[Television and 3D movies]

Monday, December 21, 1953

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seldes discusses soldiers who are refusing repatriation. [Believe he is referencing this event:]

Goes on to discuss the daytime serial programs - and the claims that they allay stresses and make people feel better.

Discusses theater reviews on television. Perhaps television is not the proper medium for critical analysis. Newspapers and magazines may be better for intellectual reflection and television and movies are better for spectacle.

The outlook of the public toward their entertainment seems to be a matter of great interest. Groups are forming to analyze the effects of television on viewers. College and University courses are now devoted to "communications" - they study how people are using mass media. This is a virtually new field.
There is also a new interest in education television, marked by the first one this year in Houston, TX.

Seldes goes on to discuss television, then the movies. He talks about the emergence of 3D films, which seemed doomed early on, but believes that Cinemascope will be successful. "The Robe" seems to be evidence of this success - in addition to being in Cinemascope it also utilizes, sex, religion and spectacle to attract audiences.

He discusses the work of Stanley Kramer. Seldes believes that Hollywood doesn't have room for this kind of talent that goes outside of the lines.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71506
Municipal archives id: LT3084

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes


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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.


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