Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 108: Sat Apr 18

Network (Lumet, 1976): Cinema Museum, 7pm

Here is the Cinema Museum introduction to tonight's entertainment:
Kinima Film Club are excited to be back at the Cinema Museum for their fourth evening of fiction, frolics, food, fancy… and fun! With roots in the music hall tradition of the 1850s, the classic variety show grew into something new and exciting with the advent of cinema – a mix of live performance and moving pictures. Kinima’s aim is to recapture the early wonders of cinema by turning the limelight on a fusion of variety acts and genre defining films. Your Saturday night movie treat is a 35mm screening of Sidney Lumet’s Network. Boasting a killer screenplay which rightfully earned Paddy Chayefsky an Oscar, the film has been described as “an outrageous satire ... brilliantly, cruelly funny” and “a messianic farce”. Lumet constructs a superb, dark critique of lurid television journalism, where entertainment value and short-term ratings are paramount. Its ruthless deconstruction of the media machine is no less prescient four decades later.

Chicago Reader review:
Good campy fun from the combined talents of Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet; Chayefsky was apparently serious about much of this shrill, self-important 1976 satire about television, interlaced with bile about radicals and pushy career women, and so were some critics at the time. Peter Finch, in his last performance, effectively plays a network news commentator who blows his top and his mind on the air and quickly becomes a self-styled messiah; William Holden plays the wizened TV executive who has the Truth, which pushy, nihilistic program director Faye Dunaway wants; and Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty, and Beatrice Straight are around for comparably juicy hyperbole.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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