Tag Archives: East Side Story

New York City Blog – June 5 – June 11

 

Documentaries: Down Memory Lane

I thought Weiner was odd. Why would anyone allow filming of his private life after he had indulged in social media sex, especially if you’re dependent on the public. Ask Anthony Weiner. One of the first shots was in the House of Representatives. Weiner was screaming at other members, selling himself as the fearless liberal. His wife and kid were props. I feel sorry for the kid but wonder, once again, why the wife went along with it. But I was there, gobbling up every scene of this side show.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave Joseph Stalin a film of the musical, Oklahoma! Stalin liked it so much that he ordered the Soviet Union film industry to make musicals. And they did! Years ago, I saw this wonderful documentary, East Side Story, at the Film Forum:. There were interviews with frustrated directors who had to work with electric blackouts on a regular basis. One of my favorite scenes was buxom, blond girls driving tractors across a field like a chorus line and singing lustily about the father/mother land.
Best of Enemies, in which William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal smack one another around rhetorically, is hypnotizing. Although Vidal is better looking and has more measured opinions, I couldn’t take my eyes off fascinating, skittish William Buckley. Is it his voice? Is it his constant motion? Is it his resemblance to Richard III? Both men speak a quality of English that has been lost in public discourse.

I applauded Edward Snowden actions and consider him a brave and honorable man. So I went to the documentary as if I were going to a religious service. Although Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald focused on themselves more than on Snowden, it is  fascinating. If only William Buckley were alive. Imagine him ranting about Snowden.

Did you see the documentary about contrary, contentious Robert Crumb, the off beat cartoonist who lived in a cluttered (polite word) house with his equally weird cartoonist wife? It’s a sad, riveting show and tell.