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End of TV with Manual Cinema


End of TV is a Manual Cinema Production that runs from July 20th-August 5th at the Chopin Theatre.

Set in a post-industrial Rust Belt city in the 1990s and told through a collection of original 70’s R&B-inspired art pop songs, The End of TV explores the quest to find meaning amongst the increasingly constant barrage of commercial images and advertising white-noise. Two sides of the American Dream — its technicolor promise as delivered through TV ads, and its failure, witnessed in the dark reality of industrial decline — are staged in cinematic shadow puppetry and lo-fi live video feeds with flat paper renderings of commercial products. The show is driven by a sweeping chamber art pop song cycle performed live by a seven-piece band.

The End of TV depicts the rise and fall of the American rust belt through the stories of Flo and Louise, both residents of a fictional Midwestern city. Flo is an elderly white woman, once a supervisor at the thriving local auto plant. Now succumbing to dementia, the memories of her life are tangled with television commercials and the “call now” demands of the QVC home shopping network. Louise, a young black woman laid off from her job when the same local auto plant closes, meets Flo when she takes a job as a Meals-on-Wheels driver. An unlikely relationship grows as Flo approaches the end of her life and Louise prepares for the invention of a new one. Their story is intercut with commercials and TV programs, the constant background of their environment.

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