Civil Liberties

Friday A/V Club: Avant-Garde ACLU Ads of the 1970s

Directed by Godfrey Reggio


In 1974, the New Mexico Civil Liberties Union commissioned eight public service announcements from Godfrey Reggio, a filmmaker who would later achieve fame as the director of the arthouse hit Koyaanisqatsi. The result was a series of mysterious little movies that mostly refuse to explain themselves. (You'll have to wait for ad #6 before a narrator shows up to talk about what you've been watching.) The spots' theme is the feeling of being watched and manipulated by some omnipresent force, and they feel less like traditional PSAs than like fragments from a psychedelic '70s conspiracy thriller. Enjoy.

Hat tip: Kate Crawford. For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here.