Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project

Date: Saturday 17th October, at 7:00pm

Tickets available on bookmyshow


Row A – C (Regular Stalls) AED 45

Row D – J (VIP Stalls) AED 75

Row K – N (Gold Stalls) AED 55

Row P – W (Balcony) AED 45

Recorder: The Marion Stroke Project, a film by Matt Wolf. An unconventional timeline to bring Marion’s story to life, and to show history unfolding on the screens at The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates.

With immense pleasure Art for All is pleased to announce a documentary on how an archive of media can one day be so priceless.

Recorder: The Marion Stroke Project is a documentary on a Communist radical who became fabulously wealthy later in life, Marion Stokes secretly recorded American television 24 hours a day for 30 years from 1975 until her death in 2012. For Marion, taping was a form of activism to seek the truth and she believed that a comprehensive archive of the media would one day be invaluable. Her visionary and maddening project nearly tore her family apart, but now her 70,000 VHS tapes are being digitized for future generations.

Matt Wolf says that the moment he read about Marion’s 70,000 tapes he imagined an endless collage of fuzzy clips—from tragic and triumphant, to historic and mundane—images that show the texture of our times. As a filmmaker, I’m known for using archival footage in unconventional and cinematic ways.

He says that he likes to make old things feel new by using found images and stories in unexpected contexts.

About the film: 

Marion Stokes was secretly recording television twenty-four hours a day for thirty years. It started in 1979 with the Iranian Hostage Crisis at the dawn of the twenty-four-hour news cycle. In between, Marion recorded on 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, lies, wars, triumphs, catastrophes, bloopers, talk shows, and commercials that tell us who we were, and show how television shaped the world of today. Before “fake news” Marion was fighting to protect the truth by archiving everything that was said and shown on television. The public didn’t know it, but the networks were disposing their archives for decades into the trashcan of history. Remarkably Marion saved it, and now the Internet Archive will digitize her tapes and we’ll be able to search them online for free. This is a mystery in the form of a time capsule. It’s about a radical Communist activist, who became a fabulously wealthy recluse archivist. Her work was crazy but it was also genius, and she would pay a profound price for dedicating her life to this visionary and maddening project.

Recorder premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, and played at Hot Docs, London Film Festival, and numerous other film festivals and museums around the world. Zeitgeist Films distributed the film in theaters across the US, followed by DVD and streaming releases. Recorder broadcast on PBS Independent Lens and released in the UK.

Watch the trailer


*About the director:
Matt Wolf is an award-winning filmmaker in New York whose feature documentaries include Wild Combination, about the cult cellist and disco producer Arthur Russell and Teenage, about early youth culture and the birth of teenagers. He is also the director of HBO’s It’s Me, Hilary and is the co-curator of film for the 2019 Whitney Biennial. He is a Guggenheim Fellow.

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