Friday, June 05, 2009


My family's out of town for the weekend - all except Pierce and me - and that paves the way for some serious time wasting on my part.  When I'm home alone the typical restraints and responsibilities are no longer present, and there's ample space to fill with meaningless activities, or even the random nap (which I thought was extinct, but, as it turns out, is only an endangered species).  Last night I put Pierce to bed and watched Frost/Nixon on pay per view.  Good choice.

Told in documentary style, the film details the final days of President Richard Nixon and tells of David Frost's risky attempt to interview America's most controversial political figure.  The movie is extremely well made, well acted, and... well... fascinating.   There are many layers present in this film that one could explore, but the story line that intrigued me most was Frost's willingness to put his entire financial status, reputation and career behind this project.  He risked everything to interview Nixon, and nobody thought he had the journalistic pedigree or intellectual integrity to pull it off.  For most of the movie, it seemed the critics were right.  Frost was disorganized, distracted and often times disengaged from the reality of his situation.  He was in over his head, and his realization of this fact before his final interview with Nixon was the turning point of the story.

In the end, the Frost/Nixon interviews proved to be some of the most compelling political documentation in American history.  Frost was rewarded and even lauded by the same critics who doubted him, but I couldn't help but think how close the line was between massive success and crushing failure.  This movie was so fascinating because it demonstrated that anything worth doing must straddle the same line.  It made me ask myself if I have done or am doing anything "on the line", and it forced me to realize that, if I want my life to matter, I've got to walk the line (Fade lights; cue Johnny Cash song; roll credits).

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