Blog: David Robbins: Casino Jack and The United States of Money

Posted in Blog on January 25, 2010

World Premiere, Sundance Film Festival, 2010

There was an anticipation you could feel in the air of the Temple Theater on Saturday evening, due in large part to the first screening of Casino Jack, directed by the award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney. The house was packed, and included some notable people such as Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, as well as several doc directors anxious to see Alex’s new work. Alex has a great knack for telling a complex story in engaging ways and defining the narrative. He also has a great musical sense that made my job of scoring the film (45 minutes-worth) a much less daunting task.

The audience seemed to pay rapt attention throughout the two-hour film, digesting the intricate story of Jack Abramoff, super-lobbyist in Washington DC, and the incredible web of deceit, corruption and fraud that ensnared and implicated many powerful DC politicians, including disgraced Senator Tom Delay. Jack is serving a jail sentence, while Delay and Bob Ney both resigned from their seats on Capitol Hill. One of the highlights of the evening occurred when Bob Ney joined Alex to field questions during the talkback: Ney voiced startling admissions of complicity in the affairs that the film explains. Beyond that, Ney even volunteered that the only way to prevent these types of corruption is with rigorous campaign financing reform – this from a Republican.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, as did most of the attendees and the many other people involved in the production, and I thank Alex Gibney for the opportunity to create music for his film.

When everyone’s happy, it makes for a good night.


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