Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

(USA, 2013, 89 mins, HDCAM)
Director:
FEATURING Gore Vidal, David Mamet, Jay Parini, Nina Straight, Tim Robbins, Christopher Hitchens
EXEC PRODS Nicholas Wrathall, Erik Nelson, Michael Barnett, Dave Harding, Chad Troutwine, Damon Martin, Andrew Kortschak, Walter Kortschak
PRODS Nicholas Wrathall, Burr Steers, Theodore James
SCR Nicholas Wrathall
CAM Derek Wiesehahn, Joel Schartzberg, Armando De’Ath
EDS Suresh Ayyar, Rob Bralver, William Haugse
MUS Ian Honeyman
PROD CO Amnesia Productions
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Eternally opinionated, brilliantly funny and terminally political, Gore Vidal—novelist, essayist, polemicist, politician, pundit, screenwriter—was the true protean man. Born in 1925 into privilege, Vidal—openly homosexual from at least 1948, when his novel The City and the Pillar was published—fashioned a unique professional life that lasted more than 50 years. Using fascinating and apt archival footage from Vidal’s legendary on-air career and illuminating and entertaining interviews—including an exclusive with Vidal as he neared the end of his life, as well as one with the late Christopher Hitchens—Nicholas Wrathall’s intimate and occasionally rollicking portrait of an American icon also examines Vidal’s global impact on the worlds of arts, politics and everything in between.

"A fine memorial to one of 20th-century America’s most brilliant, original—and cranky—thinkers, Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia duly charts the late scribe’s artistic achievements and often glittering celebrity social life. But the emphasis is on his parallel persona as a harsh scold of U.S. social injustices and political corruptions, his remarks about which invariably got attention even while delivered from his longtime expatriate home in Italy. Primarily shot with Vidal’s full cooperation before his death a year ago at age 86, Nicholas Wrathall’s highly entertaining documentary… will also infuriate some… Unfailingly witty and devastatingly insightful, [Vidal] personified that near-extinct species—the public intellectual."— Dennis Harvey, Variety

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