Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Education of Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal, who died this past week, as an American author, historian, critic, screenwriter, attempted politician, and irascible iconoclast who swum against the current at times when it was not popular to do so. Born into high society, the son of a business magnate and grandson of Oklahoma Senator Thomas Gore, Vidal was able to see the "inner workings of the Republic" which he used as ammunition for much of his own work and which helped contribute to the own denouncement of his own society. He wrote successful plays ("The Best Man"), novels (Myra Breckenridge), films ("Ben-Hur", "Suddenly Last Summmer"), and many historical novels (Burr, Lincoln,  Julian). In this American Masters installment, Gore Vidal takes us through his own life as he publishes The Golden Age, the final installment in his Narratives of Empire Series, and sees over a Broadway Revival of "The Best Man". The Education of Gore Vidal is an intriguing documentary of one of the great dissenting minds of the 20th Century, which gives a fair version of events the controversial stalwart's life. The film's commentator's also help bring insight into his life and work and several of his celebrity friends including Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon. Gore Vidal lived a versatile and complete life, refused to accept things as they were, and in the process helped to spearhead the change in public perception and left behind an immensely impressive body of work.