Ted Coe, host of “The Freak Power Ticket” (Mondays, 9-11am, summer 2008) writes: “Brett Morgen’s Chicago 10 is an unique cinematic mashup: one part deadly-serious political documentary, another part trippy and iconoclastic animated docudrama. Throw in an anachronistic soundtrack — ranging from symphonic movie music to Rage Against the Machine, Billy Preston to Eminem, Black Sabbath to the Beastie Boys — and you’d think the filmmakers would have had a hit on their hands on the college/midnight-movie circuit. But for various reasons an Opening-Night Premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival didn’t translate into theatrical success: the film largely came and went upon its release in the spring of 2008.
The DVD market gives some quality movies a second life, however. Perhaps the late-August release of Chicago 10 on video will help it find new audiences around the country. What’s more, Chicago 10 is scheduled for a free-TV debut on PBS’s Independent Lens feature film series this October 22nd. Its story revisits the events surrounding the Democratic National Convention of 1968 in Chicago — a site of mass demonstrations against the Vietnam War and violence caused by police and state officials — and the subsequent trial of 8 dissident organizers on charges of conspiracy to incite riot across state lines and violations of the 1968 anti-riot act. (The 10 of the title references those 8 defendents and their 2 defense attorneys who ended up facing serious contempt of court charges.)
This past Monday, my show, ‘The Freak Power Ticket,’ cast a spotlight on the story of Chicago 10. The first segment of the program blended a lengthy interview guest-host Harry Lawton and I conducted with Chicago 10 writer/director/producer Brett Morgen (pictured), audio from the soundtrack, and music included in the film. The second hour also drew alarming parallels between that historic case and recent events at the Republican National Convention (RNC) with similar charges against members of the RNC Welcoming Committee, now called the RNC8.
Finally, I re-aired the opening segment of Chicago 8 attorney William Kunstler’s historic February 26, 1970 address before an audience of thousands at UCSB’s Harder Stadium, hours before Isla Vista’s Bank of America was torched by anti-war demonstrators (the entire segment, from KCSB’s archives, will air on a future broadcast of the program).
This was preceded by a reading of a context-building excerpt from Beyond the Barricades: The Sixties Generation Grows Up, by Jack Whalen and UCSB Professor Emeritus (and KCSB programmer) Richard Flacks. (The included Kunstler photo is from islavistahistory.com).”