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Movies and Politics Collide in High-Profile Season

1 Feb, 2004 By: Kurt Indvik

The timing of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary bumping right into the Golden Globes and the Academy Award nominations couldn't have been better.

In our celebrity-inebriated society, the only thing that captivates our attention more than preening movie stars on the red carpet are politicians throwing sound bites and barbs at each other in the run up to their own party nomination.

And this year, both are colliding together in a compressed period of time that must be causing delirium among those that happen to be both movie fans and poiliticos.

Other than Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent coup as the new California governor, I am not sure there has been too much on the political front for home video retailers to take advantage of. But the current electoral process sweeping the country, I think, offers some real opportunity.

Perhaps an endcap featuring a selection of political films might be just the thing. I have polled my colleagues here at Video Store Magazine, and, sure enough, there's a decent-sized list of movies (not to mention documentaries) you could use for your promotion.

Consider The Candidate, Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, All the President's Men, The American President, Dave, My Fellow Americans, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and the list goes on.

Keep an eye open as to when your state's primary election takes place, and make sure you're prepared.

But even as compressed as the political primary season seems to be getting, video retailers now have an even more compressed entertainment awards season to take full (and hasty) advantage of. The Golden Globes were still safely tucked under the pillows of the lucky winners who received them Jan. 24 before the Oscar nominations hit the public full force last week in an accelerated run up to the big awards show Feb. 29. And squeezing in between there with its own awards is the Screen Actors Guild, which will hand out its hardware Feb. 22.

At no time during the year are movies as a general topic of discussion as high on everyone's minds as right now, and historically, home video retailers have been aggressive in mining that awareness for not only the films nominated this year that are already on video, but past award winners as well.

As you'll see in this week's issue, we have several stories and charts on who has won or been nominated for what, and which titles are in stores now or shortly to arrive.

As with everything else in our increasingly time-compressed society, home video suppliers know they have even less time today to take advantage of the moment before it gets drowned out by the next media blitz that turns consumers' heads.

Studios, as well, will move fast on select winning or nominated titles that can get a big bounce on home video from their moment in the sun. Because the next set of primaries is always just around the corner.

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