BEST OF ENEMIES
Date: Monday, October 5, 2015
Location: Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
Details: 2015, USA, 88 min
Directors: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in US Documentary at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Director Robert Gordon will attend in person for Q&A.
Synopsis: In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult—their explosive exchanges devolving into vitriolic name-calling. Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born.
Directed with consummate skill by filmmakers Robert Gordon and Academy Award-winning Sundance Film Festival alum Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom), Best of Enemies unleashes a highbrow blood sport that marked the dawn of pundit television as we know it today.
“Fascinating, supremely well-judged and unexpectedly touching.” – Time Out New York
Prior to this feature screening, the DocYard will theatrically present a selection from THE REAGAN SHORTS, an ever-growing collection of short films about small but revealingly awkward moments from President Reagan’s years in office (ceremonies, presentations, and interviews that wander off-script).
Tonight’s featured short film is MARYLAND PUBLIC TELEVISION INTERVIEWS THE REAGANS (4 min, 2014).
Director – Pacho Velez
Producer – Sierra Pettengill
Editor – Daniel Garber
Filmmakers in attendance!