Mr. Hoover and I

Screening on Film
Directed by Emile de Antonio.
US, 1989, 16mm, color, 90 min.

This autobiographical swansong (released only months before his death) captures de Antonio's political voice via a personal profile, and simultaneously assaults the legacy of J. Edgar Hoover, who compiled a 10,000-page FBI dossier on the filmmaker. Gone are his predilections for archival compilation, interviews with powerbrokers, and the emphasis on montage. Instead the film is constructed largely from simple pieces of direct cinema that alternate with De Antonio's direct address to the camera as he reflects on his life and its curious entangling with Hoover's pathological police state. Mr. Hoover and I, he wrote in 1989, "is made of poor means but it is ambitious, more ambitious than Batman."

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Emile de Antonio’s America

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Cold War Chronicles. The Films of Emile de Antonio

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