The theme for this month – Circling the Drain

Theatrical Release

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Written and directed by Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine, Roger & Me)
Edited by Doug Abel (The Fog of War, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) and Pablo Proenza (Where to Invade Next)

“But they feel jarringly out of place, and in a good way. That’s because, for a great deal of the film, Moore cedes the floor to people whose voices are not as easily heard, or who have had to fight to have a voice at all.

“Fahrenheit 11/9 is a sweeping broadside against Trump, to be sure — not an original approach in documentary filmmaking these days. But it also does what few political films seem willing to do in the Trump era: It powerfully (if unsystematically) dismantles idealistic notions about how much better things were before Trump took office.

“The film’s news peg may be the current administration, but its target is self-satisfied liberals who more or less trust the system.” Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“He views Hillary Clinton as a symptom of how the inner circle of the Democratic Party has thwarted the voters’ wishes. Bill Clinton gets raked over the coals for pushing the party toward the center.

“There’s a goal here besides demonizing Trump, and it’s to press Moore’s notion that, despite many election outcomes, Americans broadly support progressive and liberal causes. He offers poll results (ironic!) to back him up. The only solution, he believes, is the undoing of the current political system — otherwise the big-money establishment will remain in charge of both parties. He finds a few notes of hope, such as the Florida student activists, who have scored some victories.” Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

Archival films

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey, Paths of Glory)
Shot by Anthony Harvey (Star Wars, Repulsion)
Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull and James Earl Jones

“Kubrick’s great 1964 tragicomedy about superpowers on the nuclear brink continues to fascinate new generations of moviegoers, as its frequent reissues attest. A genuine classic.” David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor

The Candidate (1972)

Directed by Michael Ritchie (The Bad News Bears, Smile)
Written by Jeremy Larner (Drive He Said)
Starring: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas, Don Porter, Allen Garfield, Karen Carlson and Quinn K. Redeker.

“Before he became a faceless hack specialising in forgettable comedy vehicles (Fletch, The Couch Trip, The Golden Child), Ritchie was one of the most penetrating observers of the American Scene, and directed a series of very smart, very funny, very pointed pictures about comeptitive endeavours, from beauty contests (Smile) to little league baseball (The Bad News Bears).

“Here, he lays into the political circus with the uncannily convincing story of a glamour boy lawyer (Redford) who is conned by a huckster (Boyle) into mounting a senatorial bid on the grounds that he’s bound to lose anyway and so is free to raise some important issues in the campaign.

“However, once committed to the cause, Redford finds his ideals in shreds as Boyle’s showbiz approach takes over and whatever it was he stood for in the first place starts taking a back seat, especially in a dizzyingly sick-making scene when it turns out that the hollow man actually has a chance of winning and no actual idea of what to do if he does. Redford, brilliantly cast, has never been better, and Larner’s snappy script won an Oscar in 1972.” Kim Newman, Empire

Screenings:

Fahrenheit 11/9 is at The Grand Cinema.

Dr. Strangelove will screen at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 in the Center for Spiritual Living (206 N. J St).

The Candidate will screen at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12in the CSL.

The TFC Discussion Night for these three films is Wednesday, October 17 in the CSL.

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