23 Mar Presidential home movies
The Watergate scandal really began to unravel with the discovery that President Nixon had secretly tape recorded most of what happened in the Oval Office. Forgotten, until now, was that the FBI also confiscated 204 reels of Super-8 film—home movies, shot inside the White, by the likes of H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and other officials.
Filmmakers Brian L. Frye and Penny Lane are turning this amateur footage into a feature-length documentary. They have prepared a trailer as part of a Kickstarter promotion to raise production money for the project:
They filmed the pivotal and the prosaic, from Nixon’s historic meeting with Mao to the bathroom fixtures in the Forbidden City. They filmed White House performances by Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Cash and Raquel Welch, the historic 1971 May Day Protests against the Vietnam War on the National Mall, and Tricia Nixon’s Rose Garden wedding. But mostly, they filmed each other: Higby standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and waving at the camera, Chapin and Kissinger clowning around at the beach, and a hummingbird sipping nectar from a feeder. Ehrlichman was quite fond of hummingbirds.