The Party's Over | Chicago Reader

The Party's Over

I missed The Last Party, a 1993 documentary by Donovan Leitch and others that charts the progress of Robert Downey Jr. from apathy to active interest as he interviews other celebrities about the 1992 presidential election. This sequel by Leitch and Rebecca Chaiklin sets out to do something similar with Philip Seymour Hoffman and the 2000 election: seeking to become politically engaged, Hoffman travels across the U.S. collecting sound bites from Noam Chomsky, Newt Gingrich, Jesse Jackson, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Willie Nelson, Rosie O'Donnell, Susan Sarandon, and many lesser-known activists; he also stands thoughtfully in front of the Jefferson Memorial for 15 seconds, accompanied by a snippet of a gospel tune. I realize this insulting film is supposed to coax young people into serious political involvement, but if they aren't already involved, why would they want to see this in the first place? All the participants, including the audience, deserve much better—for starters, time enough to connect three sentences. 90 min.

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