Anchored by intimate, one-on-one interviews with the man himself, Nicholas Wrathall’s documentary is a fascinating and wholly entertaining tribute to the iconic Gore Vidal, diving into his years on the page, the screen and the scene.
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A well researched and politically astute portrait of the late Gore Vidal in all his liberal glory. A treasure trove of historical footage throughout that may not shed much light on his literary achievement but certainly revels in the man's pop culture infiltration as commentator on political discourse and event. As a Vidal fan I enjoyed certain moments throughout but did wish for something more complex and provoking.
A decent summary, if not survey, of this liberal monument (of which the documentary does it's fair share of worshiping). The melancholic undercurrent of loss and decay is affecting, more so when in contradiction with the subject's apparently brittle vice-like grip on the way he was perceived.
Being a blank slate on the subject I found this documentary to be informative and entertaining (the footage of Vidal and Buckley shredding each other especially), even if it was at times indulgent. Appreciating Vidal's views I wish I researched him sooner but I'm not sure how much a younger me would've enjoyed this. A good watch either way.
***1/2 A fairly typically put-together video-doc (the music is ridiculous), but Mr. Vidal, the greatest of all American walking contradictions, is "on" as ever, and what he has to say remains petrifyingly, disinterestedly astute; calmly devastating in its observant accuracy; and worryingly on point.
With his excellent writing ability, keen observation and outspoken nature, Vidal is a terrific subject for a documentary. But, as a cinematic experience, this film feels rather flat. You get sprinklings of Vidal's private life; but, mostly, the filmmakers are just mercilessly pounding the idea "Gore was great!" into your brain for almost 90 minutes, without one word spoken against him.