Last week, the last of the Nixon white House tapes were made available online. These remind us of a few things concerning the president, including his paranoia, his vulnerability, and his conscious efforts to cover up the Watergate scandal. They don’t quite show other, more elusive aspects of this complicated figure, however, and for that you might turn to the excellent documentary Our Nixon, opening in select theaters on 30 August.
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Around midnight on July 16, DreamWorks released the first trailer for The Fifth Estate, the Bill Condon-directed film about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks based on Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s book, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website. Already the film has generated controversy, with Assange protesting the portrayal, and even people posting reactions to the new trailer on social media added nearly as many comments about the political pros and cons of WikiLeaks as about the trailer’s style or content.
“That’s the beauty of this system,” public defender Travis Williams tells a jury in Clayton County, Georgia. “It’s set up to give people the presumption of innocence, to give them the opportunity to not only be heard, but to hold the state accountable.” As Williams completes his impassioned summation for his young, lean, awkwardly suited client during the first moments of Gideon’s Army, he underlines that though the state “has the gall to say this is not a big case,” in fact, it has “huge consequences,” namely, that “This boy will become a convicted felon.”
July is a big month in the music world, as so many major releases are hitting the shelves that discussing them warrants a separate PopMatters article. See: Listening Ahead: Upcoming Music Releases for July 2013
But the next 31 days also feature some TV debuts, big box office hits, and America’s most patriotic holiday. So get comfortable. Open a cold one, and enjoy July’s offerings.
At work, Isaiah Owens splits his time between tending to the living and the dead. As tells his story in Christine Turner’s terrific documentary Homegoings, this funeral director—who knew what he wanted to be since he was a boy—brings you along, the camera close as he shares memories with survivors, helps them make arrangements, and then takes care of their loved ones, tenderly and compassionately. Bent over a corpse, his figure obscures your view. He wears blue medical gloves, as he injects “liquid tissue,” which he describes as “probably a first cousin to Botox,” one of many literal and metaphorical connections he draws between living and dead bodies. This lady is 98 years old, he observes, adding, “I’m going to need some Crazy Glue.” Later scenes of Isaiah at work show more, a face being made up, fingers being arranged, watery-red fluid swirling beneath a body toward a drain.