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Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki to Release New Documentary, The King

In his new film, The King, acclaimed director Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight and Freakonomics) takes a road-trip through wild America in Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce to document where exactly it all went wrong. Elvis Presley is a symbol of the American Dream, a notion that Horatio Alger propagated in the 19th century, and which was satirized by Hunter S. Thompson in the 20th century. However, unlike Thompson, Jarecki doesn’t argue that the American Dream is dead; but that it was never alive in the first place. Unlike Alger’s vision of the USA, Jarecki’s is a bleak one, suggesting that none of us really had any chance at all at the American Dream because happiness blinded us to the truth.

On the surface, The King is essentially a disjointed biography of one the 20th century’s most prolific and iconic singers. The music, the teary-eyed fans lining up to see his concerts and the legacy he left behind. Look a little deeper and we see all that is just a façade. Sound familiar? The Guardian in their review detail how Jarecki uses Elvis Presley’s career, his highs and his lows, to explain fame, power, self-destructive behavior, and pretty much all the ills of the world. It is also a metaphor for America and Jarecki brilliantly uses Elvis, and his controversial life, to present the profound problems in America, then and today. Most notably, questioning why poor America voted for Trump in the first place?

Jarecki is no stranger to political controversy and has always been passionate about the factors that guide America. Elvis Presley grew up dirt poor in rural America in Tupelo, Mississippi. He moved to Memphis, immersed himself in the gospel, jazz and R&B of black America, mixed what he knew of country and bluegrass into it, and the rest, as they say, is history. Elvis changed the face of popular culture and music like no artist had done before. While many, like Chuck D, who is featured in the film, saw it as blatant cultural appropriation, others applauded him for the exposure he gave black artists, at a time when black music was denied mainstream radio and television airtime.

So, was he wrong to do what he did? Does that make him a bad guy? Well, is America bad? His story is a classic rags to riches American dream tale. Yet this story, like America’s, doesn’t have a happy ending. Trump is the embodiment of all that killed Elvis Presley, argues Jarecki. Trump is the fat Elvis that drops dead on the toilet at 42. Jarecki goes on to say that Trump represents the embodiment of all that he wishes Presley would have escaped from, and an allegory for money and power that has blinded the American public. The film features cameos and interviews with Alec Baldwin, Emmylou Harris, Billie Holiday, Chuck D and Dan Rather among many others, who lend their own perspective on The King.

In his film Jarecki shows how Elvis Presley embodied America to many people. To get a sense of how important a figure he is in American culture, you only have to see how he is still put on a pedestal to this day. Like all great pop culture icons there is no place that Elvis can’t be found. While he was alive he dominated the music, film, and live entertainment industries. Through each generation he has been a constant presence with board games like Elvis: The Game pushing Elvis as the symbol of America. Today he can be found on platforms that weren’t even conceived when he was alive. FoxyCasino’s ‘Elvis: The King Lives’ is an online slot game that continues the legend of the great American entertainer for modern audiences, many of whom who were not around when he was still performing. It is exactly this constant effort to link Elvis with the American dream that Jarecki peels back in his documentary. Elvis’ legacy created generations of teary eyed fans who failed to understand the fallacy of fame and fortune; that it’s just a veil drawn over our eyes to distract us from the real world.

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About Masked Avenger

CEO/Webmaster of soreelflix.com. The Name Is James and I love Film ranging from Silent 20's to highly CGI Blockbusters of today. Westerns, Horror, world film, basically anything that peaks my interest I own it But Asian Films are what I Prize the most and Half of My collection Consists of Asian Films. Thanks to the Film 5 Deadly Venoms

I Hail From The US, Maryland Is where The Ninja Studies and views the Scrolls of Film That Shine on his 46" Screen. I own a sword, I can do a thousand upside down situps, and I randomly disappear in smoke when I'm not writing movie news and or reviews.

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