Rightwing Film Geek

Bush’s film tastes

george-bush-miss-me-yetSo far this year, according to this New York Times article, Dubya has used the White House movie theater just three times — to see HOTEL RWANDA, THE AVIATOR and PAPER CLIPS. I once had some fun here about Bill Clinton seeing HIGH NOON 30 times. But seeing only three movies once each in two months just doesn’t give one much to chew on, apart from the fact that Bush is obviously not much of a cinephile.

One of the potentially telling details is that FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, about the importance of high-school football in West Texas, was Bush’s favorite film from last year. Telling, but hardly surprising. For as casual a filmgoer as Dubya plainly is, seeing “myself” or some part of “my life” or “my world” (or more accurately, seeing some idealization of these things) on the Big Screen is a thrill and a huge part of what makes a movie “good.”

Bush also was sufficiently moved by HOTEL RWANDA to request a White House meeting with hotel chief Paul Rusesabagina, whom Don Cheadle played in the movie. But again, I think that this is essentially a reaction to the film’s subject matter, not the film itself. I had decidedly mixed thoughts about HOTEL RWANDA — which I thought was mostly a thoroughly average movie, though one with a couple of terrific performances (Cheadle) and scenes (the fog lifting on the “blocked” road). When descriptions of movies and their ad campaigns and positive reviews and friends’ recommendations read like Nobel Prize campaigns or Man-of-the-Year testimonials — my alarm bells go off. I think I’m being blackmailed into liking a film, from fear of seeming like a bad person otherwise.

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March 8, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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