Videodrome sos

Belcourt Theatre Nashville, TN


Carmine Grimaldi

Filmmaker, Historian & Vanderbilt University Professor

Videodrome— Videodrome is real

A brief journey through the bizarre and wild history of the psychiatrists, artists and utopian dreamers who tried to transform the mind with early videotape.

Belcourt Theatre Nashville, TN

Film Synopsis

A programmer at a Toronto TV station that specializes in adult entertainment searches for the producers of a dangerous and bizarre broadcast.

    As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn (James Woods) is desperate for new programming to attract viewers. When he happens upon "Videodrome," a TV show dedicated to gratuitous torture and punishment, Max sees a potential hit and broadcasts the show on his channel. However, after his girlfriend (Deborah Harry) auditions for the show and never returns, Max investigates the truth behind Videodrome and discovers that the graphic violence may not be as fake as he thought.

    Photo credit: Universal Pictures

    About the Speaker

    In both his creative and academic work, filmmaker, historian & Vanderbilt University professor Carmine Grimaldi is interested in the ways that aesthetic experience inflect everyday life. His films have screened at venues such as True/False, Visions du Reel, the Museum of the Moving Image, Maryland Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival), Chicago International Film Festival, Camden International Film Fest, and DokuFest (where he received the prize for best short film). In 2017, he was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine — and has been a fellow at the Sensory Ethnography Lab, Harvard’s Film Study Center, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Center for the Humanities.

    In addition to his filmmaking, he researches and writes about the history of early video technology, focusing on the period before video became a mainstay in the world of art and documentary, when various researchers experimented with the technology in places like classrooms and psychiatric clinics. His article on the subject, “Televising Psyche: Feedback, Style, and the Seductiveness of Video,” was published in Representations. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Intercept, Millennium Film Journal, MUBI Notebook and Filmmaker Magazine.

    Carmine is currently making a feature film based on the ½” videotape archive of a psychiatrist who sought to radically transform his patients’ consciousness through video feedback and electroconvulsive therapy.