5/12/22: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: Allen Rucker: “An Awesome Respect for Reality”

Free virtual screening/discussion with veteran writer/producer Allen Rucker, moderated by curator Michael Campos-Quinn.

A full replay of the May 12 event.

On Thursday, May 12th, at 6 pm Central Time, Media Burn Archive will host veteran writer/producer Allen Rucker for a virtual screening and discussion. We will be featuring clips from some of his most important work with TVTV, as well as the mockumentary series he produced with Martin Mull, “A History of White People in America.”

There are many ways to slice up 50 years in the media business. Allen Rucker shifted horses a bunch of times, jumping from one form to another according to what he could get made or get hired to make, first in the indie doc business then the bull ride called Hollywood. Then one Tuesday in December, 1996, he awoke from a nap permanently paralyzed from the waist down. It wasn’t actually a savvy career move, but he came to a dead stop and started over and by the mercy of God, things worked out pretty well. 

One way to organize his so-called career is to see how so many projects belly up to the line of reality. Comic mastermind Harry Shearer was once asked by a student to describe the overarching theme of all of his work, from Spinal Tap to Montgomery Burns. His answer: “An awesome respect for reality.” It’s naught for naught that the first comedy project that he wrote and produced was directed by Harry Shearer. Allen left the real world of documentaries for a half-step over the line to what used to be called mockumentaries. Now the format has so saturated most of mainstream comedy, not to mention a slew of “docu-dramas,” that it’s a central feature in a massive commercial hit like The Office and viewers hardly notice.

This program will begin with Allen’s work with TVTV, which he believes is both home of some of the best work he was ever associated with and certainly the learning ground for much of what followed. Later, it will feature clips from the 1985 mockumentary series he produced with Martin Mull, A History of White People in America, which starred Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place, Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, and Michael McKean.

The program will be moderated by Michael Campos-Quinn, Director of Library Special Projects at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s Film Library and Study Center.

This event is free to attend. Media Burn is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and we depend on donations to continue our work. Please consider making a donation along with your ticket signup, or at https://mediaburn.org/donate/ , or by texting MEDIABURN to 44321.


1 Comment

  1. Donated after being told it was too late to sign up for free event!!!!

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