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October 1992


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Oct 1992 09:20:59 EDT
text/plain (27 lines)
SYLVANIA WATERS sounds like a Public Broadcasting project, AN AMERICAN FAMILY,
made around 1975 and shown only once to the whole network.  It dealt with
a family in flux -- wife asks for divorce, son comes out of the closet, etc.
The 13 episode series was produced by Craig Gilbert and shot by Susan and
Allan Raymond, chronicling a period in the lives of the family of Bill and
Pat Loud.
This series arouse much controversy around so-called "invasion of privacy" and
the counter "exploitation by subjects."
Gilbert has told of having considered 250 families before settling on this
family.  To an outsider (me) it was clear that this family carried the
"seeds of its own distruction" which was, I think, the point to having
cast them (and "casting" is the precise term I intend).
There is a large bibliography of reviews and commentary on the project,
including a book by Pat Loud defending her family against all of the
allegations that people hurled at them during the period that the film was
showing.  An ironic footnote is that in 1990 ENTERTAINMENT TODAY showed some
of the family members in an interview whose point seemed to be another grab
at their fifteen minutes of celebrity.
Cal Pryluck                               <[log in to unmask]>
Dept of Radio-Television-Film             <PRYLUCK@TEMPLEVM>
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122                    voice (215) 247-9663