Nominees are declaring, Trump is panicking, and the next two years are going to be un-fucking-bearable—so while you still can, wring some joy out of these election and political classics! Find these films on the Portland Mercury’s shelf at Movie Madness (4320 SE Belmont, moviemadness.org) from Fri Feb 1 through Thurs Feb 28.
The American President (1995, dir. Rob Reiner)—Aaron Sorkin went on to mastermind The West Wing, but here’s one of his first stabs at quick-talking politicking.
The Candidate (1972, dir. Michael Ritchie)—Candidate Bill McKay (Robert Redford) tries to stick it to the man. Hey, if Redford’s retired from acting now, can he really run for president?
Election (1998, dir. Alexander Payne)—The only thing more petty and excruciating than an election: high school! Election has both of them at once!
A Face in the Crowd (1957, dir. Elia Kazan)—A terrifying Andy Griffith rises to horrifying levels of power using a blend of low-class charm and ranting demagoguery. Huh!
In the Loop (2009, dir. Armando Iannucci)—The creator of Veep’s hilarious mix-up of cowards, cynics, opportunists, back-stabbers, and, y’know, everyone else who runs the world.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962, dir. John Frankenheimer)—So you’re saying that those who run for office might not always have our best interests at heart? Nah. That couldn’t be. Not for real.
They Live (1988, dir. John Carpenter)—So you’re saying that those with privilege and resources brainwash and exploit the precariat? Nah. That couldn’t be. Not for real.
The War Room (1993, dirs. Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker)—This warts-and-all doc about Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign is funny, prescient, and disconcerting—and mandatory viewing in the run-up to every presidential election.