When an influential and forward-thinking writer locks horns with a conservative author, things get a little intense. Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. made headlines when they were enlisted to debate the Republican and Democratic presidential ideals in 1968 for ABC, and subsequently found themselves in a controversial feud as they became more and more incensed by each other's opinions. With threats of violence and insulting jargon leaving a shocking mark on the legendary televised argument, it became a landmark moment in political media and, indeed, continued - albeit indirectly - with later publications and lawsuits from both parties. While there used to be an element of poise and dignity with political conversation, from this moment, things heated up considerably when it came to fighting about the government.
Continue: Best of Enemies Trailer
Not only is this documentary a superbly well-assembled biography of the notorious author-commentator, but it's also a bracingly clear-eyed look at the America most people don't want to admit exists. The late Gore Vidal was a thorn in society, using his snappy intelligence to speak the truth even if it left him persona non grata. But when asked about his legacy, he famously replied, "I couldn't care less."
This echoes in his main message that America is resolutely ignoring its own history. "We miraculously forget everything," he said. "The lessons we should be learning we will have forgotten in no time at all." But history was his passion, as he wrote novels, plays, films and essays about the USA's evolution from a republic to an empire. No one wanted to hear this, even as he astutely noted how the nation essentially turned into a military monolith after WWII, and then became even more driven after 9/11, waging war without provocation or respect for any other country while using the Patriot Act to remove fundamental rights of habeas corpus and due process at home.
Filmmaker Wrathall packs the film with interview footage, allowing Vidal to narrate his own story and deliver his own lacerating comments (there's also narration from his literary executor Parini). And the screen is littered with Vidal's pithy, eerily astute remarks about politics ("Our form of democracy is bribery on the highest scale") and life in general ("Love is a fan club with only two fans"). This is all set within the framework of Vidal's life story. Descended from a long line of authors, politicians and innovators, he was raised to be a deep, free thinker. So it's no wonder that he took on society's "basic values", which he knew were false notions of what is natural.
Continue reading: Gore Vital: The United States Of Amnesia Review
Lady Gaga is donating her LennonOno Grant For Peace, given to her by Yoko Ono yesterday (09.10.12), to Elton John's Aids charity
Lady GaGa in donating her peace award to charity.
The 'Born This Way' hitmaker received the LennonOno Grant For Peace award from Yoko Ono as recognition of her social activism but the pop star announced that she will be donating it to Elton John's Aids charity.
She said yesterday (09.10.12) at the ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland, whilst accepting the prize: ''I will be donating this grant to the Elton John Aids Foundation and I will be working closely with them to ensure that the money goes specifically to those orphaned and disadvantaged youth in America born with HIV or AIDS.
Continue reading: Lady Gaga Dontes Peace Award To Charity
The British writer and literary critic lost his battle with pneumonia, a complication of his oesophageal cancer, at a Texas hospital at the age of 62.
Neeson reveals he had considered flying out to visit Hitchens before his passing - and he'll always regret never acting upon his impulse.
He tells Britain's Metro newspaper, "I miss Christopher Hitchens very much, I loved his writing and his spirit and I wish I'd met him. Before he died, I even thought about flying to see him and knocking on his door. I wish I had."
Continue reading: Liam Neeson Regrets Not Visiting Dying Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens death has been dominating news outlets worldwide since the author, journalist and critic passed away yesterday on December 15th after a battle with oesophageal cancer which he made known to the public last year. Now the tributes have come pouring forth for a man known for his outspoken views on politics and religion, oft delivered with a venomous wit in an engaging manner.
The BBC reports that The New Statesman came out in mourning by calling Hitchens one of the "most outstanding and prolific journalists and a wonderful polemicist, orator and bon vivant," its obituary writer GEORGE EATON adding "Today, as I realise I will never hear that resonant baritone again, that Hitchens's mighty pen has fallen silent, I feel certain in saying that the world has become a more boring place." ROY GREENSLADE, writing for the UK's Guardian newspaper, said that he managed to be "both inspirational and infuriating company," explaining, "Inspirational because of his wit and his ability in discussions to adopt a counter-intuitive position and argue it with vigour even when it became obvious he believed the opposite," and furthering "He was infuriating because he always dominated conversations and effortlessly attracted female attention despite appearing not to seek it."
The New York Times recalled his surprising support of the Iraq war, reflecting that he became a "ferocious critic of what he called 'Islamo-fascism'. Although he denied coining the word, he popularised it". The New York Times were just one of a plethora of pundits eager to pay their respects, in doing so painting a picture of a man who - for better or worse - left an inedible mark on those who encountered him.
The writer and literary critic lost his battle with pneumonia, a complication of his oesophageal cancer, at a Texas hospital at the age of 62.
Following the news, a host of stars took to their Twitter.com pages to pay tribute to the author, with Glee star Cory Monteith simply stating, "Rip Christopher Hitchens. 1949 - 2011."
Olivia Wilde wrote, "Rest in painless peace, Christopher Hitchens, who raged against the dying of the light", while actress Elizabeth Banks added, "Rip Christopher Hitchens. A great wit, a great writer, old school, always provoked further conversation."
Continue reading: Stars Pay Tribute To Hitchens
Veteran British author Christopher Hitchens has died. He was 62.
The writer and literary critic lost his battle with pneumonia, a complication of his oesophageal cancer, on Thursday (15Dec11) at a Texas hospital.
Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has paid tribute to Hitchens, describing him as a man "of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar".
Carter adds, "Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls."
Continue reading: Christopher Hitchens Dies Of Pneumonia
The two stars were set to stage an interview session at London's Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday (09Nov11), but Hitchens has cancelled his appearance after falling ill.
A post on the event's website reads, "There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that Christopher has pneumonia. The good news is he is on the mend, but he will be unable to join Stephen Fry in conversation. His voice isn't strong enough, although it should be in the next week or so."
Hitchens' health scare comes just a year after he axed a book tour to undergo chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.
Continue reading: Christopher Hitchens Battling Pneumonia
Sir Anthony Hopkins has revealed he believes in the concept of God, and admits his new role as a priest in 'The Rite' made him evaluate his faith.
Sir Anthony Hopkins believes in God.
The screen legend stars in new supernatural thriller 'The Rite' - in which he plays Father Lucas, a Catholic priest who specialises in exorcisms - and he admits the role made him evaluate his own beliefs about religion.
Continue reading: Anthony Hopkins Believes In God
Virtually every film "based on" a real event or a real person is eventually picked apart by critics who find inaccuracies in it. Last year, for Example, Fair Game, the movie that dealt with the "outing" of CIA operative Valerie Plame by the Bush administration, was blasted from the right and left for distorting actual facts. The Social Network was criticized by Mark Zuckerberg, the subject of the movie, as a "big disconnect" from reality. Now, as it speeds apparently unobstructed to winning this year's best picture Oscar, The King's Speech has become the latest film of 2010 to be taken to task for distorting history. Writing in the online Slate magazine, British-American media critic Christopher Hitchens suggests that the movie presents a far-too-sympathetic portrait of King George VI. He notes that both he and his brother were prominent appeasers of Hitler. (Edward VIII after abdicating honeymooned in Germany with his bride, Wallace Simpson, where he greeted Hitler and was filmed saluting him, "seig heil" style.) George VI prominently backed Neville Chamberlain's treaty with Hitler over Czechoslovakia, appearing on the palace balcony with him before Parliament had a chance to debate The Deal. "The opposition forces wee checkmated before The Game had begun," Hitchens wrote, concluding that the movie's rehabilitation of the King amounts to a "major desecration of the historical record -- now apparently gliding unopposed toward a baptism by Oscar."
Continue reading: Not So Glorious A King?
Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens - Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens Toronto, Canada - The Sixth Semi-Annual MUNK Debate media photo call held at the InterContinental Toronto Centre. Friday 26th November 2010