April 14, 2003
MarkBernstein.org
 
Follow me on Twitter

Network

Everyone remembers "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Ebert, interestingly, chooses Network among his 100 great movies. (I'm slowly and unsystematically revisiting these, but it's a daunting project)

One remarkable aspect of this 1976 Hollywood movie is that it is an allegory, its characters know that they are symbols, and in the end the allegory leaks into real life to drive the action. "You are television," Max tells Diana as he leaves her. "There's nothing left in you I can live with."

I'm reminded of the Doonesbury cartoons about the infant Vietnamese refugee being flown to her adoptive parents in the USA. "You'd better not hurt me", the infant thinks, "I'm a symbol!" Meanwhile, Norwegian 6-year-olds are playing Americans and Iraqis.