Sunday, September 14, 2008

Video - Network - The Forces of Nature

This scene is arguably the finest moment in Network. Ned Beatty earned an Academy Award nomination for this great speech, as the head of the network conglomerate who lays into Howard Beale the corporatist nature of the world. Here is another scene you should have memorized word for word.

This clip also includes the next scene, which I also think is vitally important. Depressing, yes. Paddy Chayefski mourns the death of the individual, of democracy itself. Mass communication and the corporate control of television has reduced humanity to numbers, to replaceable parts. I think he was also peering into the future, of where the trends of the mid-1970s would lead. Perhaps audiences back then could laugh at the absurdity. I don't think many of us could laugh today. The truth cuts too deeply for anyone to laugh.

These two scenes speak more intimately to America in the turn of the 21st Century than any movie in my lifetime. It is especially important as our Presidential campaign dives deeper and deeper into unreality, into absurdity. The news has been banished from the news.

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