In the polarized, partisan
America that we live in today, there’s almost no figure more notable (or infamous, depending on your perspective) than a prominent liberal or conservative who does a 180 and wholeheartedly embraces “the other side.” The Bush administration and occupation of
Iraq has pushed more than a few notable conservatives to the Left in response to the myriad of scandals, controversies, and general ineptitude of the past few years. Dennis Miller grabbed a brief bit of this notoriety when he morphed into a full-on Bush cheerleader a couple of years back and somehow found a way to do political standup specials that were less funny than Bill Maher’s. But aside from Miller, not too many other liberals have looked at the events of today as reason to abandon their ideology. One of the few was Pat Dollard, who made a name for himself as the agent who represented Steven Soderbergh as his career began to catch fire.
Dollard, in retrospect, characterizes that period of his life as the epitome of depraved, drug-addled
Hollywood “limousine liberalism”. When the war against
Iraq began, however, he went through rehab and embarked on his own personal road to
Damascus by embedding himself with troops to the point where he affected their look, joined in missions, and even became injured. Somehow, he came out of the experience blaming Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Hollywood and “the Left” for the all of the problems, and he continues today as a Fox News-favorite character who categorizes most anybody speaking against the War as “anti-American” and rants at length about the impending Muslim…oh, you get the frickin’ point. What makes him unique is that he decided to apply some
Hollywood know-how to his beliefs and created a documentary series called Young Americans that focuses on the Marines over there who echo his beliefs. While the series has been kind of stuck in limbo without distribution, a March 2007 Vanity Fair article on Dollard made quite the splash, and now Tony Scott is interested in profiling the man as he did Domino Harvey (What was her profession again? I can’t quite remember…).
Scott’s Scott-Free production company optioned the article “Pat Dollard’s War on
Hollywood” from author Evan Wright, and he wants Wright to do the screenplay for the film version as well. What’s interesting is that it’s unclear whether Scott is interested in endorsing Dollard’s crusade by not only doing this film, but in helping Dollard get his documentary distributed as well, or whether he takes a less subjective stance and highlights the quirkier aspects of Dollard’s personality and life story, as he did with Domino.
Personally, I hope Scott does the latter, not because I don’t want to see uber right-wing perspectives – no matter how batfuck insane I think they may be – in theatres, but because a blatant, direct pro-Iraq or even anti-Iraq war movie in and of itself would be boring. There’s a more interesting theme here of how Dollard finished rehab and gained this new perspective just as Dubya replaced alcohol and drugs with religion, and seeing how each of these guys echoes the behavior of the “dry drunk” archetype strikes me as the stronger idea to explore. Or maybe I’m overthinking it, and Tony will just show us whatever amuses him about Dollard, cut to pieces in the editing bay complete with subtitles, seizure-esque pacing, and over-the-top characterizations at every turn. It’s too early to know for sure.