Argument | Chicago Reader

Argument

Anthony McCall and Andrew Tyndall's experimental essay film (1978) relentlessly critiques the political paternalism of the New York print media, specifically Time, Esquire, and a style section of the Sunday New York Times. The movie also interrogates itself, identifying its three components—image, sound, and caption—then using them to undercut each other (intertitles are slightly misread by a narrator, texts flash on-screen too quickly to be fully read). Three decades later this is still a bracing experience, though the modern cable channel's bottom-of-the-screen news ticker is only one example of how the movie's formal dysfunctions have been absorbed into our media noise. Thanks a lot, guys. 84 min.

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