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CIO LISTS PRODUCT SELLING ITS IDEAS
Urges Medium to Change Public and "Attitudes"
Form or "Beliefs"
The Congress of Industrial Organizations has issued a catalogue of motion pictures, produced by the British and American Governments and Hollywood, among others, which it considers helpful in its educational campaign to sell its way of life to the American public. Although it tells its members there are "hundreds" of films acceptable for union use, the CIO concentrates upon a list of 73 subjects in suggesting film programs for showings at union meetings and other gatherings.
The film subjects are all on 16mm, mostly produced by government agencies. "There is no real group of labor films," the catalog of the CIO says. "Due to the expense of film making and the limited distribution opportunities, unions have not made any substantial number of films."
But promise is held out. "The job of the local leader is to organize an audience," the catalog advises. "By so doing he can create an outlet for which the union or independent film makers may produce films adapted especially to the requirements and demands of union groups." One film, "Hell Bent for Election," a color cartoon, was made by the United Automobile Workers of the CIO.
Employ Direct Approach
The approach of the CIO to the use of motion pictures is direct. "One picture can tell more than 1,000 words," says the catalog, "and pictures often tell stories that cannot as effectively be put into words. Coupled with this is the fact that people like to go to the movies. Films offer relaxation and entertainment and create a receptive audience for ideas. The medium of film lends itself exceptionally well to stimulating emotional responses through which beliefs and attitudes are formed or changed." The italics belong to CIO.
Pointing out that "film was not used extensively as an educational tool until some time after it came into its own as an entertainment medium," the union says that documentary pictures have been used by propagandists "to spread ideas and pound them deep into .people's minds. They can be used either to develop or combat ideas."
Quote Grierson's Views
John Grierson, Canadian Film Commissioner, is quoted on the subject of documentaries. His remarks at the International Labor Organization conference in April of last year are cited. He declared then that people were ready to learn and take inspiration from them. " Tt is the easiest thing in the world,' " he is quoted, " 'to organize these audiences for your purposes, for you will be meeting a natural demand. It is perhaps not the easiest thing in the world to translate the stubborn and sometimes grim problems of our industrial civilization into terms of interest and inspiration ; but for the past 15 years we have been teaching a whole host of young film makers to be interested in nothing else. They are at your disposition.' "
The guide to the selection of the 73 subjects is indicated in this foreword excerpt :
"It is selective rather than exhaustive, aim
ing to include subjects of interest in contemporary life and, at the same time, to prevent progressive ideas which are acceptable to trade unionists and their friends. Since it is impossible for each local group to view films before ordering, we had hundreds of films screened for us, out of which this annotated list is recommended."
The list is divided into 10 groups. These groups, and the number of film subjects in each, are as follows :
Labor History and Problems 5
The Industrial Front 13
The Home Front 8
The Farm Front 3
The Fighting Front 9
Background and History of the
War '. 11
Reconstruction and the Post-War
Health and Nutrition 4
Of the 73 subjects, 26 are distributed by the Office of War Information. Distribution and the number of films each made, are as follows :
Office of War Information 26
British Information Service 17
War Department 13
Brandon Films* 12
Department of Agriculture 2
Navy Department 1
Congress of Industrial Organization 1
College Film Center* 1
Ranging from feature length to six minutes running time, the subjects cost union locals from $10 to 50 cents each. In addition to the national distributing agencies, films are distributed from private companies in 17 listed cities.
Illustrating the type of recommended subjects in the various groupings are the following titles :
Labor History and Problems — "A Man and His Job," "The Labor Front," "Men and Dust" ; The Industrial Front— "The Arm Behind the Army," "The Battle of Midway," "Earthmovers" ; The Home Front — "The City," "Food and Magic," "Jane Brown Changes Her Job"; The Farm Front — "The Great Harvest," "Henry Browne, Farmer"; The Fighting Front — "Target for Today," "Cameramen at War," "Desert Victory"; Background and History of the War — "Spain, A Fight for Freedom," "Report from Russia," "Divide and Conquer" ; Anti-Fascism — "The Spanish Earth," "Silent Village," "Lift Your Head" ; Reconstruction and the Post-War World— -"Hell Bent for Election," "The Battle Is in Our Hands," "What Are We Fighting For," "World of Plenty"; Education — "The Negro Soldier," "Toward Unity," "Photography Fights"; Health and Nutrition — "Eating at Work," "Food for Fighters," "Health in War."
Moray's Daughter Weds
Norma Helen Moray and Sergeant Harvey F. Du Paul were married at the All Angels' Church, New York, last Sunday. Miss Moray is the daughter of Norman H. Moray, sales manager for Warner Bros.' short subjects.
Threat of Strike Hitting Theatres Is Heard Again
The Hollywood studio strike remained I settled at mid-week as new threats to involv. nation's theatres were made and presentatk the strikers' case to the public was prop-" Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations E, summoned attorneys of the Conference of S Unions, IATSE and producers to Washii April 26 for oral hearings on the .Set Decora lATSE jurisdictional fight, which precipi the walkout.
George Bradley, international president ol Building Service Employees, Monday in H wood, told a meeting of 3,000 unionists, "prl tionists are not the only workers employe"' ' theatres. We have janitors and caretakers a the nation." Mr. Bradley, supported by speakers, also proposed taking the case public, "by radio and other means," with a to crystallizing sentiment against suppo pictures which may be turned out during the p of the strike.
The strike strategy committee resolved tc all pictures in production in struck studios supply the titles to "every union in the U^ States," accompanied by a statement of condf under which they were produced, with the gestion that union members "use their own j ment" about attending theatres exhibiting thet
Tension Beginning to Mount
Tension mounted, last • Thursday as both j adopted vigorous measures to end the deac Producers notified striking unions that their tracts were terminated, and the Conference swered by pulling out the skeleton crews v they had allowed to continue work, for re;j of safety.
Actors and directors complained Tuesday producers had suspended them under con strike clauses when pictures can not be startc schedule. The Screen Actors Guild's atto are studying the contracts of persons suspe The boards of both the Screen Actors Guile the Screen Directors Guild were to discus.1 suspensions at meetings this week and early
Wages and working conditions were brd into the strike picture for the first time ' Herbert Sorrell, Conference president, in capacity as business agent of Painters Local wired producers : "Since our contract ex January 1, 1944, we are not obligated to yov anything, but since you have seen fit to term; said contract, we will be forced to sign a one, with better wages and working condif. before returning to work."
The Independent Brotherhood of Elect Workers called out studio laboratory wo who had been allowed to stay on their jot process Army films in accordance with an ex tion stipulated by the Conference at the begir of the strike. The Brotherhood charged producers had been smuggling commercial foe through the laboratories under the guise of / film. The walkout was called after a Brother executive conferred with Army officials who ag to transfer Army processing to laboratories affected by the strike.
Cite Arrangement with Walsh
After notifying the unions of the termini of their contracts, the producers issued a s ment declaring that arrangements had been i with Richard Walsh, IATSE president, to fui all employees necessary to keep the studios g<
Signatories to the telegram rescinding the u contracts were: Columbia, Samuel Goldi Loew's, Paramount, RKO, Republic, Twen Century-Fox, Universal and Warner Bros.
Open Springfield Drive-in
Riverside Park, Springfield, Mass., drive-in lie atre and amusement area was to reopen Satuiky according to Edward J. Carroll, owner-manag<
MOTION PICTURE HERALD, APRIL 14, I