The Man Who Said NO


(Requires Quicktime Player)
1983, 99 minutes. Produced, directed, photographed, and edited by Gary Conklin.

In 1982, Gore Vidal, one of America's greatest writers, challenged the American political establishment, and Jerry Brown, in his campaign for the California United States Senate seat.

"The film consists almost entirely of Vidal's speaking engagements and his man on the street dialogues. It is sprinkled with Vidal's witticisms, but shows him to have been a thoroughly serious candidate and highly effective in communicating with people. When he says he is running for office 'out of frustration and rage' you believe him. And when he describes current economic policies as 'socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor,' you understand how he could say, “I'm death to the liberals. The wine and cheese set? No way."
-Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

"In the name of tribal loyalty, sometimes called patriotism, the human race has committed incredible atrocities against itself. We invent slogans, ' Better Dead than Red,' when no one has to be either, and we apply these to the death. In the name of this or that political system, in the name of this or that religion, we have shed oceans of blood to no end at all."

"Not since My Dinner With Andre has the power of the spoken word on film seemed to me so effective and enthralling. It is such a great intellectual fix to hear and see a man with such mastery of the English language, frolic with its potential for nuance, wit, and metaphor.” - LA Weekly
"What I am is something unbearable, particularly to the world of journalism and the world of clichés, I am a realist…Now when I say that the American political system is totally corrupt, I'm perfectly willing to sit down and prove how it is. I go into it endlessly, I show how it has been corrupted by the vast amounts of money that are given to politicians…I can explain and explain and explain. 'Oh, he's just so cynical,' Well this is because it's part of the brainwashing. Obviously, if you want to keep the system the way it is, you must see to it that anyone who is realistic, who draws attention to the illness, to the corruption must be discredited. So, 'He’s cynical, he's a bad person. If he was a good person, he would love what we've done to America.'"
© 2003, Film Copyright 1983 - All Rights Reserved