Sa­man­tha Army­tage

be­lieves you’re get­ting on when you start binge­ing on his­tor­i­cal films.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Sa­man­tha co-hosts Sun­rise, 5.30am week­days, on the Seven Net­work.

Last month I flew to London to wit­ness an his­tor­i­cal event: the join­ing of two great last-cen­tury su­per­pow­ers, the United States and Great Bri­tain. AKA the royal wed­ding.

And those 23 hours trapped in an alu­minium tube in the sky should give a shift­worker plenty of time to catch up on sleep. But if you’re a noc­tur­nal crea­ture like me, it gives s you a lot of time to catch up on movies.

I had in­ten­tions of watch­ing the arty ones, the niche-ap­peal -ap­peal films I’d never dream of f ac­tu­ally part­ing with $21 to watch on a rainy Fri­day night at the cin­ema. But in­stead I found my­self binge­ing on his­tor­i­cal dra­mas. Po­lit­i­cal-his­tor­i­cal dra­mas, to be more pre­cise. cise.

You know you’re get­ting ing old when you start lis­ten­ing g to talk­back ra­dio and watch­ing ching po­lit­i­cal-his­tor­i­cal dra­mas. mas.

This shouldn’t be a sur­prise – as I was the 19-year-old who se­lected d a univer­sity mi­nor in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, while e all my friends chose mar­ket­ing et­ing or PR (be­cause it was only nly 13 hours of tu­to­ri­als per week). eek).

But I love his­tory and d for some strange rea­son, I love pol­i­tics. ol­i­tics. And I make my liv­ing from the he me­dia so I in­dulged in three such movies in a row (which only left me about 14 hours of non-screen think­ing time… ugh). The first was The Post: the merg­ing of my two favourite top­ics – a re­bel­lious, pro­tag­o­nist press (al­ways the good guys – ha, ha) tak­ing on crooked politi­cians (Nixon!) de­liv­ered by the fab­u­lous Meryl Streep/tom Hanks combo. Fol­lowed by LBJ, a be­hindthe-scene the-scenes look at the man who took over af­ter the Kennedy as­sas­si­na­tion: the old “work horse” politi­cian Lyn­don B Johnson (con­fus­ingly played by Woody Har­rel­son) tak­ing the reins from the young “show pony” (LBJ’S words, not mine) Pres­i­dent Kennedy. And my movie chaser, Darke Dark­est Hour, a grip­ping look at my beloved Win­ston Churchill in the May of 1940. The themes were ob­vi­ous: pow­er­ful, bril­liant, ter­ri­bly flawed men, driven by ego and in­ner de­mons at some of the great cross­roads of his­tory. They were far from per­fect (who of us are?) but their ac­tions changed the world for bet­ter or worse and led the them to leg­endary sta­tus. It got me think­ing about our present world wo lead­ers. Sure, they are all still se­ri­ously flawed and ego-driven and wag­ing wars… But where’s the bril­liance? And Obama aside, where are all the great or­a­tors?

It’s been a bit thin on the ground re­cently, like the past 30 years or so. And I’m not go­ing to state the ob­vi­ous. Oh, OK, I will. Trump. It’s ac­tu­ally get­ting bor­ing to bag the man these days (and you know I loathe a pile on).

But, hon­estly, who could be sur­prised that the coun­try that gave us The Kar­dashi­ans has now de­liv­ered us a re­al­ity Tv-star Pres­i­dent?

It all just seems so not sexy. Can we have less of the “lit­tle rocket man” jibes – and more of the “you can­not rea­son with a tiger when your head is in its mouth”? Let’s tone down the “Medis­care” mocking – and ramp up a bit of the “Ask not what your coun­try can do for you…”

I’m not sure what we world cit­i­zens need to do to achieve a bet­ter style and stan­dard of lead­er­ship, but I worry for the future film in­dus­try. What will be their fod­der? (And please, no more Fast And Fu­ri­ous movies!)

But in the im­mor­tal words of Churchill: “If you’re go­ing through hell, keep go­ing.”

“I love his­tory and for some strange rea­son, I love pol­i­tics”

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