Vidal did know his history, and particularly he understood how history could be and often, even usually, deliberately re-written, facts left out, selectively cited, revised, manipulated to tell the story the historian wished to tell -- rather than the real story, so to speak.
Vidal did it himself in his Narratives of Empire, partly as style and reflection of the eras the novels re-created, while always reminding the reader that fiction cannot be trusted. (I've never quite forgiven him for his mendacious portrait of President Grant in1876: A Novel (1976) -- here we see a bit too much of Henry Adams's influence on Vidal.) The Narratives are an ongoing lesson in both writing history and historical fiction for me, to read, listen to, watch Vidal's process and objective in creating his picture of the U.S. throughout his life, in everything he did, including running for office. He was among the more interesting and valuable Americans the U.S. has produced.
Press Release for Robert Gordon's Best of Enemies follows:
My latest documentary, “Best of Enemies”—about the debates and feud between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal—opens in NY, LA, Toronto and Vancouver this Friday 7/31. I made the film with Morgan Neville, and Magnolia Pictures is rolling it out around the country in August. Opening weekend is very important to an arthouse film and we’d love for you to come out this weekend to attend. Tell your friends too. Tweet, post, tattoo! A good opening weekend means a wider reach to follow. Best of Enemies has received almost universally positive reviews—from across the political spectrum. The film does not take sides in the argument, but makes us consider how we argue. Both Buckley and Vidal were tremendous wits, so the film is very funny. Until it’s not. Below are links to the trailer, to some reviews, and to theaters we’ll be expanding to over the next couple months (the list can increase or diminish, based on opening weekend (it’s a crazy way to do business; we’re hoping it doesn’t rain this weekend in NY)). Sharing information anytime is great, but especially Thursday July 30 and Friday July 31, if you could post or email to remind people it’s opening Friday July 31, we’d be very appreciative.
Here is the trailer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzgfQvB2dvA
Here’s theater info:http://www.magpictures.com/dates.aspx?id=b44b50c6-f55c-47c2-8682-b63d19fc6ebd
Here are the websites:
A review from the Hollywood Reporter:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/best-enemies-sundance-review-767855
Coverage from the New York Times:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/movies/buckley-vs-vidal-when-debate-became-bloodsport.html?_r=0
In New York, we are opening at IFC downtown and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas uptown.In Los Angeles, we are at the Landmark 12.In Toronto, we are at the TIFF Lightbox.In Vancouver, we are at Fifth Ave. Cinemas.
Some of the nice things people are saying:"Outstanding. There could scarcely be any documentary more enticing, scintillating and downright fascinating.” - The Hollywood Reporter“A delicious spectacle” - Newsweek “Witty, nasty and laugh-out-loud hilarious” - Movie Nation“Juicy and thrilling” - The Guardian“Superbly entertaining.” - New York Magazine"Thoroughly engrossing.” - Joe Leydon, Variety
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bestofenemiesfilmTwitter - @VidalBuckleyDoc#BestofEnemies
Thank you, thank you very much! Robert Gordon www.TheRobertGordon.com