David Xu debuts visionary redneck art film | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

David Xu debuts visionary redneck art film

A series where we review Pa. political ads as if they were movies

Occasionally, a piece of art comes along that’s so blinding in its vision, so far ahead of its time, that all you can do is sit back and marvel. Such is the case with David Xu for U.S. Senate’s self-titled debut.

From the moment the Republican candidate appears on the screen, proudly perched in his tractor, clad in an outfit that lets you know he either just has or is about to kill at least two small animals, we know that Xu has a directorial style. (Note: I do not have any proof that he directed this himself, but if I had to bet my savings on just one thing, it’s that Xu put this together, looked at the final “cut,” and said, “Oh yeah, this is the one.”)

Xu wastes no time. While other campaigns might be interested in things like “camera quality” or “editing” or “proper sound quality,” we have a filmmaker here only interested in one thing: Truth. Or his version of it, at least. Think of him as the redneck Godard (this isn’t a slur, by the way, as he describes himself as the “redneck candidate.”)


“We want to get back to the limited government promised by our Constitution. Let’s stop socialism and communism now.” This is his opening, his artistic manifesto. Then, in a bold stroke, he cuts without any sort of coherence whatsoever, to him in the exact same spot, but, like, six inches to the other side. It’s called art, people. Look it up.

“America doesn’t have a big racist problem. We have a problem with criminal activity. Let’s arrest all the criminals.” Who needs specifics when you have vision? Another cut to nothing.

“We need normal, common people in Congress, like me. Veterans, who believe and love the Constitution.” Another cut, this time to him in the tractor, but a wide angle. We’re playing with fire now.

Then, just like that, he’s gone. As soon as he launches onto our YouTube screens (and by “our,” I primarily mean “me”; I think I account for seven of the video’s 30 views), he disappears. Off he goes on his tractor. To where, you might ask? We’ll probably never know. But we do know that he’s put his stamp on political advertising history, in 30 glorious seconds.

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