“ORTF, they invented television”, a history of television



If your name is melancholy Sang Joe Dassin, whose face and voice open Philippe Thuillier’s documentary, directed by Matthieu Jaubert. If your name is… nostalgia, do we want to hum, discovering this two-part film which traces the beginnings of television. Images which seem to come from a very distant world, that of a somewhat monotonous media, reserved for those who could afford the expensive receiver, but on the verge of becoming democratic.

At the end of the 1950s, General de Gaulle watched “his” 8 pm Newspaper every evening on the RTF, under the direct authority of the Ministry of Information. He asks his minister, Alain Peyrefitte, to think about modernization. In 1964, the first channel of the French television broadcasting office, the ORTF, was born. The goal: to modernize television. It must become the mirror of society along three axes: ” Cultivate, inform, entertain.

Emblematic figures

Varieties, songs, glitter are the strong points of this new TV, which accompanies the baby boom and the carefree 1960s. It soon also becomes a political tool, part of the presidential campaign of 1965.

Flagship programs gain the loyalty of the public (“Tender Age and Wood Head”) and personalities crystallize affection: the announcers, emblematic of elegant femininity, and the presenters, reassuring figures. The former trainee of Léon Zitrone, Michel Drucker (“Tilt”), Guy Lux (“Intervilles”), Jacques Rouland, Jean-Paul Rouland and Pierre Bellemare (“The invisible camera”) …

The innovation is carried by research and creative heads: Jean-Christophe Averty, Georges de Caunes… Will come the passage to color, the beginnings of filmed theater (“At the theater tonight”), literary programs (“Lectures pour tous “) And the news magazine (” Five columns in the spotlight “). The numerous archives of this first part unearth a world of carefree melodies, images of a past where we had forgotten the war by not imagining that it could return.

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