Sunday, February 19, 2017

Naturally Native, Allegiance, RCA SelectaVision Player

No talent Dora Hall album found
Jennifer Wynne was the co-director on this movie featuring an all Native American cast and financed by the Pequot Tribal Nation.  Ms. Wynne spoke to our Road Scholar group earlier this month at the LA Downtown Hotel.
The movie is the story of three native women who struggle establish a cosmetic business and are frustrated by racism and sexism.  The characters also challenge the stereotypes prevailing for Native American alcoholism and casinos.
The conflict between those who were raised Christian and those who are more traditional is also a theme in this worthwhile movie available on DVD.
A cousin had this LP from the infamous Dora Hall, a no talent with a rich husband who did a TV special for syndication in 1963 that I saw on KCOP/13.  She dabbled in several venues but country probably worked best since you don’t have to be Rene Fleming to pull it off.  She sounds like Lucille Ball in “Mame.”
EDINA—From coast to coast today audiences in movie theaters saw a Fathom January 2016 performance of “Allegiance,” based in part on actor George Takei’s real life experience as a child in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II.  The women in the internment camp in “Allegiance” found a way to unify in resistance with letter writing to Washington officials objecting to the racism. 
The showing here was lightly attended but those that saw it in LA and San Francisco must have enjoyed a few communal moments.  (Takei appears in the 1960 war movie ‘Hell to Eternity” which is a sympathetic look at the plight of Japanese Americans during the war.)

A suburban relative was an earlier adaptor of home movie equipment in the early 1980s when he and his wife purchased an RCA SelectaVision player.  I inherited it this weekend and find that the power source is dysfunctional so it won’t play the large floppy discs.  
This is America’s only attempt to invent a TV connected movie viewing device and was a total bust; worse than the Sony Betamax.  The RCA product is a reworking of the phonograph with a magnetic cartridge, needle and grooved vinyl records. 
I am sure that this analog rendering of movies is no improvement over VHS.  Next month I will give it away.

The RCA system fell victim to poor planning, conflicts within RCA, and technical difficulties that stalled production of the system for 17 years until 1981, by which time it was already made obsolete by laser videodiscs.

1 comment:

Mike Barer said...

Nice Post!