The Movie that Predicted Trump: A Face in the Crowd

Presented by JFI Next Wave in glorious 35mm, director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg's masterpiece A Face in the Crowd remains a darkly relevant and comic satire about the corrosive influence of celebrity and mass media on public opinion.

When philosophical country/western singer Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes (Andy Griffith) is "discovered" in the local lock-up by television talent coordinator Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), she decides that Rhodes deserves a guest appearance on a TV variety show. The gangly, overly humble Rhodes is an instant sensation and he quickly ascends toward superstardom -- attracting fans, sponsors and endorsement deals -- until he is the most powerful and influential entertainer on the airwaves. Beloved by his public audience, they would never believe that he has turned into a scheming, power-hungry manipulator with Machiavellian political aspirations. Sound familiar?

If you're looking for answers on where we go from here, this film is for you.

Major media support provided by the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate.

Following the film, stay for a panel discussion hosted by Stuart Schuffman (a.k.a. Broke-Ass Stuart) with: Hillary Ronen, San Francisco District 9 Supervisor; Rick Goldsmith, Academy-Award nominated filmmaker; Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle columnist.

Stuart Schuffman, popularly known as Broke-ass Stuart, is a contemporary American travel writer and blogger known for his guide book Broke-Ass Stuart's Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco, of which he released two versions in zine form and one in book form. His travel documentary television series Young, Broke & Beautiful debuted in June 2011 on IFC.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen was born in California and has worked and lived in District 9 for more than thirteen years. She has spent her career working to build an affordable future for her neighbors in Bernal Heights, the Mission, and the Portola.

Rick Goldsmith is a renowned Bay Area documentary filmmaker, known for The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009), Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press (1996) and Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw (2015).

Heather Knight has worked for the San Francisco Chronicle since 1999 and has covered the San Francisco political scene out of The Chronicle's City Hall bureau since 2006. She writes the paper's On San Francisco column, covering everything from politics to homelessness to family flight and the quirks of living in the best city in the world. She believes in holding politicians accountable for their decisions or, often, lack thereof - and telling the stories of real people and their struggles. 

Support for JFI Next Wave is graciously provided by The Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund and The Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation.

Related Events

June 07, 2018 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
July 19, 2018 - August 05, 2018


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Warner Bros. Pictures