In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_mv5bmjixmdywmtg3m15bml5banbnxkftztgwmdq1nzq0mze_._v1__sx1216_sy712_

Red Army

Emotionally charged, viscerally exciting and consistently enlightening, Gabe Polsky’s Red Army is a sports documentary like no other.

Thumb_mv5bmtg4mjuxodczm15bml5banbnxkftztgwmdy4mjy0mze_._v1__sx1216_sy712_

Son of a Gun

Avery’s more than capable behind the camera, he just needs to be met halfway by his screenwriting, which dwells in overly familiar territory.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Feed

  |  

Sometimes you can even catch a moment not intended for public consumption, when the subjects of feeds are waiting to go on the air, and they say things they shouldn't be saying.

"Feed," a documentary shot during last February's New Hampshire political primaries, has some moments like that, many of them starring Jerry Brown, a candidate apparently not fully aware that people could be watching. In one feed, waiting to be interviewed, he adjusts his tie a little too meticulously. In another, he deals energetically with a bad cold. In another, he pronounces a seven-letter word that a presidential candidate should use sparingly.

Other candidates seem to understand the hazards of feeds more completely. George Bush sits immobile, for the most part. He knows that anything he says before he goes on the air can be held against him. Asked for a "sound check," he reassures his invisible listeners, "This is not Dana Carvey." There are moments, indeed, when his passive, unspeaking stare become a little unnerving.

The documentary intercuts this "feed" footage with other campaign scenes from New Hampshire. A group of Pat Buchanan's fans, waiting for him outside in the cold, look disturbingly like extras from "Bob Roberts." Paul Tsongas, who has the best sense of humor in the field, has fun when star newsman Sam Donaldson enters a room and Tsongas loses the attention of his audience. "Remember," he tells the crowd, "I came here to see you. He came here to see me." There are occasional miscues, as when a candidate is pumping hands in a restaurant, and a woman refuses to shake his hand. Her husband offers the information that they're Republican. "Is that why you wouldn't shake my hand?" the candidate asks the woman. "No," she says. "A man does not shake a woman's hand unless she offers it first. Don't you know anything?" Of all the candidates in both parties, Bill Clinton comes over the best in "Feed." He seems more cool, more self-confident, more relaxed. It is hard to know, however, if this is a fair impression, or simply the result of the available footage and the way the filmakers edited it. There are moments in the Bush footage when they appear to be looping the same tape over again, to make Bush's stares seem more protracted; if this is the case, they aren't playing fair.

The real weakness of "Feed," however, is a lack of good material. This is a 76-minute movie with about 30 minutes of really interesting stuff. The rest is filler, or not so compelling. The title leads us to believe we're going to see the candidates caught off guard in a sort of "Candid Camera." There are moments like that, but not many of them. The rest will seem like old news to people who follow politics on TV.

Popular Blog Posts

Confessions of an Awards Season Skeptic, Part Two: I, A Lone Voice of Sanity and Calm Awash in a Sea of Noise and Indignation

Glenn Kenny tries to provide some calm, reason, and perspective to today's major Oscar nominations.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Gratitude

A note of thanks from Chaz Ebert to the wonderful people behind "Life Itself."

They're All Gonna Laugh At You: The "Carrie" Remake

A look at Kimberly Pierce's 2013 version of "Carrie."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus