One in a series of seminars presented by The Paley Center for Media in New York as part of its PALEYDOCFEST 2012 Television Documentary Festival. This seminar honors "Let Fury Have the Hour," the documentary film examining the artistic and cultural responses to certain American political movements and ideologies over the last century. Host Ron Simon (curator of PALEYDOCFEST) offers opening remarks and introduces producer/writer/director Antonino D'Ambrosio, who provides background on the film and his own related experiences growing up in the 1980s in an immigrant family. The film is then screened in its entirety. (For synopsis and credits, see ACCNUM 108658.)

After the screening, Simon brings moderator Geoffrey Gilmore (Chief Creative Officer/Tribeca Enterprises) to the stage, and Gilmore introduces the panelists: D'Ambrosio; film participant/musician DJ Spooky; and film director/screenwriter/author John Sayles.

The panelists touch on such topics as: how today's youth is "politicized" through music and social media; inspiration from Pablo Picasso's 1937 painting "Guernica," created in response to the bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War, now viewed as a prominent artistic anti-war statement; the many specific forms of politics and their presence in daily life; Spooky's experience growing up in Washington D.C. and his views on the right wing's "war on memory" and "Orwellian sense of recall"; his remix and examination of the infamous 1915 film "Birth of a Nation" by D.W. Griffith; the relevance of the film's statements to the 2012 Presidential elections; Sayles' 1987 film "Matewan," also concerning themes of social rebellion; the cultural importance of "subterranean" independent films; the "Burroughs-ian" use of the Internet to unite many voices; the importance of taking social action beyond just voting; film as both "part of the problem and part of the solution"; D'Ambrosio's editing choices and use of famous quotations and archival footage; and the idea that "no one owns history."

Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics among others: the "co-opting" of music for commercial use; the good and bad aspects of media and technology; independent film as a barometer of social tone and change; the film's message of "turning obstacles into opportunities"; the responsibility of the citizen to ask questions; the balance between celebrating individual creativity and excessive self-interest, as typified in Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"; the Occupy Wall Street movement and its impact on the bigger picture; the "trillion-dollar fiction" of the alleged weapons of mass destruction and President Obama's lack of commentary on same; the occasional need to eschew technology and social media and connect personally with others; how there are "no final victories or defeats" in ongoing movements; the harm of analyzing ideas through numbers and statistics; D'Ambrosio's friendship with street artist Shepard Fairey and his involvement with certain corporations; the Presidential debates' insufficient examination of the "messy, uncomfortable world"; and why democracy is a "grey zone."


  • DATE: October 9, 2012 6:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 2:22:23
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 108424
  • GENRE: Seminars


    • Ron Simon … Host
    • Geoffrey Gilmore … Moderator
    • Antonino D'Ambrosio … Panelist
    • DJ Spooky … Panelist
    • John Sayles … Panelist
    • Shepard Fairey
    • D.W. Griffith
    • Barack Obama
    • Pablo Picasso
    • Ayn Rand