Our Nixon Screen 6 articles

Our Nixon


Our Nixon Poster
  • Coherently put together but baffling in intent, this ordinary found-footage chronicle has had a kid-gloved reception, suggesting critics are bowled over by clips of famous people and the fact of history... The majority of its revelatory footage comes from television clips and previously available audio excerpts while the historical account isn't news to anyone with a passing familiarity with the period.

  • The footage is YouTube avant la lettre: often crudely filmed and banal, sometimes impressionistic (birds flitting about the trees seen from the Oval Office windows), and always a reminder of the curious things people feel compelled to document when they have a camera in their hands, forging a record of their brief time upon the earth.

  • While director Penny Lane sometimes leans a bit too heavily on Walter Cronkite newscasts to establish the already well-known chronology, there’s finesse in the way she infuses a growing sense of unease... Having a backstage view of the momentous trip to China adds color, but the real takeaway here is a tone of dawning tragedy, sourness sneaking into even the most innocuous of visual records.

  • Mostly he just evades blame, as we see Haldeman and Ehrlichman doing in similar TV interviews conducted before they died (Haldeman in 1993, Ehrlichman in 1999). What's more intriguing is the way Our Nixon chronicles the president's growing paranoia... In the end, though, Our Nixon is an elusive piece of work. It doesn't add much to our understanding of the man himself, though admittedly, there may not be much more that we want or need to know, anyway.

  • "Our Nixon" seems to be more interested in evoking emotional than intellectual responses. It draws our attention away from the big picture and refocuses it on the main players' personalities, and on the Watergate era's perverse, dread-soaked atmosphere. Its best quality is its willingness to paint its key players as people, not villains or types. Rather than excuse or soft-pedal their bad deeds, this approach makes them seem more comprehensible and real—like people we might know, but with power.

  • ...Lane’s intoxicating feature-length montage dissects the overlap between political and personal relationships. Listening to each man romanticize this infamous figure speaks to the levels of delusional respect one can have for their patriarch.

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