Thank Christ that asinine election is over! I mean, really. All that prattle about creating a third political party. Anybody who's paying attention knows that American politics doesn't have two honest-to-god parties. So, how could we start a third? Besides, did anyone honestly care which of those self-interested jerks pissed away our tax dough on their corporate and military bosses? As a good red-blooded movie lover, allow me to suggest a solution. Let's have Wall Street pick our next puppet, tell us who won in our December 2004 electric bills, and let we the people spend more time and money in this nation's video stores--where we have far better options.
The Parallax View (1974)--Just before he helmed the far safer All the President's Men, Alan J. Pakula directed this dangerously deep conspiracy masterpiece. Warren Beatty's investigative reporter drowns on dry land, slowly, at the hands of a twisted-fuck Big Brother. Like a color version of The Manchurian Candidate, and just as frightening.
Secret Honor (1984)--Lens vet Bob Altman does the nigh impossible: He makes you feel sorry for Richard Nixon! This is the ultimate one-man flick. Philip Baker Hall owns Tricky Dick's ass: lyin', cussin', and chewin' up Nixon's post-oval office scenery, rocketed by a dyno-mite screenplay. Four more years!
The "Urquhart" Series (1990-1995)--Our politicians aren't just scum, they're inarticulate to boot. How preferable corrupt Brits seem; they speak so bloody well. This lengthy three-parter for U.K. TV--House of Cards, To Play the King, and The Final Cut--stars Ian Richardson as the devious Francis Urquhart, who goes from Chief Whip to Prime Minister--a right delightful bastard the whole way.
Z (1969)--Director Costa-Gavras was banished to France as a teenager because his old man was a suspected Red. He then paid his Greek homeland back with this deft thriller about their real-life junta. It still has the power to raise those little hairs on the back of your neck.