Project Description

Six O’clock News

Film Still from Six O’clock News

Ross McElwee, 16mm film, 103 mins. (1997)

Having recently become a father, the filmmaker begins to worry about how to support his new family through documentary filmmaking.

Forced to spend more time at home, now that he has a child, he also begins to watch a lot of television news. Real life, as seen through television news, seems saturated with disaster and danger.

The state of the world, and especially of the United States, seems threatening and surreal. Can this really be the nation in which he is intending to raise a son?

Convinced he can no longer earn a sufficient living making documentaries, the filmmaker begins to investigate the possibilities of getting work in Hollywood, where, as he is constantly reminded, they make “real movies.”

But the six o’clock news, with its nightly tales from real life, continues to fascinate him, and eventually he finds himself drawn to seek out and film in more depth some of the people and events he has seen for a few seconds on the six o’clock news. He undertakes a journey.

Distributed by First Run Features, New York.

Ross McElwee