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Emile de Antonio’s Millhouse: A White Comedy (1971)

Sat, Apr 2, 2016
5 pm

Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater

Directed by Emile de Antonio (1919–1989), 16mm, b/w, 92 minutes. The screening will be introduced by Douglas Kellner, George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education, UCLA, and editor of Emile de Antonio: A Reader.

Largely comedic, and a not entirely unsympathetic characterization, Emile de Antonio's portrait of Richard Millhouse Nixon was a surprising departure from his previous work. As the film satirizes Nixon's manipulative side, it also reveals a resourceful Horatio Alger figure, a "poor boy from the lower middle classes with burning desire and energy," stated de Antonio. Millhouse is also a continuation of de Antonio's work in compilation documentary. Just before the '68 election, de Antonio sought, in vain, for a print of Nixon's 1952 telecast "Checkers Speech," which he wanted screened in theaters, to remind viewers about the "old Nixon." Two years later, an anonymous delivery of hundreds of cans of news film—including a complete kinescope of the 1952 broadcast—became the core material for Millhouse.

This three-day screening series highlights the films of Emile de Antonio, one of the most important political filmmakers in the United States during the Cold War. The program is co-organized by Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, and Laura Poitras as part of a series of public events, lectures, and talks organized in tandem with ​Laura Poitras: Astro Noise​. All notes and descriptions are adapted from Anthology Film Archives program notes, written by Dan Streible, co-editor of Emile de Antonio: A Reader.

Tickets are required ($10 adults, $8 members, students, and seniors). Capacity is limited; visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.

The Susan and John Hess Family Theater is equipped with an induction loop and infrared assistive listening system. Accessible seating is available.

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COVID-19 vaccination and face coverings are not required, but strongly recommended for all visitors. Plan your visit and review our visitor policies.



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