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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hail to the Chief

In honor of President Barack Obama's 2nd State of the Union address lets visit a few political movies. 

First a set of serious films- Can Hollywood be trusted to portray a sort of truth? Second, a set of fun films- perhaps the way we really wish things could happen......

"JFK" (1991) - There seems to be a split on this one - its either totally believed and adored or blasted as nonsense and hated even as a film. Oliver Stone takes some well known celebs, places them as key characters- adding to the confusion of a conspiracy theory that has several dozen people all keeping the secret. Yet, as a film, it works well - plays to the heart strings of a time when America believed in the fairy tale. 

"Frost/Nixon" (2008) - A rare piece that seems to be incredibly close to real events - the midnight phone call placed by Nixon to Frost rivets the audience into a wow moment...There aren't any threads here that ask you to believe or trust beyond the story you are watching- just peak over the shoulder of a moment in history, both political and journalistic. 

"1776" (1972) - Dailogue taken directly from the papers and letters of the people portrayed. You can't get any closer to the truth than this..and the musical score is well worth your attention. A film in which costuming, conversation and scenery take the audience to anther time. 

Now, lets just have fun -

"DICK" (1998) - Not really a good film- a bit of nonsense, but fun!  

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) - After watching this film you would vote for Jimmy Stewart for President or just about anything he asked. Delightful beyond words. 

"Wag the Dog" (1997) - It doesn't appear the film makers were trying to tell us this is really how things happen- its on the edge of campy - but there is something .....a twinge of .....You just leave this film with a tiny bit of ...questioning...??? 

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