How did we get here? We used to listen to both sides. To be able to endure a debate where an enemy would argue and defend his case. Now we live in information bubbles and subscribe to feeds of people and news sources to validate how we already think. We purposefully do not expose ourselves to anything that could endanger our world view. And when we do publish ourselves it's to make sure we get validation and likes.
Timely documentary that looks at the infamous debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. during the incendiary conventions of 1968. The 'unconventional' coverage changed the face of TV news and opened the age of punditry that mars the face of reportage today. Both men gained fame but were haunted by their encounters. Impeccably researched and edited this thought provoking document is also entertaining.
Surprisingly blunt and inelegant despite the critical acclaim it's been receiving. Less insightful than it thinks, and deeply dissapointing. The real life characters and their relationship are indeed fascinating but the filmmaking with which they're presented is monumentally lacking.
The documentary is a little too excited about the timeliness of its own message. I wanted to see more of the debates and what each man stood for, instead of a history of their petty relationship and what it has to teach us about the news today. But still very fun to watch.
A wonderful, captivating look at the origins of TV punditry, and how news turning into entertainment and American discourse dying by autoerotic asphyxiation were not corporate conspiracy but rather (even more frightening) a natural progression of public tastes. Horrifying, then, that it's still immensely entertaining, and that what was once a shocking failure of decorum on TV is now par for the course.
"Best Of Enemies" is the story of the 1968 television "debates"' between Liberal Gore Vidal and Conservative William F Buckley. This "clash of the intellectuals",takes place during the Republican and Democratic conventions.A fascinating account of this game changing TV confrontation,which finally devolved into mudslinging. Vidal had won the battle,but it was Buckleys ideas that were to win the war,in the Reagan years
The bit-playing hired hands (talking heads, all) are almost as delightful as the film’s principles. My personal favorites are Reid Buckley, Bill’s baby brother, and Christopher Hitchens, whose reputation for scathing wit and intimidating erudition rivaled that of his elder blowhards -- “Hitchens identified himself for many years as the heir to me … unfortunately, for him, I didn't die,” said Vidal before he did.
Truly a delight to watch these two go at it, but I wish more of the dialogue from the 1968 debates had been featured (we mostly get jokes & vicious barbs). There is barely any footage of in-depth political commentary featured. Also, not all of the talking heads were necessary (the "media historians" in particular offered little insight). But the film prompted me to watch the debates and pick up one of Vidal's books.