Dir. Robert Altman. 1988, eleven episodes, 377 mins (shown with two intermission, at 5:00 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.). Digital projection. With Michael Murphy, Cynthia Nixon, Pamela Reed, Daniel Jenkins, Veronica Cartwright, Matt Molloy, Ilana Levine. Robert Altman and Pulitzer Prize–winning Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau concoct the fictitious candidacy of U.S. Representative Jack Tanner (Murphy), yet capture it with on-the-fly, cringe-inducing fidelity. Broadcast during the 1988 election season, this seminal mockumentary series presents the modern media campaign as a cross between a soap opera and history-in-the-making TV news serial. The result is a piercing satire of media-age American politics, in which actors consort with real-life public figures Jesse Jackson, Gary Hart, Bob Dole, Ralph Nader, Kitty Dukakis, and Gloria Steinem, among many others.
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