BLO Nightly News | Chicago Reader

BLO Nightly News

In descending order of interest this video-shorts program includes: Suicide Box (1996), which apparently documents the use of an automatically triggered device that videotapes people jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Despite its neutral tone, a running text stimulates a range of emotional responses as it makes the point, heightened by incongruous footage of happy tourists, that many visitors to the bridge have a grim agenda. Next is The Rumour of True Things (1996), in which filmmaker Paul Bush accumulates found visuals—including medical-imaging samples and snippets of video used in monitoring industrial processes—gradually overwhelming you with the idea that image-making technologies re-create the things they enable you to see. By the end, black-and-white footage of trucks and cars on a highway passing through a camera's field of view seems beautiful but also pathetic—evidence of a culture defined by its obsession with documenting itself. BLO Nightly News—BLO stands for Barbie Liberation Organization—is a repetitive phony documentary from 1994. The subject is the group that claims to have switched the recorded phrases spoken by hundreds of Barbies and G.I. Joes and then returned the dolls to stores in the belief that if little boys heard a male doll suggest going to the mall and little girls heard a fashion plate spout gruff combat idioms, their eyes would magically be opened to a whole range of behavioral possibilities.


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