11 items from 2015
Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media have teamed up to acquire Sundance documentary “Best of Enemies,” an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.
The Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon-directed doc, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, follows the series of televised debates between liberal writer Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley in 1968.
Also Read: Watch Sundance Interviews From TheWrap’s Studio With the Fest’s Biggest Stars (Video)
The film dives deep into the two men’s biographies and examines how the debates shaped the way public discourse unfolded in the decades to come.
The deal »
- Linda Ge
Magnolia and Participant Media have teamed to nab rights to documentary “Best of Enemies,” a look at the TV debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, for high six figures. The deal does not include television rights.
The erudite thrusts and parries between Buckley and Vidal were must-see TV during the 1968 presidential election but, the film argues, set the stage for the current crop of political bloviators on television.
Variety critic Joe Leydon praised the film as “a thoroughly engrossing and surprisingly entertaining documentary.”
- Brent Lang
John Crowley directed Brooklyn and the highly regarded romance stars Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters in the story of a young Irish immigrant in 1950s New York.
Fox Searchlight negotiated the deal with HanWay Films and CAA and plans a release this year for the potential awards contender.
Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media have acquired world rights to the documentary Best Of Enemies, chronicling the intellectual rivalry between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley. Wme Global and Submarine represented the film-makers.Sundance Selects has moved on North American rights to Laura Gabbert’s Us Documentary Competition selection City Of Gold. The film follows »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
★★★★★ There Will be Blood (2007) gave us the birth of American capitalism, The Master (2012) doused us in the uncertainty of post-war malaise and now Inherent Vice (2014) takes us to the crossroads of the modern Californian ethos. This is Paul Thomas Anderson's American history trilogy - how the West was won, bought and sold. Gore Vidal called his own series of historical novels the Narratives of Empire; it would be an apt title for PTA's trilogy, which serves as a document of the 20th century incarnation of that pioneer spirit. Daniel Plainview, Freddie Quell and Doc Sportello may initially seem like a disparate group of characters, but that spirit connects them. Each is a pilgrim staking his place in the New World.
- CineVue UK
A first sampling of Sundance offerings reveals illuminating documentaries and compelling, if not perfect, narratives
A bit of friendly advice to the producers of “Ten Thousand Saints”: Please, please, please get rid of the opening narration in which the protagonist observes that life is like a river. It’s the worst line of dialogue in the whole movie, and it starts the proceedings off with a cringe.
Luckily, the script (by directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, adapting the novel by Eleanor Henderson) gets better from there. After the death of his best friend Teddy (Avan Jogia, also »
- Alonso Duralde
Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s documentary Best of Enemies, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, details the particulars of the eight televised debates between William Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal held on ABC in 1968 — four during the Republican convention in Miami, another four during the infamous Democratic one in Chicago. A very prototypically Sundance-y doc (destined for TV and classrooms, “audience-friendly”), this is a consideration of an Important Topic fleshed out with contextual talking heads and zipped up into a brief, digestible package. Given sufficient interest in the subject, it’s the kind of thing I’d generally watch on […] »
- Vadim Rizov
This year’s Sundance film festival has already seen a number of striking documentary films, including “The Hunting Ground,” “Cartel Land” and “What Happened, Miss Simone?” Another real standout and perhaps the most entertaining film of them all was “Best of Enemies,” a doc that premiered Friday about a series of 1968 debates between William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal.
Also read: Sundance: ‘The Hunting Ground’ Exposes University Complicity in Campus Rape
Directed by Morgan Neville (who won the Oscar last year »
- Steve Pond
It may be difficult to recall (or imagine) a time when an uncivil war of words between politically disparate intellectuals was sufficiently novel to generate massive media coverage and score impressive Nielsen numbers. It is very much to the credit of co-directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon that their “Best of Enemies,” a thoroughly engrossing and surprisingly entertaining documentary about the notorious 1968 televised clash between conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. and liberal gadfly Gore Vidal, is both fascinating as a glimpse at the not so distant past, and provocative as an account of what arguably was an early step in the decline of political discourse on television. After limited theatrical play and pubcast rotation, the film should enjoy a long shelf life as a teaching tool in broadcasting, political science and communications studies courses.
Ironically, the documakers emphasize early on, this epochal event was less a primetime innovation than a product of desperation. »
- Joe Leydon
"Best of Enemies," co-directed by Neville and Robert Gordon focuses on a more rarefied subject matter: the live television debates between conservative William F. Buckley Jr. and liberal Gore Vidal during the Democratic and Republican national conventions in the summer of 1968. Indiewire recently spoke to Neville and Gordon about their new documentary, which is world premiering today, and what they expect from this year's Sundance. Read More: The 2015 Indiewire Sundance Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item How did you get interested in the project? Morgan Neville (Mn): Robert called me and told me about these debates, which I was only sort of vaguely aware of. He got me a copy and I watched them and they blew me away. My first job out of college was fact-checking for Gore Vidal, which is one of the worst jobs you could ever have. Gore never wanted anybody to question his authority on anything. »
- Paula Bernstein
What fear — whether it’s personal, or one related to the development, financing, production or distribution of your film — did you have to confront and conquer in the making of your movie? It’s heady air in the worlds of William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, two esteemed public intellectuals of, mostly, the latter 20th century. Buckley died before we began this film but Gore was alive, if in his declining years. Cantankerous and mean in his prime, he’d commented on his own persona saying, “Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you find cold water.” Gore not only didn’t […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
"Best of Enemies"Director: Morgan Neville and Robert GordonMorgan Neville (along with co-director Robert Gordon) returns to Sundance with his first film since his Academy Award-winning "20 Feet from Stardom." Relying on archival footage and insightful interviews, "Best of Enemies" looks back at the explosive 1968 televised debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. The lively debates, which gave ABC News the ratings they so desperately needed at the time, were not only a battle of wits, but they were also a precursor to the wall-to-wall punditry which dominates cable television news today. Though it's unlikely that "Best of Enemies" will take off as a mainstream hit the way that "20 Feet" did, the film is sure to prompt discussions about the role of television in politics -- and the political rift that divided the country back in 1968 and has only deepened since. "Entertainment"Director: Rick »
11 items from 2015
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