Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:02

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

Local Artist Spotlight


Search Parties

Tue September 9

KDHX Recommends

September
Saturday
20

The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Thin Dimes at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes the old-time country blues of the Thin Dimes for this weekend's concert in the park. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and runs May through...


September
Saturday
20

Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party

Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and 80th Birthday Party Leonard Cohen started out as a poet, and poetry -- ecstatic, spiritual, erotic and political -- suffuses all of his work. When he launched a career as a songwriter and singer in the '60s, only Bob Dylan could match his visionary...


September
Saturday
20

Lee Fields and The Expressions

KDHX welcomes Lee Fields and The Expressions to 2720 Cherokee on Saturday, September 20 at 8pm.   Tickets on sale now at www.ticketweb.com.


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 15083 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook