THE REAL AMERICAN: JOE McCARTHY actually signify? That this guy could stand in for the "real" American, and if so, what the hell does that mean? That we're all a bunch of lying, cold-hearted opportunists willing to toss just about anyone (especially Democrats) in front of the bus? Well, maybe. That's pretty cynical. Well, yes, but since the film was directed, co-written and co-produced by a German fellow by the name of Lutz Hachmeister, who earlier gave us The Goebbels Experiment and the restaurant doc Three Stars, a more cynical look at America and Americans just might be in the cards.
Point of Order, and a number of narrative movies in which old Joe played a supporting part). While his "foreigner" status may have goosed Hachmeister to look at things differently, it may also have prevented him from seeing certain things as clearly as he might. Take Ann Coulter's place in all this, for instance. The director interviews Ms Coulter -- whom I consider one of the stupider mouthpieces of the frothing right-wing -- and then uses part of that interview in the film. But does he actually understand who Coulter is and what her place in American society might be? We've heard her on radio occasionally, spouting nonsense and lies -- such as her tirades about Obamacare last fall -- and we've waited for somebody to speak up and deflate the woman's shit balloon. But of course, on these right-wing radio fests, no one ever does. (For the best rendition yet of Ms Coulter, you really must see Thea Gill's interpretation of her in Joe Dante's sublime Iraq War sequence from the Masters of Horror series, entitled Homecoming.)
Sarah Polley manages in her excellent doc Stories We Tell (streamable now on Netflix: click for the link). Shown against the real life footage of McCarthy, his wife Jean, the late Mr. Cohn and others, the actors (above) pale in comparison with their real-life counterparts (below) and don't really look much like them, either.
Corinth Releasing and running 100 minutes -- on DVD by clicking here. It's worth a look and a thought about how this could happen then -- and what to do to make certain it doesn't happen again.