x
schencka
_Good Night, and Good Luck._
Tags: politics
I watched the film last night.

Strathairn's performance is a wonder, and I was pleasantly surprised by George Clooney's directorial acumen. The scenes lead one to the other, and all are simple and accessible, never too long, and the bookending of the film with a later Edward R. Murrow speech on the future of television seemed triply effective and apposite.

The representation of American television life in the 1950s was brilliant, no doubt made possible by Clooney's history as a broadcaster's son. (On that note, I'm amazed by the huge media sector of Southern California: almost all of this guy's many children work in "entertainment.") And the political content of the film is literary in nature, not disrespectful to the intelligence of the audience.

Clooney's commentary on the film, which I listened a bit to, was a little too self-congratulatory for me, but it was illuminating to see how he picked the old footage and the directly-from-the-transcripts quotes to use. Further, the light elements of place and setting in the film, like the "you can't be married to a co-worker and work here" subplot, and the incessant smoking, and the suicide of the other CBS reporter guy, all offered just enough sense of place that the $7.5 million budget couldn't offer in any other way, other than letting good actors (like Robert Downey, Jr.) do their work.

All in all, this film is an argument for an American political grayspace, spoken best by Clooney, who says in the commentary something like, "All debates become debates about the Constitution; that's why it's such a brilliant document."

So, don't kill all the lawyers, Shakespeare.
--adam
 
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