Sunday, August 07, 2011

Always verify


Robert Altman's 1980 film H.E.A.L.T.H. is a commentary on the nonsensical presidential campaigns and elections. If you ever doubt how good the film was, note that Ronald Reagan pronounced it the worst film he ever saw. Lauren Bacall plays a Reagen-esque figure in the film and that might have gotten Ronnie bent out of shape. Glenda Jackson plays a Jimmy Carter type. Paul Dooley plays a John Anderson type.

Carol Burnett plays Gloria Burbank, arriving at the convention to deliver a message from her employers at the White House and Gloria quickly gets swept away in the campaign of Glenda Jackson leading to the moments where the press asks her questions and she notes that, as a White House employee, she must remain "bi-partisan." Yes, she means impartial. But color Altman psychic, Jimmy Carter would drop out of a debate because independent candidate John Anderson was invited to it. Carter, too, wanted to remain "bi-partisan." (H.E.A.L.T.H. was filmed in 1979.)

She attempts to explain what she likes about Glenda Jackson's campaign but Burbank quickly moves on to challenging Bacall and her credentials, "How do we know she's 83-years-old? For all we know, she could be 33 and have lived hard. We don't know. Right? They tell us that her records were burned in the San Francisco fire. Well, let's go find that fire and let's put it out."

Again, color Altman a psychic.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }