Director Rod Lurie (Nothing But The Truth, Resurrecting The Champ) sent the following to my e-mail box this morning: “The Democratic primary campaign has been electric,” he began. “It’s been better than any fictionalized version could be. Better than The Best Man, Recount, The American President, The Candidate or The Contender.
“But when people talk about Obama’s experience, it seems like a dead argument to me. That’s because I look at White House governing the same way I do filmmaking.
“Directors, like any Oval Office occupant, bring vision and ideas to the world that they now control. They are not necessarily experts at the technical aspects of the game. A director has a director of photography and a President has a Secretary of the Treasury. The director has a production designer and a President has a Secretary of State. All the below-the-line guys have to respond to the big idea of their boss.
“”First-time directors with no experience, after all, have given us Citizen Kane, The 400 Blows, Reservoir Dogs, Breathless, American Beauty, Buyz in the Hood, Sling Blade, The Maltese Falcon and Ordinary People. Young directors with some but not much experience (liek Obama) have given us The Godfather, The French Connection, Pulp Fiction, Mean Streets, The Killing, Jaws, American Graffiti and so on.
“Once directors gain that experience — once they taste success — they tend to get not so much lazier as they are careful. Safe. There are some directors like Eastwood and Huston who improved as they aged, but not many others.
“The same thing tends to apply to our leaders. When he was younger, John McCain was a reformer and a bull that carried his own china shop around with him. It was commendable when he opposed Reagan putting our marines in Lebanon, for example. It was commendable when he lashed at Christian evangalists like Fallwell and Robertson. But now, he’s playing it safe in his old age. He’s not tweaking the base, not insisting that the Republicans take a good look in the mirror and adjust their tie or realize that the need a haircut. Its as if he needed the advantage of youth’s energy to go against the grain.
“Go Obama.”