACHER, CAREERS FOR GIRLS, and, in an amusing reel titled IS EVERYBODY HAPPY?, the post-war spread of belief in fitness gurus, crackpot nutritionists, radio therapists, astrologers and fortune tellers.
As a bonus we'll also feature two non-MOT films: AN EGYPTIAN ADVENTURE, a rare 1928 de Rochemont semi-documentary that anticipates THE MARCH OF TIME's creative license, and SCHOOL TIME IN CAMPS, a charming, Kodachrome short made by the MOT producers for their Life magazine sponsor, documenting an ambitious program to introduce city kids to the wonders of nature.
As usual, all Secret Cinema programs are projected in 16mm film on a giant screen (not video).
There will be one complete screening at 8:00 pm. Admission is FREE.