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Interesting look at '92 Presidential candidates off camera, but it's not too funny.

DVD Review: Feed

Written by Fumo Verde 

Feed sounds like a Michael Moore film about livestock but it isn’t. If it were a film where politicians were caught saying things like Sen. Allen’s “macaca” statement, or Sen. Craig’s “I have a wide stance…” explanation of why he solicited gay sex in an airport restroom, that could have been interesting, but that’s not what this is. Yes, the feeds were live back then during the presidential race of 1992, but it just wasn’t funny and even then most of these wonks running for office knew if a camera was on, the whole world would soon know. I respect this film for the political/media history it recorded, but to try and sell it as a funny documentary just doesn’t sit well with me.

Pat Buchanan was splitting the Republicans and Paul Tsongas was the Democrats front-runner while George H. W. Bush was the sitting incumbent and that’s all he did in this film was sit there. The old news footage of him in the grocery store amazed by how a scanner worked was funny a few years later, but at the time the American people couldn’t believe that this guy was making policy that changed our lives. The zany cast includes former presidential candidates (sounds like that pre-owned car shit…just call it used) Tom Harkin, Jerry Brown, Bob Kerry, and spoilsport Ross Perot. Someone needs to do a documentary on just what Perot says because 90% of it means nothing if you really listen.

The film had two funny moments. The first was when a young Governor Bill Clinton was being interviewed by some local news anchor who asked if he had ever had an extra-martial affair. Clinton responded by saying, “If I did, I wouldn’t tell you” rather than, “No.” The other had to do with a speech Tsongas was giving. Straight-laced reporter Sam Donaldson arrived a little late and there was banter between Tsongas and Donaldson. It really brought me back to the days when politics between each party and the news folk wasn’t as mean-spirited as it is today. There was laughter about the room and it put a smile on my face. Other than that, the rest of the clips didn’t have very many funny things happen in them.

If you want a glimpse of a young Hillary Rodham Clinton, the cameras were on her already as Bill ran. Even back then she was shrewd. Hillary always knew the camera was on so there were no slip-ups. Be it Jerry Brown worrying about the straightness of his tie, or Ross Perot trying to tell some stupid story or joke, there was not much humor in these feeds. Kind of sucks since the cover says things like “Laugh out loud funny – Rolling Stone,” and “Thoroughly Bizarre! – New York Times,” and "Hysterical! – Texas Monthly.”

For those of us who love CSPAN, Feed is a cool little doc that covered the ’92 election, but for anyone else, you have better things to do.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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