The best sentence I read today

by on July 5, 2006 at 9:02 pm in Film | Permalink

I’d like to see a film suggesting that you can be the boss without giving up your intellectual ideals, and that the alternative — rejecting power — has its corruptions, too.

That is David Denby, from the July 10 and 17 The New Yorker.

1 Jor July 5, 2006 at 9:46 pm

I’d settle for something that at least wasn’t so black-and-white about it. Or at least something that discusses comprimising pie-in-the-sky ideals with pramaticism.

2 Constant July 6, 2006 at 5:48 am

That comment more or less describes the reaction I had to the movie The Devil Wears Prada, which I just saw this weekend.

3 Constant July 6, 2006 at 6:31 am

“we in the West have the power to dramatically improve the lives of people in undeveloped parts of the world”

By toppling their governments, I presume, seeing as the problem is governmental.

4 Dan July 6, 2006 at 2:56 pm

I dunno about movies, but two novels that might be of interest in
this discussion are American Pastoral, in which Philip Roth addresses
Denby’s point in the context of a glove manufacturer, and Turn of the
Century, in which Kurt Andersen gives a really good portrait of a
boss–in this case a woman boss–who tries hard to maintain her ideals.
Both terrific books.

5 mickslam July 7, 2006 at 3:57 pm

It would be great, but unlikely. Most writers in Hollywood are pretty liberal, in part because they’ve been exposed to a ‘winner take all’ style economic system where small differences in talent or luck result in wildly different economic outcomes. Plus, the lame job to support the career is stuff of cliche, so their experiences with bosses are probably a little different than mine or yours.

If you doubt my take on this, look no further than M. Night for a guy who essentially gets lucky and writes one good movie, and now is able to make movie after movie. Think about writing a few pretty good screenplays that don’t get picked up and seeing ‘The Village’ – you would be pissed and morose, and your boss at that lame job would seem all the more the jackass.

I have a good friend who has a very good friend who happened to become one of the male stars of a little sitcom called ‘Friends’. The ‘friends’ star is extremely talented, no doubt, but my friend is very talented too. You can tell by the rave reviews and sold out shows for her work. But her income isn’t even 1/100 of his.

Not really complaining about that, but living with that specter must impact your writing. I don’t think her story is unique – its essentially a product of the system.

Add in the natural tendency for writers to be liberal in the first place, the general resentment to bosses from anyone, and the current relyance of hollywood to create characters by their place in society rather than behavior or language, and volia, the boss is a lame cardboard character.

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