Scene in D.C. is our new series highlighting film and television shot in the District.
Over the decades, seminal films and television have helped define how Washington functions. All the Kings’s Men is a hallmark of the genre, capturing the White House’s institutional corruption, while The West Wing tried to posit our capital as a beacon of liberal idealism. Nowadays Veep is arguably the most accurate show about D.C.: its characters are self-serving narcissists, and their only connection to humanity is their misanthropy or the joy of a cutting one-liner. A few years before Veep, however, Armando Iannucci laid the groundwork for his D.C. vision with In the Loop, a blistering comedy where one minor faux pas almost leads to another ill-advised Middle East conflict. Escalating foreign policy notwithstanding, the asides are where the film finds is hardened, caustic soul. In point of fact, there is a moment where the American politico Liza (Anna Chlumsky) takes her British equivalent Toby (Chris Addison) to a Pig Destroyer show at The Black Cat’s back stage. The following line happens, with Liza wearing earplugs:
You see those guys? The mosh pit? House staffers, Senators’ interns, most of them are half-man, half-PDF file. Tonight they rage hard. Tomorrow they go back to the hill and argue noise reduction legislation.
This sums up a small, undeniably noticeable cohort of twenty-somethings in our fair city. It’s a great scene – sadly not available on YouTube – although it’s slightly undermined with some confusing geography a moment later. Here’s Toby, nursing an all too familiar hangover: