For a politically-themed issue of DGA Quarterly, TheWrap‘s Steve Pond sat down with Jay Roach, director of Game Change and Recount, for an in-depth discussion of Elia Kazan‘s A Face in The Crowd (’57), one of the most politically and culturally prescient films of all time.

“This movie, to me, was extremely influential in showing how somebody like Sarah Palin captures [hinterland] adulation,” Roach says. “It really takes that notion of populism as a superpower, and turns it into a pretty strong indictment of the gullibility of the population to be won over by the anti-intellectual and anti-elitist.

“It’s a satiric statement about our desire, especially in chaotic times, for a charismatic person to step up and become someone onto whom we can project all our hopes and dreams. And then that person is bound to be caught up in the glow of affirmation, so you get a kind of co-dependent relationship between the needy audience and the person who will happily keep taking all that adulation.”

The 2012 upside is that Sarah Palin is writing a fitness book, which is a fairly bald admission that she’s completely discredited herself as a political figure and is all but totally over in terms of any ability to swing votes.