Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project Unclassified 18+
For more than 30 years, Marion Stokes recorded everything on her TV: every single minute of every channel in America, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But who was Marion Stokes and why did she dedicate her life to something so utterly obsessive?
Marion Stokes first pressed record on her VCR during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 and didn't stop until her death in 2012. Working across eight VCRs and accumulating a carefully catalogued library of more than 70 000 VHS video tapes, Stokes produced the most comprehensive archive of American TV in existence. Yet is this simply a case of OCD taken to its extreme, or was Marion Stokes a visionary archivist, documenting the great transformation of American media?
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project is documentary maker Matt Wolf's (Teenage, MIFF 2013; Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, MIFF 2008) fascinating attempt to answer that question. Built out of interviews with the people who knew her best and spliced together with rare and forgotten footage from Stokes's own collection, Recorder paints a picture of a mercurial yet blazingly intelligent woman, whose excesses concealed a powerful activist spirit.
“Intriguing from first minute to last … a stranger-than-fiction tale with the narrative twists and turns of a well-paced thriller.” – Hollywood Reporter