No Future: Election
“Alexander Payne’s scabrous yet mournful satire…presages with eerie clarity the political fortunes and plunging public morale of early twenty-first-century America” — Dana Stevens, CRITERION
NO FUTURE kicks off primary season early with a twenty year anniversary screening of ELECTION, Alexander Payne’s prescient satire of student electoral politics. Reese Witherspoon transitioned from promising newcomer to bona fide star with her fiercely funny comic turn as Tracy Flick, an overachieving high school senior whose plans for an unopposed cakewalk to the student council presidency are thwarted when her hostile social studies teacher (Matthew Broderick) props up his own populist candidate in the form of a sweet but intellectually lightweight jock (Chris Klein).
While “Tracy Flick” has since become a shorthand for female politicians deemed unlikeable and uncanny due to their supposedly boundless ambition, Tracy is only a villain in the eyes of her teacher, whose bland nice guy exterior belies his toxic male entitlement. Unlike a lot of political comedies, ELECTION has help up pretty well in the #metoo era. That’s thanks in part to Witherspoon’s indomitable performance and Broderick’s wormy take on a square, aging Ferris Bueller, as well as its smart commentary on the lengths to which mediocre men will go to vilify the exceptional young women who both intrigue and frighten them. Pick Flick!
Content warning: The first few minutes of the film make detailed reference to a high school teacher’s statutory rape of a teenaged student, and may be upsetting to some viewers.
Pre-show: 7:30 pm / Film: 8 pm