Featured at the Sundance Film Festival and slated as a contender for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Best of Enemies is up next in the Real to Reel series at Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver Street) Thursday, November 19, 7:00 p.m.
The New York Post calls the film, “wickedly entertaining,” and Rolling Stone says, “modern television starts here.”
In the summer of 1968, television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley, Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist.
Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each others political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult – cementing their opposing political positions. Their explosive exchanges devolved into vitriolic name-calling. It was unlike anything TV had ever broadcast, and all the more shocking because it was live and unscripted. Viewers were riveted. ABC News’ ratings skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born – a highbrow blood sport that marked the dawn of pundit television as we know it today.
General admission is $5/Members; $7/Future Members.
The Saugatuck Center for the Arts, located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more vibrant lakeshore community in West Michigan and beyond. For more information visit www.sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.