(aka The Millions Game)
Dir. Tom Toelle & Wolfgang Menge, 1970.
96 min. West Germany.
In German with New English subtitles.
MONDAY, APRIL 8 - 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, APRIL 14 - 7:30 PM
Preceded by selected West German television commercials 1963-1970.
Long before The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, Series 7: The Contenders and even The Running Man, 1970’s Das Millionenspeil portrays a deadly reality television contest in which a participant is given seven days to elude a trio of professional assassins and win a $1 million prize.
Based on a 1958 story by Robert Sheckley often cited as the first predicting the advent of reality television, Das Millionenspeil was itself made for German television and interspersed with convincing false advertisements, psychedelic studio interludes and man-on-the-street documentary bit. And moreso than all its followers, its a richly unsettling satire of government, broadcast and entertainment sectors colluding and engendering various alliances and sympathies among the public they entangle.
It also represents some of the first-ever recordings by the legendary CAN, then known as The Inner Space. Their propulsive title track and ambient interludes provide the backbone of an unusually polished, thrilling and subsequently little-seen production.
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