Frontunners is a smart, engaging, tightly cut doc about four Stuyvesant High School candidates running for the ceremonial title of president and vice-president of the Student Union in this elite Manhattan school, in 2006. I liked it for the same reasons everyone else is standing by it. Because it’s brisk, well-shaped, thoughtful, catchy and echo-y in a sense that the campaign issues and tactics are somewhat similar to some of the ones that are now playing out on the national stage.
Here‘s the trailer.
I did an 18-minute phoner yesterday with Frontrunners producer Erika Frankel, who was on a train to Boston at the time along with the director, Caroline Suh. (Whom I didn’t have time to speak with — sorry.) My Time Warner land line stopped working yesterday so I recorded off the iPhone.
I especially responded to the full believable-ness of Frontunners. I bought every frame of it, in part because there’s no hint or trace of American Teen-style showbiz slickery. I also warmed to it, I suppose, because the candidates are all the age of my younger son Dylan, who was born in ’89.
Following its 10.15 debut at Manhattan’s Film Forum, Frontunners opened in a few new cities yesterday — Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, etc.