I often say it: cinema is not just art or entertainment, it’s an ultra-sensitive X-ray that allows us to detect the cancers that are eating away at our societies, long before the first tumors appear.
To help you better understand Trumpism, here are four films that, each in their own way, heralded the arrival of the Big Orange.
JOE IS ALSO AMERICA (1970)
Directed by John G. Avildsen six years before his blockbuster Rocky, this punchy film starring Susan Sarandon is totally forgotten today.
But it is one of the most singular works of New Hollywood, this golden age of American cinema which was born with Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and who was cowardly murdered, 10 years later, by the worldwide triumph of Star Wars.
The story tells how Joe, a loud-mouthed blue-collar worker (brilliantly played by Peter Boyle, who will take over more or less the same character in the mythical Taxi Driver), goes hunting for hippies.
Frustrated, finding he has been abandoned by his country and feeling threatened by a culture anti-establishment who rejects him and the patriotic values he represents, this worker ends up developing a hatred of young people.
The icy end is one of the most powerful in American cinema.
A black diamond that absolutely must be rediscovered. Original title : Joe.
As the oil crisis and runaway inflation suffocate America (doesn’t that ring a bell?), a newsreader going through a severe depression threatens to take his own life live.
Instead of taking him off the air, his bosses (who feel Americans need to channel their anger and frustrations) are instead giving him his own public affairs show.
Overnight, this man (who obviously has lost his mind) becomes a real guru, encouraging spectators to revolt against the institutions and elites who “lie to the people”!
Virulent criticism from the media, this masterpiece by Sidney Lumet announced the creation of Fox News… twenty years before its birth!
One of the greatest scripts in the history of cinema.
FALLING DOWN (1993)
Best film by Joel Schumacher, a mediocre job who almost killed the franchise Batman With its two psychedelic nanars, this feature film starring an unrecognizable Michael Douglas tells how an uneventful office worker turns into a war machine after being caught in a monster traffic jam.
Frustrated by political correctness, attacked by a gang of Latinos and scorned by a Korean convenience store employee, this straight white man loses his temper and fires into the crowd.
If this story were unfolding today, Douglas’ character would be wearing a MAGA cap and applauding the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion.
FIGHT CLUB (1999)
Or how a bobo who is tired of living in an increasingly sanitized world joins the ranks of a band of hyperviolent conspiracy theorists who foment a bloody and virile revolution.
Do I really need to say more?
A masterpiece that has seen it all, foreseen it all. From the great David Fincher.