Previously at the ICA - Films
24 Jul 2015 – 13 Aug 2015
During the controversial 1968 presidential election campaign, the then ailing ABC TV network ran a series of debates between novelist and liberal iconoclast Gore Vidal and his polar opposite on the right, William F. Buckley Jr.
This account of their heated, if resolutely intellectual, clashes by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville—directors hitherto better known for music documentaries (20 Feet From Stardom, Johnny Cash’s America)—is immensely enjoyable, not least for archive contributions from the likes of Paul Newman and Dick Cavett. Actors Kelsey Grammer and John Lithgow add engaging context by reading some of the great men’s writings, while exchanges such as Vidal calling Buckley “a crypto-Nazi” and the latter then threatening to “sock you in the face” are pure televisual adrenaline.
Best of Enemies, dir. Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville, USA 2015, 90 mins.