Mountain Vision (Film)

Mountain Vision

  •  Susie Wehling
  •  1991
  • Color IconColor
  •  28:00
  •  3/4" U-matic video
Film Description
Mountain Vision examines five innovative and sometimes idiosyncratic examples of "homegrown" Appalachian television. "Joe's Show" is a live music show produced and distributed out of Joe Engle's basement in Viper, Kentucky. The 1957 national series "The Renfro Valley Show" is producer John Lair's romanticized vision of his mountain home and its music. "Virgil Q. Wacks Varieties" featured everything from mine rescue teams to Hawaiian dancers, and car lots to roller rinks. A long-running show typified by its zany hucksterism, the whole thing was presented in barely edited Super-8 montages held together by cheap glue and Wacks' stream-of-consciousness narration. The film also features Tennessee video pioneers Broadside Television, who in the early 1970s used inexpensive portable video equipment to put community events on the area's first cable access channel, and "Headwaters," Appalshop's television series about culture, politics and the people of Appalachia.

Screenings & Festivals
  • Kentucky Educational Television
  • WSWP Beckley, WV

Reviews

"Gives a well-rounded look at the subject of local culture. Students studying popular culture and American folklore will find this look at contemporary Appalachian lifestyle informative and entertaining." — School Library Journal
"The history of television is short, and it needs more chapters like Mountain Vision, which demonstrates that television can be used to focus on regional issues and strengthen a community's sense of local identity." — Duke University