Radio Unnameable

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Radio Unnanmeable
January 16, 2013
Showtimes (change daily)
Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30pm

A fascinating portrait of legendary WBAI radio host Bob Fass

In Person: Star BOB FASS and Filmmaker JESSICA WOLFSON

Buy TicketsMembers $10 • Public $15 (includes reception)
Tickets also available at 800-838-3006, or at CAC Box Office

Bob Fass: midnight to 5 a.m., 5 days a week, his soothing voice was heard over the airwaves on WBAI-FM. Anyone living in NYC in the 1960s and ‘70s and who experienced even one night of insomnia remembers that voice. A pioneer of free-form radio, Fass let the talk and music flow all night long, as some of the city slept and some of it followed him to a “Yip-In” at Grand Central Station, the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, and a “human fly-in” at JFK airport. An amazing roster of guests – Arlo Guthrie, Allen Ginsberg, Kinky Friedman, Abbie Hoffman, Bob DylanCarly Simon – showed up unannounced and unedited. Long before Twitter or Facebook, before shock-jocks and reality TV, before Occupy Wall Street and flash mobs – Bob Fass helped change the face of media and brought the counterculture face to face with the rest of America. Radio Unnameable collages archival footage of NYC from this era with tapes from some of Fass’s most memorable programs – emulating its subject’s own commitment to immediacy, honesty and irreverence. Bob Fass continues to be heard on WBAI Thursdays, from midnight until 3 a.m. (USA, 2012, 87 Mins., color, Blu-ray • Director: Jessica Wolfson) 

“Mr. Fass narrates old war (and antiwar) stories with vivid clarity and impeccable timing… It can make you wish – or, if you’re lucky, remember – that you were a sleepless New Yorker in 1967, kept from loneliness by a gentle, soulful voice on the radio.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“A flavorsome local history, a celebration of the broadcast medium, and a movie that approaches the…’60s counterculture from a fresh angle. Fass was at his height both baby-sitter and rabble-rouser. He used the airwaves to construct a community… a clubhouse for the New Left’s greatest showboats: Paul Krassner and Abbie Hoffman… an evocative collage…a time capsule. Fass was in a sense New York’s quintessential (East) Village voice – the great ongoing commentator on unbelievable oddness of boho life in Mayor Lindsay’s ‘fun city.’ “ – J. Hoberman, Artinfo

“A cult hero…(who) has kept New York City’s insomniacs and graveyard shift workers company for almost 50 years.”
Melissa Anderson, Village Voice