Friday, September 10, 2004
Presidential election focus of film series
By Dawn Pauli, contributing writer
View the presidential election process through the eyes of Hollywood by catching one of three movies presented during the Presidential Leadership Film Series.
“These films definitely cover different decades and perspectives about presidential leadership, including the serious and lighter, humorous side of politics,” said Jean Ann Miller, director of the Center for Student Activities. “There are unique interpretations by the actors, including Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda and John Travolta, and directors as well.”
Miller, along with Robert Eberwein and Brian Murphy, professors of English, and Debbie Rozek, executive secretary for Kresge Library, selected the movies. Eberwein and Murphy will provide opening remarks and personal commentaries about each film before it is shown at the noon showing.
Showtimes are on the following dates at noon in the Kresge Library student lounge and 9 p.m. in Vandenberg Dining Center.
The Presidential Leadership Film Series:
- Sept. 15 — “State of the Union”
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, and also marking the culmination of Frank Capra's remarkable series of films on American politics and society, “State of the Union” examines the impact of hard political reality on idealistic industrialist Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) who is drafted to run for the presidency. As a candidate, he is caught between the ruthless ambition of newspaper owner Kay Thorndyke (Angela Lansbury) who pulls the strings of his campaign and the integrity of his wife (Katherine Hepburn) who believes in the man behind the political facade. Capra presents a memorable menagerie of handshaking, backstabbing professionals who turn the election into an elaborate political sideshow. Matthews' disillusionment crystallizes in a coast-to-coast radio broadcast that climaxes the campaign.
- Oct. 14 — “The Best Man”
Several ambitious presidential candidates vie for important endorsements in this bristling drama. The political arena is ruthless in this adaptation of Gore Vidal's play.
- Oct. 28 — “Primary Colors”
Presidential hopeful Jack Stanton (John Travolta) and his wife will stop at nothing to get to the White House. However, an attempt to blackmail Stanton with doctored audio tapes detailing a past sexual encounter, an alleged illegitimate child, and the suspicious suicide of one of Stanton’s top aides makes Stanton’s road to the White House a rocky one.
For more information on the Presidential Leadership program, see the Celebrating the Liberal Arts: Presidential Leadership Web site.