Check out the new trailer for documentary “Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia,” set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival (April 17-28). Directed by Nicholas Wrathall, the film features candid interviews with the iconic American writer, essayist, intellectual and first-rate feuder.
Also interviewed are David Mamet, Sting, Mikhail Gorbachev, William F. Buckley, Norman Mailer, Jodie Evans and Nina Straight. Commentary blends with footage from Vidal’s legendary on-air career.
The doc is part of the Tribeca Spotlight Section, and will premiere on April 18.
Vidal died in August 2012 — our TOH! obit is here.
Back in 2006 at the LA Fest of Books, an adoring Arianna Huffington engaged the witty historian, who sat in a wheelchair. She called him “the conscience of America right now.” Vidal described how he was “marinated in politics” as a young Senate page who read to his grandfather, a blind Senator from Oklahoma. “One thing about being a Washington kid is you are not impressed by any of these people…to talk about this administration is almost too sad for words. It’s made me a creationist. Here I am a born-again atheist. From George Washington to George W. Bush makes a monkey out of Darwin…It will take two generations to recover from what he’s done to us..he’s president Jonah. He’s plainly jinxed. ..It’s looney tunes. It’s humiliating, here we were the number one global power on earth. Suddenly we have this embarrassment. ..The Republic is a good thing as long as elections aren’t stolen. Benjamin Franklin said, ‘in time all republics grow corrupt and turn to tyranny.'”
Vidal says that the majority of the American people are always against foreign wars. “I put it down to the corruption of the media, which is owned by corporate America for its own wicked ends–to make money. We could make ethanol. The cost of fuel will be the next issue. Not immigration. We’ll have to transfer over to another form of power.”
The Republicans “get us to vote against our own interests every time,” he said. “People are shrewd about their own business, but they are full of nonsense put in their heads by talk shows.” Vidal also criticized the NYT: “They don’t question power unless the roof is falling in,” he said. “And the Washington Post is a court circular.” He said that he had counseled Hilary Clinton to run for a Senate seat in her home state of Illinois instead of New York, where there are too many lobbyists.
About Al Gore, his cousin: “He’s very intelligent, which is such a novelty after what we’ve had. One of the more important current wars is going to be the environment. That’s where Albert is number one.”
“It is not our task to regime change anybody but ourselves.”