The Watching Hour: Series 7
USA, 2001, 86 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Black Comedy, Mockumentary
35mm presentation - SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS consists of six episodes of a fictional television game show called The Contenders. On the show, non-actors are given handguns, quickly explained the very basic rules (kill the other contestants) and told to "play," with a goal of winning by staying alive. Ultraviolent and psychologically disturbing, the film unrolls in the frenetic style of network television, never pausing for reflection. Written and directed by Daniel Minahan (cowriter of the screenplay for 1996's I SHOT ANDY WARHOL), SERIES 7 makes a timely comment on the rising popularity of actual television reality games shows. It's the ultimate game show. The contestants are chosen in a random drawing, handed a weapon, and instructed to watch their backs. Then, the entertainment begins. The prescient SERIES 7 skewers American popular culture with wit and style. Conceived long before the phenomenal success of the television program, SURVIVOR, and the subsequent deluge of "unscripted entertainment," the film takes the idea one step further.
DIRECTOR: Daniel Minahan
Screenwriter: Daniel Minahan
Principal Cast: Brooke Smith, Marylouise Burke, Glenn Fitzgerald, Michael Kaycheck
US Distributor: USA Films