Ellection

Alexander Payne‘s Election is one of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve seen it too many times to count, but even I never noticed this awesome easter egg that Payne had his property department create for the film.

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One of my favorite films of the 1990′s is Alexander Payne‘s brilliant dark comedy Election starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon.

For those of you who haven’t seen the film, Broderick stars as a high school civics teacher named Jim McAllister who will not let the school’s annoying overachieving honor student Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) run unopposed for student body president. He convinces popular varsity football player Paul Metzler (a breakout performance from Chris Klein) to run for president as well, and anything and everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. While the film did well critically (Witherspoon’s performance was voted the 45th Greatest Movie Performances of All Time by Premiere Magazine, and the film was ranked at #9 on Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Best High School Movies) and was even nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, I run into a lot of film fanatics who have never seen this film (if you’re a member of this group, I strongly encourage you to rent or buy it).

I’ve watched the film countless times, and have even seen the movie three times on the big screen. I was surprised to learn that the film’s ending was not what was originally intended/written/filmed. The DVD release of the movie contains no deleted ending, and in doing research for this post, I couldn’t even find a reference to an alternate ending for this movie anywhere on the web. But it exists — /Film reader John G sent me a link to the six-minute original ending sequence, which had been recently uploaded to YouTube. This footage was reportedly discovered on an unlabeled VHS tape containing an early work print of the film, sold at a local flea market. Watch the sequence embedded after the jump.

Note: If it isn’t already obvious, its probably not worth watching unless you’ve seen the movie (and yes, spoilers).
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Movie Playlist: Nanette Burstein

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.

Nanette Burstein is the Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker behind On The Ropes and The Kid Stays in the Picture. Her latest film American Teen follows five high school students through their senior year. I hate to oversell the movie, but it’s literally one of my favorite films of the year.

Nanette Burstein: There are certain directors whose films, I could just watch them endlessly. Alexander Paine, I’m a huge fan of.

Peter Sciretta: You know, I saw a lot of like Election in American Teen…

Nanette Burstein: Yes, Election definitely influenced this film… Like the shots of the kids when you hear their voiceovers and they’re on the bed, I totally took that from Election. There was the night before election where there’s all these dolly shots into all the main characters and their thoughts and like they’re all crane…

Peter Sciretta: It was like those crane shots.

Nanette Burstein: Yeah, those shots are amazing, and that’s what inspired me to do that.

Nanette Burstein: There’s definitely different homages in this film, like Garden State which I love there’s this scene when Hannah goes to the party and she’s alienated and the way I cut that scene was completely influenced by that scene in Garden State where he’s alienated at the party.

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