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Journeys with George
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The relationship between the Governor and Pelosi is kind of sweet and unpretentious. Their encounter over her California absentee ballot, where GWB2 gives her some really amusing politician schtick about why she should vote for him is a great scene. The "Newsweek Man" flirtation theme was also great. One gets the sense that a lot of this press pool was very young, fairly inexperienced, and not nearly as sophisticated as they thought they were. The segues with the Texas print reporters (who, I think, were later responsible for the critical Rove bio "Bush's Brain") were also interesting, they actually knowing something about politics and about Bush. One gives an impromptu monologue analogizing Republican campaigns with a baloney sandwich that is priceless.
One of the most noticeable features is the absence of much real journalism being practiced by the press pool. The closest we get to that is the late revelation of Bush's DUI, and we see Karen Hughes skillfully handling that. She is rarely in the film, but comes across as impressive, especially vis-a-vis Rove's pomposity. But in actuality, the press pool spent most of the time going through the motions, messing around, and being bored in an extended tour. I think a lack of curiosity became their most prevalent trait.
So really, as is seen from the evident relief of other reviewers, this isn't by any means a Bush-bashing movie. Pelosi's liberal pedigree is clear from the start, and actually shapes her friendship with the Governor.Read more ›
Regardless of your politics, this movie is a joy to watch. It is a must-have for any political junkie.
Thank goodness it is now coming out on DVD. Don't miss it!
(Based upon reviewer seeing VHS tape, and not DVD.)
I think that this was a great film not only because of the rawness of it, but because it showed the relationship between politics and the media in a way that no other film or book has done, at least in my opinion. Yes, Bush was arguably the star of the movie, but seeing how he interacted with the media was more interesting than the campaign itself. Watching him with the reporters, I could see that this was part of the reason he won (yes, there were many reasons...Florida...). This film couldn't have been made with Gore; it simply would not have worked.
Looking back, I am struck at how comfortable and jovial he seemed with the media back then. His administration today is one of the most secretive and hostile towards the press that has ever come along. I think he would be in much better shape if he looked back to this film and took some notes.
All in all, this is a great film. Anyone who is even remotely interested in politics/presidency/campaigns, etc would enjoy it I believe.
Though it is a political film, it contains almost nothing about issues or ideology, and only brief glimpses of tactics. But it is unmatched as a portrait of the sociology of the traveling campaign press corps and its simultaneously symbiotic/antagonistic relationship with the candidate it covers.
At first, Bush appears as a likeable, bantering prankster--more of a master of ceremonies than an aspirant to lead the free world. Like the fraternity president he once was, Bush knows how to create an atmosphere of fun. At the same time, with a slight turn in the mood or setting, he can be an alarming clown. Bush's lack of gravitas momentarily appears to be the central subject of the film.
But it is not. Bush gradually reveals himself to be a more subtle operator. "I am a student of human nature," he tells Pelosi, and the claim rings absolutely true. His jokes and jabs are anything but uncalculated--there is always an edge, either to put the recipients off-balance or to pull them closer to Bush. He uses this jocularity as a form of seduction, as does his campaign at large. The fun in the back of the press plane is not a random phenomenon but an elaborately staged bonding ritual.
Why no 5th star? Pelosi only hints at the larger implications of Bush's seduction of his traveling coterie of reporters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a hard core socialist BUT this shows president Bush as is. He's a good manPublished 5 months ago by Jeremy Montanez
I just re-watched this film and now that George Bush is out of office I think every voter in America should have to watch it. This is an artifact of a different era.Published on April 17, 2009 by Michael Thomas
While it was nice to see the softer side of "Dubya" for the material you're watching, it ran a bit long I think. And it definitely shows the liberal bias of the media. Read morePublished on March 8, 2007 by J. Johnson
At the end of the year-long tour, a vaguely depressed Richard Wolffe muses that the Gore press corps went a lot harder on Gore, their critical look at the candidate coming through... Read morePublished on March 5, 2007 by SMC
Journeys with George is the first time I had the pleasure of viewing an Alexandra Pelosi documentary. Read morePublished on February 12, 2007 by mel white
This is a film mainly about the press corp attached to a political leader while he campaigns. I find it quite interesting how they follow the man around as he goes from place to... Read morePublished on December 2, 2006 by BernardZ
I was delighted to spend 75 minutes watching Alexandra Pelosi's documentary.
Versus the alternative of wasting a year of my life to learn just the following. That U.S. Read more
I teach AP Government and Politics and this gives the students an excellent picture of what campaigning is all about. Read morePublished on November 9, 2006 by Deborah H. Meyer