"The directors of The Best of Enemies, a documentary about the 1968 debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, could have produced a riveting movie simply by splicing together old debate footage. This movie is about many weighty matters--politics, ideology, history, society and the media--but the delicious spectacle of watching two sexy men in their prime, with rapier wit, speaking in the accents of a gone American elite, slicing each other into fine ribbons, makes the film a guilty indulgence.
These two ghosts from a bygone era still make great television. It worked so well, in fact, that the series of debates, created by ABC to attach to the two 1968 conventions–Republicans in Miami and Democrats in Chicago–became the prototype for every television talking head show for the next half-century.
Sadly, no one has ever done it better. ...
The Buckley-Vidal debates could be the high moment in the history of the televised American political debate. But the spectacle contained within itself the seed of the end too. Extreme civility was about to explode and cool William Buckley, whose fate it was to manifest that explosion, would regret it for the rest of his life."
(Nina Burleigh, 1 February 2015, Newsweek)
"In 'What is an author?' , Michel Foucault says we are 'accustomed to presenting the author as a genius.' We see the author as the 'genial creator' of work in which he gives us, 'with infinite wealth and generosity,' an inexhaustible world of meanings. (Being 'creative' always has a positive ring, whatever is produced!) Foucault says that the author does not 'precede' the work: ideas and meanings are already there and the author's role is to 'choose,' to filter and synthesise to create output. (Foucault also emphasises 'limiting' and 'excluding'). The author's role is to limit the proliferation of meanings and present a personal view of the world. Yet the 'genius author' is represented as a continual source of invention–the opposite of his genuine function."
(Monika Parrinder, 2000, Eye Magazine)