Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Politics as Cinema, 2008

Seems as if the only way we can tolerate politics these days is if it’s interpreted through cinema. Here’s something for both sides of the American contest.

First, an amusing riff from The Paragraph Farmer: “In cinematic terms, the [Democratic] political convention underway in Denver may be interpreted as a subtle remake of Grease. . . . Barack will not mug for the cameras in a muscle shirt the way John Travolta did, but Democrats now swoon through summer nights, hoping the rest of us will join them in a chorus of ‘Tell me more! Tell me more! Was it love at first sight?’”

Then, from Blogcritics Magazine: “The use of a movie metaphor gives the candidates a pre-written, pre-vetted script from our popular culture of what to do on the campaign in the media environments that they can control, and how to react to the unforeseeable situations that inevitably arise. For John McCain, and perhaps more pertinently, for his campaign strategists, it is increasingly clear that their motivating movie metaphor is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. . . . For Barack Obama, it is clear that his guiding cinematic metaphor is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with perhaps a dash of Indiana Jones thrown in.”

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