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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Speaking of Geniuses

posted by on October 19 at 13:37 PM

Not only is the kid playing Nixon an unprecedented comic actor, but whoever made this video (and I’m guessing it’s the kid playing Nixon) creatively misses(?) reinterprets(?) the Watergate scandal for today’s consumption.

For example, rather than giving us any of Nixon’s famous lines (“I am not a crook”), he gives us “America is safe.”

America is safe?? This has nothing to do with Watergate…and everything to do with 9/11…which gives the audience a weird lens on today’s students trying to make sense of 1973.

Weird & beautiful how the lacking understanding of Watergate translates.

If this was a project for his high school history class, I imagine he got a C minus. I say shortlist him for Stranger Genius 2007.

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I don't know Josh. Certainly there are many many elements of genius here, but no "I am not a crook," no Rosemary Woods, no Deep Throat, no Congressional hearings with Sam Ervin, Howard Baker and the rest? Maybe we will have to await the sequel for things to be filled out a bit.

Posted by fixo | October 19, 2006 2:07 PM

Can Jen G. (I'll forget asking Feit)provide some intelligent commentary on this video, because I think it's plain stupid. Pretentious brats. Big deal. Keep Josh away from the art department so we can safely avoid empty platitudes like "off-the-charts brilliant."

Posted by patron | October 19, 2006 2:09 PM

That's what so great about it: They don't have a sense of the plot... and so, they end up reinterpreting the whole thing to make it intelligible for today's consumption & their own. In other words, rather than the "I am not a crook" line... the kid has some weird line about "America is safe" ... which has nothing to do with Watergate and everything to do with 9/11.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 19, 2006 2:30 PM

Well, there weren't any real credits so it was hard to tell who was who. Was the kid with the weird accent supposed to be Kissinger? Then the narrative was a bit rough, mostly due to having more jump cuts than a David Fincher video, and the dialogue was a little, shall we say, flat. There's lots to love here though, like how they didn't learn their lines and were reading off the script -that was totally rad. I kept expecting one of the kids to say "Line!" just so it would be the cherry on top.

My fave was the disappearing and reappearing moustache. It should get a production deal and a spin off.

Posted by Andrew | October 19, 2006 2:50 PM

Thanks, Josh, you've intellectualized the conundrum into the well-worn path of speaking out your artsy ass.

Josh said - "Weird & beautiful how the lacking understanding of Watergate translates."

Did these kids' teachers use the Burroughs cut-up method and mail them to you for promotion?

Please, Josh, avoid being near anyone who has a sense of aesthetics whenever you use the word "beautiful"

Posted by patron | October 19, 2006 2:53 PM

If you click on that video, there are highly invaluable links to other products by these geniuses (including Part 2 of the Watergate film, which solves many mysteries). My favorite, though, is their movie about Frederick Douglass. I especially like the whipping scene in which both participants crack up.

Posted by andrew b | October 19, 2006 3:06 PM


The stars were like totally bleeding poetry.
The stars were like totally bleeding poetry.
And then I knew that I was an artist.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 19, 2006 3:06 PM

well, they might as well have called it The Battle of the Bulge, for all of its fidelity to actual history....I especially liked it when Ehrlichman or Haldeman or whoever it was slapped Nixon, saying "I resign" in a huff. God knows we could have used him to be beaten about the head and shoulders a little bit. As for you Patron, I hope your day goes better from here on out.

Posted by fixo | October 19, 2006 3:07 PM

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