The Universal Clock (2000)
by Geoff Bowie
National Film Board of Canada
The torrent is given in compact size for easy download.
"The Universal Clock" is a documentary which accompanies the boxed dvd set of
Peter Watkins' "La Commune (Paris, 1871)." The author of The Universal Clock (UC) takes us through both the production process of La Commune and the commercial barriers to having Watkins' recreation of the Paris Commune shown after it was created.
The Universal Clock refers to the standardization of video content on the
47 minute model (with commercial and public service announcements taking up
the balance of the time.) Watkins calls this the 'monoform' and is shown describing his concept of the monoform.
In documenting the process of making "La Commune" UC has interviews with members of the cast who were non-professionals participating in this group project. These Parisians and immigrants talk about how being a part of the performance changed the way they view themselves and the media around them.
More discussion of "La Commune" can be found here:
La Commune itself is available in the torrent community.
Other works available about non-standard theater performance are
Signals Through The Flames.
These pieces show the relevance of performance experimentation from the past
and the present.
Watkins has brought a new form of television making into being with "La Commune." But there is reference to the concept of modern media reporting on historic events as far back as the 1940's. "You Are There" used the technique first on broadcast radio on the CBS network. The noted filmmaker John Frankenheimer brought "You Are There" to televison and it ran for 4 years on the network. Such directors as Sidney Lumet did episodes of "You Are There" before they began their formal film careers.
"You Are There" is available on dvd media.
All these works are teaching tools for experimental theater and media production.