To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the last time he directed a movie actually worth watching, Sydney Pollack has signed on to helm Recount, a narrative movie about the 2000 presidential elections and the Florida recount.
You could make the argument that 9/11 was the defining moment of this new millennium so far, but I think the 2000 election (while technically not in the new millennium) takes the prize. Our official reaction to 9/11 was decided the day the Supreme Court ruled, and despite what I thought at the time – both parties were just whore for special interest groups – it’s obvious that the last eight years would have gone down in an incredibly different way. For one, we almost assuredly would not be in our fourth year in Iraq.
But fret not, those who still believe that George W Bush won this one fair and square – the proucers insist that Recount won’t be taking sides. "It’s about a major event in American history, but it has no particular agenda or ax to grind," executive producer Paula Weinstein said. That’s too bad for people who want their political art to have a point of view, but it’s good for HBO Films, who want as many people as possible to see the thing.
That’s one of the reasons why they’re going to run it on HBO instead of giving it a theatrical release via Picturehouse – they’re guaranteed more eyeballs. This is one of the major changes in the film industry, by the way: it’s becoming more and more sensible to put smart, interesting films on TV as opposed to theaters. It’s part of why our movies are getting dumber and dumber.
Recount will air on HBO in the spring, probably during primary season, which will be just about when the American public will be totally burnt out on presidential campaigning, which is unbelievably happening right now.