Outspoken influential twentieth century chameleon couldn't care less about his legacy in this very well made cinematic hagiography.
Nicholas Wrathall's documentary Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia was made shortly before the astute scenarist, playwright, novelist, essayist passed away and puts his life as a free, deep thinker in perspective with his acerbic, challenging observations.
The point made from society's "basic values" from this persona non grata is how supposed learned lessons are being "forgotten in no time at all." Gore Vidal was a blue-blood, akin to The Kennedys with valuable connections in Hollywood, politics, and literary circles.
A vivid account of Vidal's life which spanned from West Point to the Hollywood Hills was in a way the last of a one of a kind elucidates with austerity much about idealism and reality when it comes to a nation which stands for freedom, justice and the American Way. And tearing down a naturalism and a Republic for an Empire especially how the country has acted at home and abroad since 9/11. As due process and habeas corpus were minimized by the Patriot Act.
His thorny, witty aphorisms has a pungent foresight when it comes to "our form of democracy is bribery on the highest scale" and "tax breaks are socialism only for the rich" as well as love being a "fan club of only two". Wrathall cleverly assembles old clips and photos with the chief talking head pithily rendering his opinions with assistance from literary executor Jay Parini.
Homes were fashioned by the man close to John F. Kennedy (while calling his presidency disastrous) that became hangouts for many as Sting and Tim Robbins are among those who get behind his craftsmanship and ability to tackle topics with prideful provocation. Perhaps more notorious aspects of his life (like his connection with Roman Polanski) are neglected but there is definitely truth that can reach across generations tellingly like his confrontations with Ronald Reagan, Norman Mailer and William Buckley in the ruthlessly ardent The United States of Amnesia.
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