Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I finally got around to seeing this movie. Glad I did, although I should have seen it years ago. I knew the speech that contains the quote "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it any more!" came from this movie - just about every talk show ever seems to have used this sample, but I still dragged my feet. I checked out a VHS copy from one of the local libs and watched it. I see one of them has a DVD version, I may have to see what that's like, as the VHS version was pan-and-scan.

Anyway, it's amazing just how much this movie predicts. It predicts the demise of real news reporting as it plunges into cartoony showbusiness, ala Fox News. It predicts reality television. It predicts the mergers. It even seems to be poking fun of shows like the O'Reilly Factor, since the show on there purports to be for the little guy, but serves the corporate masters. It also comments on globalization, and how there are no more nations anymore, etc. Some of the "predictions" may have been tongue-in-cheek and not really meant as predictions at all, but when you really reflect on television in the 70's vs. the current state, it's amazing how this message in this movie would be received differently if it was remade vs. how it was probably received in the 70's.

The extramarital affair plot seemed to be rather unnecessary, if only to have a character tell another (the younger one, of the TV generation) how desensitized she (and by association, all of her generation) is, and at times, it feels this movie meanders, but given how longs it's been, this movie stands up amazingly well.

A film I was reminded of by this one was Videodrome, which is equally cynical and comments on many of the same things: desensitization, corruption, etc., when it comes to media. It also predicts reality television, although Videodrome's vision of that is much more on the dark side, and not so much dark comedy like this is - Network has "communist" rebels quibbling over their contracts.

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