A rediscovery is in progress of Gore Vidal, one of the 20th century's great and often prescient public intellectuals. Jerry Portwood expertly sets the scene for his strong, concise interview with Nicolas Wrathall whose documentary, Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia opens in Los Angeles on June 6.
The prolific man of letters published 25 novels, two memoirs, and several essays and pamphlets, along with his plays, TV dramas, and screenplays. Oh, and he ran for political office and was an articulate critic of American foreign policy.
Directed by Nicholas Wrathall, the film features the final on-camera interviews with the iconic man, including surprising late-life moments with Mikhail Gorbachev and Christopher Hitchens, as well as archival footage rarely seen archival footage featuring Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley, Dick Cavett, and Jerry Brown. Since it would be impossible to create a viewable omnibus that encompasses Vidal's professional life that spanned 50 years, the film limits its focus to Vidal's political career and debates....
From the interview:
On why [Nicholas Wrathall] spent seven years documenting [Vidal]:
I never knew it would be this much time [laughs]. What first motivated me was his outspokenness after 9/11. I was living in New York and, after the towers came down, it seemed to be a blur of slow-motion flag waving and bellicose drumbeating in the media. To have someone like Gore cut through that and say, 'We need to investigate; we don’t know who’s responsible for this' was important. Then he wrote those pamphlets, 'Dreaming War' and 'Blood for Oil,' which were popping up in airport bookstores. I read all of those. I knew a lot about him before, but then I started reading his essays and other work. I realized, This is someone who is not going to be around forever, and he’s an important voice in American culture that needs to be heard.
Read the entire interview at www.out.com