POTUS Fest: Cinema in Chief

This Sunday, October 25 the Houston Film Critics Society invites you to join them for POTUS Fest: Cinema in Chief, a virtual salute to films about US Presidents and the election process.  

To take part in the free event, first, go to the website www.HoustonFilmCritics.com now and check out various HFCS members’ reviews and comments on films with presidential storylines.  Participating members chose these films for the ways in which they enhance understanding of what it takes to lead the United States. Then on Sunday at 3:00 PM CST, join a lively Zoom discussion moderated by three members of the Houston Film Critics Society who will take questions from their online audience.  The Zoom discussion is a free event but you do need to reserve a ticket on EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/houston-film-critics-potus-forum-tickets-122714058051

Do you have a favorite cinema president?  According to several polls, Harrison Ford’s portrayal of President James Marshall in Air Force One (1997) is a crowd favorite as the Commander in Chief battles Russian terrorists.  When Ford delivers the line “Get off my plane” he does it with so much conviction that you can’t help but stand up and cheer, it doesn’t hurt that he also sounds a bit like Han Solo. 

Let’s not forget about Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore in Independence Day (1996).  As humanity faces extinction at the hands of unfriendly extraterrestrials, Whitmore delivers the ultimate pep talk to the troops “We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence Day!” 

On the HFCS website, you can watch trailers and read commentary by several critics including Donna Copeland (Texas Art & Film) who examines Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln with Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role.  Variety’s Joe Leydon sinks his teeth into 2000’s Thirteen Days about the Cuban Missile Crisis with Kevin Costner as White House advisor Kenny O’Donnell and Bruce Greenwood as JFK, while Lisa Wellington (Reel Happiness) writes about the romantic comedy Dave (1993) starring Kevin Kline as the President and Sigourney Weaver as the First Lady.  The film was directed by Ivan Reitman who brought us the beloved classics Ghostbusters, Stripes, and Twins.  You’ll notice underneath each title discussed by the HFCS members, a list of sites where you can stream or rent the various films.    

With the Presidential Election right around the corner, POTUS Fest: Cinema in Chief, is a fun and timely event and it’s absolutely free (tax-deductible donations are also welcomed.). Do I have a favorite cinema President?  Yes, in fact several.  Being the odd one out in the HFCS, I’d have to go with Donald Pleasence in Escape From New York.  Sure, the film is all about Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, but Pleasence is entertaining to watch especially because he’s still playing Dr. Samuel Loomis from Halloween and then there’s the quote, “Y-You are the... Duke of New... New York. You're A-Number One.”   

About the Houston Film Critics Society: The members of the Houston Film Critics Society are working film journalists on television, radio, online, and in traditional print. Together, they reach millions of people each week across the United States with their critiques and commentaries on film. The organization’s mission is to promote the advancement and appreciation of film in the Houston community and beyond. For additional information and a list of members, visit www.HoustonFilmCritics.com.

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Joe Friar is a member of the Critics Choice Association (Los Angeles) and the Houston Film Critics Society. A lifelong fan of cinema, he co-founded the Victoria Film Society, Frels Fright Fest, and is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic. 

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Joe Friar is a member of the Critics Choice Association (Los Angeles) and the Houston Film Critics Society. A lifelong fan of cinema, he co-founded the Victoria Film Society, Frels Fright Fest, and is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.

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