...Death of a President, which screens next week at the Toronto International Film Festival. Can't wait to see it then; sounds...uh...interesting? Let me explain: Channel 4 in the UK has produced a mockumentary that uses archival footage and digital trickery to show George W. Bush being killed by a sniper in front of a Chicago hotel...in the year 2007. According to this BBC story, Bush "is confronted by [an anti-war] demonstration when he arrives in the city to deliver a speech to business leaders and is shot as he leaves the venue. The ensuing investigation focuses on a Syrian-born man." The mock-doc, from Gabriel Range, is apparently set even further in the future. Because the thing needs to be even more wacky.
Also in the BBC story: a quote from Gretchen Essell, the Republican Party of Texas' spokeswoman, who--no, really?--thinks the whole thing stinks. "The greater reality is that terrorism still exists in our world. It is obvious that the war on terror is not over," Essell says. "I find this shocking, I find it disturbing. I don't know if there are many people in America who would want to watch something like that." Well, yeah. That's probably why it's premiering in Canada and screening in England.
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Incidentally, on the Toronto film fest site, the festival's director, Noah Cowan, has nothing but the nicest things to say about the movie being screened only as D.O.A.P. To wit: "This is easily the most dangerous and breathtakingly original film I have encountered this year." And, "Xenophobia, the hidden costs of war and the nature of civil liberties in a hyper-media age all come under the microscope. The film is never a personal attack on Bush; Range simply seeks to explore the potential consequences that might follow from the President's policies and actions." I believe that's called covering one's ass pronto. Or: C.O.A.P. --Robert Wilonsky