Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 12:02

Trash talk dominates 'Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Show' + Video

Trash talk dominates 'Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Show' indyweek.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Related Video

Video by YouTube.com

About this Media...

  • Director: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger
  • Dates: December 15 & 16, 2013

Producers and directors Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger bring a welcome restraint to their documentary "Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Show." Anyone familiar with Downey's nationally syndicated show from early 1988 to July 1989 remembers the loud, confrontational, trash-talking host who blew smoke in guests' faces while screaming at them.

"Évocateur" chronicles his rise and fall, interweaving several animated sequences while relying primarily on multiple clips from his show, including Ron Paul, Henry Cain, Al Sharpton, and Curtis Sliwa. Also revealing are present-day interviews with writers, producers, and several noted guests, among them Mort's daughter Kelli, Alan Dershowitz, MTV founder Robert Pittman, and feminist Gloria Allred. Briefly "Évocateur" also summarizes Downey's background with brief clips: his father a noted singer, his mother a dancer who lost custody of Mort and died of alcoholism. A chain smoker, Morton Downey Jr. died of lung cancer in March 2001, after advocating strongly anti-smoking in his last months.

The film satisfactorily documents Mort's life, especially his groundbreaking, venomous style. It also questions the reasons audiences gravitate to such hatred, anger and pettiness, such verbal abuse. It charts, but fails to fathom, the psychology of Downey's increasingly uncontrollable anger and his refusal to listen to reason, or just about anyone, as his self-destructive, and what many called totally inappropriate, behavior spun out of control. Eventually, it became impossible to book serious guests, and Downey faked a skinhead attack, exploiting his notoriety while trying to gain sympathy.

Though I found it unpleasant to revisit Downey's antics and venom, because of today's hate mongers, Downey's example remains unfortunately relevant. The St. Louis premiere of "Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Show" is at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 15th and Monday, December 16th. For more information, you may call 314-968-7487 or on the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.
 

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

March
Saturday
07

Brunch at the Stage: Brian Curran

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


March
Friday
13

Daniel Romano & The Trilliums, Jack Grelle and Ryan Koenig

Daniel Romano is a songwriter who channels country crooning and hard luck storytelling with cinematic fidelity. While references to marquee names like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard are apparent in Romano's...


March
Saturday
14

Green with Indie Craft Show 2015

Green with Indie is an indie arts and crafts show featuring more than sixty handmade artists and vintage sellers. All the wares are earth-friendly, salvaged, upcycled, recycled, homegrown, homemade, revamped, or refurbished....


Online Users

4 users and 12199 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook