This afternoon I got around to watching Frost/Nixon. Which makes this the second post today about a political film.

I am on a roll.

I never saw the trailer for this one, although I was first intrigued by a promotional interview the real David Frost gave to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show some time in 2008.

On the surface of it, I guess I thought it would be less dramatic than it was, and there would be more emphasis on the interrogation. But this wasn’t the case. Having not seen the original interview, I have to take the film’s word for it that the first 75% of questions is crap.

Frost/Nixon is mildly educational actually. It takes the form of docu-drama; a dramatic narrative woven into staged to-camera pieces by characters which gives the aura of authenticity to the project. It’s also quite fast moving, which I guess has its pros and cons.

On the one hand, you’ve got people who know the facts and who want to see behind them, and on the other hand, you’ve got a new generation of political junkies (myself included) who never lived through this period and who have a desire to know exactly why, as soon as there’s a hint of political corruption or abuse of power, the suffix –gate is added to it.

It’s also, in many respects a film about television. The battle between Nixon and Frost is also a battle between a generation that understands television and one that doesn’t. It addresses questions about chequebook journalism, contractually bound interview scenarios, ratings driven mediascapes, and issues about the credibility of interviewers who don’t have backgrounds in investigative journalism or political reporting.

All this is absolutely riveting to a mediaphile like myself, but, in the end, it’s pretty safe to say that if you aren’t a news junkie or politics geek, then you might find yourself struggling to get all the way to the end.

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