Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who’s still currently vying for the top spot over Joe Biden in the ongoing primaries, is a cinephile, it turns out. As revealed in a recent New York Times profile of the Vermont Senator, his viewing habits are perfectly in line with the climate of the current moment -- including the plummet of Wall Street and the global panic incited by the coronavirus.
“Even his amusements seem to be in character. He uses an iPad (not a phone) to devour social media and news, and loves to watch old boxing matches and movies like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Melancholia,’ a 2011 dystopian drama that ends with the obliteration of the Earth. He sings along, tunelessly, with 1960s and 1970s folk rock on car radios, takes long walks with his wife and adores his grandchildren,” the New York Times piece reads.
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As Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is about the upstart fraudster Jordan Belfort and his rise to corrupt financial power, and Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” is a grimly beautiful vision of the end of the world as we know it, these picks seem apropos for Sanders, who’s maybe trying to tell us something through the movies he’s watching.
The current president, as we learned after the Academy Awards last month, is arguably less of a discerning moviegoer, as he trashed South Korea’s Best Picture winner “Parasite” and pined for the days of movies like “Gone With the Wind” sweeping Hollywood’s awards ceremony. Prior president Barack Obama, meanwhile, is an outspoken lover of movies and TV, annually sharing his best of the year lists via social media. On his 2019 list of the year’s best films and shows, he cited films like “Little Women,” “Parasite,” and “Marriage Story,” plus smaller gems like “Diane” and “Transit,” as well as TV shows including “Fleabag,” “Unbelievable,” and “Watchmen.”
“Melancholia” is currently streaming free on Vudu, and it’s a perfect parable for the end times, with the planet ending in glorious ruin. Scorsese’s epic “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which just gets more prescient by the day, is streaming on Hulu.
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