Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
Born into privilege, raised with political expectations, on intimate terms with the Kennedys, Gore Vidal is the disaffected patrician par excellence. Openly, dashingly gay from an early age, he has spent much of his life writing a version of American history that is deeply antagonistic to the national self-aggrandisement. This admiring biographical documentary is structured around a series of recent, typically frank interviews.
“Deborah Dickson neatly conveys the contrariness and contradictions of her prickly subject – a coolly bemused agent provocateur who has lived for decades in Italy, but describes himself as ‘probably the most American novelist of my time’… Dickson assembles a fascinating mosaic, including interviews with admiring colleagues, readings from Vidal novels by various celebs and excerpts from decades of TV talkshow appearances. Latter segments showcase Vidal at his most sagely sophisticated and entertainingly waspish as he comments on failings of both government and the governed in America.” — Joe Leydon, Variety