Andy Blood Interviewed Me About…Everything

Posted on January 21, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Thanks to Andy Blood for interviewing me about my favorite movie of the century (so far) and my thoughts on corporate governance, movies, politics, and culture.

Movies are not just a way to pass the time. They are a way to connect to ideas and situations and characters who challenge our assumptions and make us see the world in a new way. I like to remind people who read my reviews that movies are just the beginning of a journey of exploration and imagination and give them some ideas about where that can take them next. Plus, it gives me a chance to recommend some of my favorite books and movies and museums!

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Interview Media Appearances

Can A Movie Change Your Mind About Politics?

Posted on January 19, 2014 at 8:00 am

A provocative new study measured the effects of movies on the viewers’ thoughts about political/public policy issues like the environment, abortion, and health care, even the viewers’ overall faith in the political system.  Mother Jones explains some of the findings about the influence of particular movies.  This makes sense — after all, there is a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to the belief that an ad of thirty seconds or less can persuade us to think we need their products.  And media like “Will and Grace,” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” and “Brokeback Mountain” did not just reflect a broader comfort level with openly gay characters in real life as well as on screen; they actually increased it.  It is interesting that it does not have to be an especially good movie to have an impact.  But part of any form of art, especially a narrative like a novel or a movie or a play, is enlarging our perspective by giving us a different point of view or experience.  I would be more surprised by a study showing that movies did not change the audience’s mind very frequently.

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Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Electoral Dysfunction — A New Documentary from Mo Rocca

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Election day is coming next week, and Mo Rocca (“The Daily Show,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me”) has a new documentary about the state of elections in today’s America, with the backdrop of the 2008 Presidential election.  Rocca set out on a road trip to see how voting works – and doesn’t work. He heads to Indiana, home to (then) some of the strictest election laws in the country, and meets Democrat Mike Marshall and Republican Dee Dee Benkie, who take him inside their efforts to get out every vote. As he progresses on his journey, Mo searches for the Electoral College; investigates the heated battle over Voter ID and voter fraud; critiques ballot design with fashion mogul Todd Oldham; and explores the case of a former felon who was sentenced to ten years in prison—for the crime of voting. Irreverent, engaging and nonpartisan (and selected for viewing at the conventions of both major parties), this documentary is for voters across the political spectrum who want their votes to count.

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Documentary Politics
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“The Best Man” and My Dad’s Un-Conventional Idea

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I’m very proud of my dad’s piece in Politico today about the advantages of a brokered convention.

I’ve been at a brokered convention and worked for a candidate who came out of it. Even though my candidate lost the general election, it was still a far more robust and constructive process than the primary-caucus marathon of the past half-century.

My dad, who has been involved in national, state, and local campaigns since 1948, says that

primary voters push GOP candidates to the right, and Democratic candidates left. Independent voters, who occupy the center, wonder why the parties nominate candidates who don’t represent their views. The nominees then spend the general election recanting what they said in the primaries, to persuade the independents, who decide elections.

We thought getting rid of the brokered conventions would do away with smoke-filled rooms and backroom deals. We just substituted one set of bosses for another.

I also read today that a new production of Gore Vidal’s play, “The Best Man” is about to open on Broadway with an all-star cast that includes “Will and Grace” star Eric McCormack, Candace Bergan, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, and, in a small role, Donna Hanover, who knows something about politics as the former wife of the mayor of New York City.  Vidal, whose political expertise was in part based on his being related to Jaqueline Kennedy, penned a sharp story about two Presidential candidates at a brokered convention along the lines of the ones my dad wrote about.  The movie version, starring Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson, is one of my all-time favorite political dramas and as timely as the day it was written.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbJoI6yToc4
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