Friday, September 27, 2002

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ALEXANDER PAYNE FOR DIRECTOR LAUREATE!!: Why does the U.S. have only a Poet Laureate? Why not other laureates? Poetry is hardly the only art form that lends itself to an appreciation of our nation. Given the dominance of the U.S. film industry, shouldn't there be a U.S. Director Laureate as well? [Damn straight!!-ed. You're always more supportive on Friday afternoons, I notice]

My nominee for the position is Alexander Payne. Payne's latest movie, About Schmidt, was just screened at the New York Film Festival and received a glowing review. The money lines:

"the team [Payne and screenwriter Jim Taylor] brilliantly reconciles a double vision of American life. While one eye gazes satirically at the rigid institutions and shopworn rituals that sustain a sense of order and tradition in the heartland, the other views those same institutions with a respectful understanding of their value."

Payne is also responsible for the best satire made about American politics, period -- Election. A flawless film that respects its characters at the same time it mocks them. Plus, there is simply no way one can watch the movie without contemplating its prescient parallels to the way the 2000 election played itself out (it was released in 1999).

Let the campaign begin!!

posted by Dan on 09.27.02 at 04:49 PM