True Life Video Stories (1978)





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Movie Info

In the late 1970s Scott Jacobs, armed with new technology, set out to record images of America. The equipment he used was one of the first video cameras, a black and white portapak, and he filmed the working lives of ordinary Americans who he would discover had fascinating stories. His segments appeared on AMERICA IN BLACK & WHITE, and this collection of Jacobs' work comprises the best of his pieces. Jacobs' nonfiction studies have a striking similarity to radio's THIS AMERICAN LIFE and the anecdotal writings of David Sedaris. These journalistic shorts study such diverse working Americans as a baker, a gambler, a politician, and a department store Santa.
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Audience Reviews for True Life Video Stories


Despite the tape-level quality, the footage is very interesting. The author seems to have an uncanny knack for finding odd or uncommon people who are interesting to interview. He is also good at asking evocative questions; I never got the sense that the people interviewed missed something or were hassled for a desired response. Because this was made so long ago, the overall effect is that of a time capsule. I felt as though I was really watching honest, unproduced footage. Of course, this will happen with handheld shots and interviews with random strangers! The tapes are in black & white, which further helps to give the whole thing a chinsy, plastic, disco-age feeling. Keep this one for when you're bored with standard-issue documentary film.

David Shazbot
David Shazbot

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