ABOUT THE FILM:
In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult—their explosive exchanges devolving into vitriolic name-calling. Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born.
Directed with consummate skill by filmmakers Robert Gordon and Academy Award-winning Sundance Film Festival alum Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom), Best of Enemies unleashes a highbrow blood sport that marked the dawn of pundit television as we know it today.
7:00PM – Pre-film live music by Cricket Blue
8:15PM (sunset) – Film begins
9:45PM – Post-film discussion with Co-Director Robert Gordon, moderated by Brent Lang of Variety
– Suggested donation: $5
– BYO picnic, chairs & blankets
– Bike racks on-site provided by Bike Newport (we highly encourage biking!)
– Vendors on site with food for purchase: Tallulah’s Taco Cart, Boru Noodle Bar & Tricycle Ice Cream
– Free Popcorn!
– Rain Venue: Casino Theater, 9 Freebody Street, Newport
|Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon
|Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
|William Buckley, Gore Vidal
JUICY AND THRILLING. The directors have unearthed outstanding footage and interviewed many of today’s best thinkers. - The Guardian , FASCINATING. Thoroughly engrossing and surprisingly entertaining. - Variety, WICKEDLY ENTERTAINING. The directors avoid picking sides and instead enjoy the show. - New York Post, A RIVETING GABFEST. It might have been both the most entertaining film of this year’s Sundance. - New York Magazine , Media history geeks, Christmas is about to come early. Makes a compelling case that modern TV news — i.e. the victory of volume and rage over civilized discourse — starts here. - Rolling Stone, HILARIOUS AND THRILLING. Chock-full of one-liners and bon mots that would make any stand-up comedian green with envy. - The Huffington Post, If you like witty repartee among intellectuals, it’s hard to see how you could have more fun than watching this movie. Highly entertaining.