A Preview of Coming Attractions
Steven I. Ramm | 06/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Feed" provides an excellent "inside baseball" documentary view of the 1992 New Hampshire primary campaign. Most presciently, we get revealing glimpses of Bill and Hillary Clinton relating to their public: Bill lying about his affair with Gennifer Flowers, and Hillary responding to the desperate entreaties of a homeless man by giving him a voter registration card and urging him to vote for her "husband", before ducking into her limousine. Focusing on "lesser" candidates such as Sen. Bob Kerrey, Patrick Buchanan and the late Paul Tsongas, the documentary shows how the candidates deal with the ever-present media, and include hilarious segments of candidates dealing with the dead time before (and during!) news interviews. Tsongas and Kerrey are especially impressive, alternating between quick wit and thoughtful replies to questions from voters and reporters. "Feed" gives a strong sense of the bone-wearying pace and duration of a primary fight. I think political junkies would love this video; those less interested would be underwhelmed. If you watch "The NewsHour" and "Special Report with Brit Hume" this video is for you. If not, try the latest Mel Gibson."
Great for Political Junkies - only wish there were sprcial f
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 11/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Feed - DVD
I remember seeing this film when it played theaters in 1992 and loving it then. Re-watching it on DVD made me realize that there are some funny moments - Jerry Brown seems to be the one most caught off guard - but my memory was of more "feeds". Those moments before and after politicians - and newscasters - are on the air and don't realize the cameras and microphones are still "live". Only about 50% of the footage in this 76-minute film are "feeds". The rest are filmed campaign stops during the 1992 New Hampshire primary election. It's only been 15 years but names like Bob Kerrey and Paul Tsongas (who beat Bill Clinton in this primary) seem almost forgotten. And, yep, Ross Perot is there too at the end.
The footage not obtained from TV feeds was shot on 16mm film and was grainy. Add the additional 15 years and it's even grainier. There was no remastering done for this release and, more importantly, there are no bonus. It's films like this that call out for a Director Commentary or at least an interview. How much of the "shot film" was done by the filmmakers and how much was "acquired"? How did they get access? This would get an additional star or two just to have anything extra.
Hindsight is always good and watching Bill Clinton defend the acquisitions of Gennifer Flowers - remember her? - takes on new meaning after the Lewinsky Affair. And watching Hilary campaign for Bill is strange when the current network TV news is full of Hilary running for office.
Hang in for the closing credits and you will see that one of the major financial supports of this film was Michael Moore - man behind "Roger and Me" and "Sicko".
I'm glad it's out and it certainly deserves a place in History Class - along with "The War Room", the fascinating documentary on the Clinton Campaign - but it could have been so much more.!
Catching candidates with their guard down, New Hampshire '92
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite scenes on the film "The Candidate" is when Robert Redford's character is in the back of his limo getting a bit silly with his campaign spiel. There is, of course, an authenticity to this unguarded moment that goes way beyond the well scripted public performances of the political candidate. It is in that spirit that "Feed" deconstructs the 1992 New Hampshire primary. Kevin Rafferty and James Ridgeway collected some damning satellite feed footage as well as more conventional campaign footage that shows these politicians at their worst. I would also say at their funniest, but there is a sense in which all this banality just wants to make you weep (but you do have to crack a smile when George Bush informs listeners during a sound check that he is not Dana Carvey). The actual feed footage ends up being the smallest component of this 1992 documentary and most of it is rather mundane (e.g., Jerry Brown fiddling with his tie, George Bush staring). More telling are the cameras following the candidates around as they encounter those fun New Hampshire voters who are perfectly willing to tell politicians what they think (remember: a woman has to offer you here hand first before you can shake it). The fact that Ross Perot and Jerry Brown talk dirty is nothing to those of us who figured out all the (expletives deleted) in the Watergate papers. Bill Clinton, who ends up winning at the end of all this fun and games, comes out the best for the most part mainly because he has always been the most comfortable in front of the cameras, but there are a couple of nice moments where he experiences some discomfort. Actually, Senator Bob Kerrey is probably the politico who you end up liking the best. Ten years gone it is something of a test to recall all the candidates who were running in 1992. Pat Buchanan is an easy one, but Tom Harkin and the late Paul Tsongas might considerably less so. Perhaps it is telling that newsman Sam Donaldson and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger steal the spotlight from the candidates as soon as they show up in a room. The "point" of "Feed," that the politicians who wanted to be President are depressingly human and not people you would invite over for a family dinner, is clear really early on when you are watching. This 80-minute documentary could probably benefit from some judicious editing or could well be improved by contrasting this behind the scenes stuff and nonsense with the polished appearances and slick political ads the candidates wanted voters to pay attention to and remember. "Feed" has its moments, but it is not as impressive as Rafferty's cut-and-paste classic "Atomic Café.""