Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 11, 2016

Barry

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film,Obama — louisproyect @ 4:21 pm

Obama and the Common Affairs of the Whole Bourgeoisie

Around this time every year I begin to be deluged by DVD’s and Vimeo links geared to the sort of middle-brow films that Hollywood studios submit for consideration to members of New York Film Critics Online for our annual awards meeting in early December. If you’ve ever seen something by Merchant-Ivory, you’ll probably know the kind of movie I’m talking about.

When Netflix sent me an email with a link to “Barry”, a biopic about Obama’s time at Columbia University that premieres on Friday, December 16, 2016, my first reaction was to put in the trash just like one of those solicitations I used to get from Nigerian generals before SpamAssassin kicked in.

But since it was received so close to election day, I decided to watch the film and give it the spanking I am sure it would deserve as well as use it as a peg for some ruminations on the Obama presidency and the ascendancy of Donald Trump. Studio boss Sam Goldwyn once said “Just write me a comedy. Messages are for Western Union”. Although I don’t write films, I do like to review them and wouldn’t dream of not including a message while I am at it.

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