The Film Comment Podcast: Steve Bannon
As filmmaker and critic Jeff Reichert put it in his January/February 2017 Film Comment feature on Steve Bannon’s documentary work, “We could dismiss Bannon as the Rainer Werner Fassbinder of shoddily made straight-to-video white supremacist documentary. But his tactics have helped put Trump in the White House, so what can we learn about Bannon or America from watching them?” This episode of the Film Comment podcast tackles that very question. Reichert, along with Chapo Trap House podcast co-host Will Menaker and FC Digital Producer Violet Lucca, looks back on Bannon’s nine films released under the “Citizens United” banner. It goes without saying that there’s a lot to talk about regarding their unlikely aesthetic sensibility (sales presentation meets Leni Riefenstahl meets Michael Bay meets Vic Berger ECUs) and their characterizations of history and reality. The panel also digs into the past 15 years of political documentary on the right and the left (hello, Adam Curtis!), including the ways in which filmmakers package narratives, fact-check their material, and consider their audiences.