Let's all go to the lobby. Let's all go to the lobby. The lobby Hello and welcome to movies versus capitalism and anti capitalist movie Podcast. I'm Frank Capello and I am Rifka Rivera. servco. We're gonna be doing a special episode next week we will be doing. I'm saying this to you like as if you don't already know this. Now this is actually this is directed towards the I was ready
to play along. I was is that the script?
I'm sorry, I stole an acting opportunity from you. I'll make it up to you. And that's what we're gonna talk about it. But next week, we're gonna be doing a mailbag episode. So if you have any questions for us, it could be about anything could be about movies could be about politics could be about anything. You can email us at movies vs. email@example.com. That's movies versus capitalism. Or you can DM us on Instagram. And so next week, we'll be answering your questions. So send them in, you only have a short amount of time. Do it now. Do it now. But we have what's up. So we're now a week after the sag deal, or about a week and a half after the sag deal has been reached. And we now have learned more about these contracts. Yeah, I actually haven't dug into this too much. But you have been Yeah,
I actually my dad was in town. And we had like, we were like all gonna have dinner. We ended up just watching this, which thankfully they were in two because it was in fact three and a half hours and but it was riveting. I do recommend if you're into unions and stuff like like, I think even for non like they're doing informational meetings. So this is Sachs informational meeting, okay, about the contract. So yes, as you set up, basically in the next few weeks, our members which are 100 360,000 sag members are going to vote either yes or no to ratify this new contract. And this deal was approved with an 86% vote by the unions, board members. So almost everyone but not everyone, and there's a few really vocal and important dissenting board members, and also just some vocal members who kind of been such as Justine Bateman, who's a filmmaker. And also sister too.
Yeah, Jason Bateman. Yeah, they are siblings. Anyways,
just see Bateman has been making some really important points and is also has a background in computer science. So not everybody was was been fully on board with this. But it was important. You know, I start at sag AFTRA members are starting to get more information, there is an 18 Page deal summary available for members to read. And these informational sessions however, a really important thing to know is that the actual deal is not available for us to read. The reason that Duncan Crabtree Ireland, he's like the one who's kind of he fielded all the questions, and he's been one of the leads on making the deal with Fran Drescher. Anyways, their point about why we don't have the whole contract to read is a it's not ready. Even though the WGA was able to read it, that it's going to be very long and it is not ready the good faith reading of this. I heard from that I've heard from some actors, because there's lots of feelings happening. The good faith reading I heard is like, okay, maybe the the legal team is really doing due diligence to hopefully make sure all of the language there's so much in there, there's like so much that they're trying to get. And I think a point that Crabtree kept making was that we had nothing going into this, it was a total blank page when it came to AI. So at least now we have something because without anything, it's like nearly impossible to litigate any kind of issues with AI. Okay, that's the good faith stuff, right? Going into this. That's what they kept saying, I gotta tell you, I told you this is this informational session I watched was three and a half hours. I thought, okay, maybe within two hours, things will come up 15 minutes in me and Tommy, my partner's jaw on the floor. Like, This can't be it. I'm sorry. This was my emotional response was just like, This is bad. Like, if I know this is I thought it was going to take me a while to figure out why it didn't feel good. It feels bad. And I will get into it.
Yeah. So what's in it? What is it that that raised a red flag for you? I want
to get into it. But I want to just share a clip. I think before I get into it, there were what I really found moving was there were like a lot of actors who were taking the opportunity to get on mic and ask really important questions. And I think the tone of a lot of this was we really appreciate it what you've done for us for all the negotiating, but I don't know if this was good enough. And we've all been putting our bodies on the line, you know, everyone has been out here for 118 days. So I just want to this was an actor whose name is Karen West. And I just thought she spoke to a lot of these concerns and her question really well, so let's play this clip.
Karen West, I've been always loud. I've been a member of sag since 1979. I love you guys. I admire you. And now you've gotten a hell of a good things for us. I feel, as I told Francis earlier, I'm at that holiday party, where everything's going well, but then the drunk cousin shows up. And it's the ugly issue we're focusing on not the fun at the party. I still have that champagne in the fridge. But I can't celebrate yet. Because I'm really, really concerned. Our union protects us that when we say no, we don't get retaliated against. Unions fail. When they say we don't need you, we can replace you. They did that a little bit with the sad commercial strike. We'll just get non union. So I'm worried about a replica of myself. I'm worried that if this is, for me, an existential moment for all of AI, you know it, I know it. And the intrusion of AI in our labor market. I don't understand if the Writers Guild refuse to let AI write any scripts. Why? You know, and I'm confounded where we're letting our bodies literally in our body of work, to be free to replicate in perpetuity, it's the same fight. And writers build one.
What is what is the mechanism? If I don't give consent, so they don't hire me retaliation? Who is going to sue them for discrimination? I don't have the money. I'm a working class actor who is going to sue them for that discrimination. I've heard that and on solidarity will will sue them if they have that discriminatory practice. And the other thing is, if we give in to all of this, and they can, you know, Ted Sorento said, Oh, we were okay till October, because we have stockpiled all the scripts were fine. From here on him, they can stock pile all our digital replicas. And if we're trying to fight for more than 2025, and they go, You know what, we got stockpiled you we don't need you. What, what happens then. So those are my concerns. I love you, this is difficult, it's painful for me to even have to say this
one. I like that, because you can really, you can really hear the emotion that I think is present, which is it's very, uh, she said, being at a holiday party not ready to celebrate, wanting to but recognizing that we have to, we still have a lot of fight left like a huge amount of fight left. So the two things that were most concerning to me that Karen spoke to the first being what is being touted as a win of saying, you know, there's this issue of individual consent. So prior, when there was no regulations, and just the blank page, what it was beginning to happen was, you might have someone come to you on set and just say sign this and you have no idea what it is now, there has to be 48 hours before you can give individual consent to how to potentially having your AI being used on your image. There's still so much vague language around that. However, what letter comes up is the idea that this is going to be now part of your working conditions. So working conditions are like if I'm going in for a job and some of the working conditions are there's nudity in this. Are you okay with that I can consent to yes or no? If I'm not, I'm not going to get the job. That's part of the working conditions might be location. Do you want to move to Los Angeles, you have the shoots in LA, you're gonna have to move to LA, you can send yes or no, the difference between those kinds of working conditions and an AI working condition is that AI is just going to be what every job requires. So there you might have consent, but doesn't it become an issue of forced consent?
Yeah. And that's what this woman this actor Karen was speaking to in that clip and Very well, I should say, yeah, it's a. It's a real bummer. I mean, I knew a little bit about this as I as some of the, the details were coming out. But now I'm kind of like getting the full scope of what was actually negotiated. And yeah, characters, right? Like if the writers can when the writers basically one like you can't use, you can't use AI to you to write scripts, and you can't use our scripts to teach AI. And what sag basically has gotten is you can but if the actress consent, and then it becomes a question of, you know, are you going to potentially be turning down work because you don't want your likeness to be used in perpetuity? And
you will be if she says later on, there will always be a hungry actor who will say yes, and they'll stockpile it. Like they, there will always be. So the other issue she spoke to, which is really concerning, is collective bargaining, because one thing people are saying is, and I think something that that the union is saying is, hey, this is the this is his best, this is as good as we're gonna get. It's better than what we had go with this and fight the fight next time. Right, which I understand. I think the concern, another actor had also brought this up later earlier on was, if they're stockpiling AI, how does that affect our collective bargaining? In the future? And Crabtree does speak to this. I don't saying, you know, well, they did have scripts. And some, I don't think I don't think it's the same thing at all. I'm very concerned about that, about how this might weaken our stance in the future. Absolutely.
The way that technology has advanced means that if they get granted, I don't know how any of this AI acting actually works. But like, I don't know, imagine they get like 10,000 likenesses, and then they're good forever. But another big part of this is that producers also need to receive consent for creating synthetic performers, meaning they'll train AI to, you know, watch 10 different actors and synthesize all of their likenesses together to create a fake actors of AI, you can just create fake actors, and we get to a place where this isn't already regulated in these contracts, then the studios will just do that they will just 100 they will 1,000,000% do that. So I tend to agree, I don't think this is enough for the moment. And I think the actors have held the line for so long that this would be the time to just dig in. And there's not gonna be a time for the Union to have more bargaining power than now. And
who knows? I mean, I'm not sure. I think the big concern, I think the big question now is like for actors is how do we vote? If I vote? Yes. And I'm not necessarily happy about it. But think like, it's better than nothing. You know, and I'm personally just so sick of this. It's better than nothing. I think I'm in a place. Brianna, joy just had Ralph Nader on her podcast, bad faith. And they were talking, Ralph Nader was talking about voting from your conscience. And I just feel like, I don't I don't know if I cannot vote on this with my conscience and my conscience. And my gut says, it's a no. For the same reason, Karen said, you know, I think you could do better. I also was reading there's a Rolling Stone stones article that just came out interviewing Shan Sharma, I hope I'm saying their name correctly, who was a dissenting board member who spoke about how they felt that it was really pressured by some of the elite acting class and the MPTP, and didn't feel that in the last days of negotiation, they were at their best. So this is all part of it. But I do think, I do think, in the conversations, my dad, as I said, watch this with me, I appreciated him for bringing me in a broader scope of like, this is not an actor issue, right? This is a guy is a global workers issue. So if there's strategy, it's gonna have to eventually be general strike, it's gonna have to be workers uniting over these issues of AI, because I don't actually know we are kind of alone at this moment, because WGA got their contract. And yeah, so I don't know, strategically what there is, there's certainly no one who's saying vote no. And here's the plan. I just know I think at this point, I have to vote with my conscience. Do you
have any sense from speaking to other actors in the Union how people are generally feeling about this contract
that night after that informational I mean, I had so many people call me and deep existential crisis feeling I think there was just something about it that just revealed how deep like this is, this is the best we can get after this long it just really kind of pulled the curtain back on how existential of a threat This is. People feeling really dark about it. And I think now trying to find hope and, and a path through and like confused truly about what the best move is to do with her vote.
Damn, well, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I'm sorry that the deal wasn't what it should be and that it's putting you in this position, and it's all of
us. I do think that's going to be imposed We're gonna be like, and I appreciate you saying that, but like, this is all of us, you know, this is like, and I needed that I needed to remember like, this is not an actor issue, this is a worker issue. And this is like gonna happen. I think, you know that I think there, I do think there'll be moves towards a general strike, I do think union, I do think this is going to become very, this is going to be a massive, it's just, this is just the beginning, it'll
have to be at some point, there'll be enough AI and automation that takes over enough jobs, we're just only a few people own everything. And no one else can make a living toiling for them, then the whole system absolutely falls apart. So we will reach a tipping point at some point in the future, for sure. Yeah. Or well, that was a pretty on theme discussion for us, which were where we're gonna go next, which is our conversation about the film network with screenwriter Josh Olsen.
But before we do, we just want to let you know or rather remind you that this podcast is brought to you by the lever, a reader supported investigative news outlet, you can go to lever news.com to find all of their original reporting.
And as we're trying to practice our anti capitalist values, we don't sell ads on this show, we rely on community support. So if you enjoy it, and you want to support us, you can go over to NBC pod.com. to chip in paid
supporters will also get access to our monthly MVC premium episodes featuring special guests and discussions about even more movies, television, music, podcast, theater, anything else that we're watching or listening to, it's a lot of fun, we'd love to have you. And as
a bonus paid supporters also get access to the levers premium content. So you're supporting us and you're supporting independent journalism. And that is all for just eight bucks a month, which is 1/3 of the price of the highest tier of Netflix account. You can also leave us a one time contribution in our tip jar again, all that info is at NVC pod.com.
You can also help us out for free by leaving a rating and review for this show on your podcast app takes two seconds. It's really helpful in boosting the algorithm and getting this show in front of more people and we really appreciate it.
All right, we're gonna take a break. We'll be right back with Josh Olson and our conversation about network. All right, we are very excited today to be joined by Josh Olson. Josh is an American Screenwriter whose work includes the 2015 2005 film The History of Violence, for which he received an Academy Award nomination, among other accolades. He's also the co host of the podcasts, the West Wing thing, the movies that made me and the audit, which is produced here by the lever, Josh Olsen. Welcome to movies versus capitalism.
Thank you for having me.
Yeah, it's our pleasure. You know, Josh, I don't think we've actually spoken about this. I only recently discovered that you wrote a history of violence. And I just gotta say, like, I'm sure you. I'm sure you've heard you've got all this all the time. But I fucking love that movie. And I was just talking about a terrifica beforehand. And she was like, I love that fucking movie. Yeah,
we've worked together for like eight years now that
I looked up your IMDB I think when we started working together, and it just like never had the moment to be like, Hey, Josh, by the way. GREAT film. Yeah, very good film.
That one, that one came out. Okay.
What was it like working with Cronenberg? I'm curious.
Working with him was great. It was an amazing experience. I mean, it's, it's, you know, I get too in depth, I'm sure. But yeah, could not have been a better creative collaborator. Basically, the he came on based on my script, and then the two of us got to sit in a room for a week and kind of walk through it page by page and talk. And then it was wonderful. It was wonderful. I mean, you get to see why he's such a great director, because it was all about kind of pulling out the best version of the thing. That was already there, kind of and, I mean, it was exquisite, just one of the best times of my life.
Oh, that's, that's so great to hear, especially from a writer about like collaborating with the director, you know, that it was actually a collaborative experience, we got the chance to speak with Patricia Resnick, who wrote nine to five. And she had the opposite experience, which as soon as the director got brought on, she was basically outstanding, nine
to five herself. Yeah, well, that will Yeah, yeah.
I'm sorry to hear that. She's wonderful.
She was great. Um, I'm really curious, because I obviously know the film history, violence, but also your podcast, the West Wing thing, which is great, and the audit on the lever. And so you do a lot of critical thinking from a lefty perspective about art, like we do on this podcast, and I'm curious, as a creative. I've gotten asked this before, and I don't think there's, I have feelings about it. But I'm curious your feelings about it, what the effect of being critical and thinking critically about art and then also creating simultaneously like What is your relationship to that process?
Oh, well, they're the same thing. You know, I mean, it. I don't even know that. They're two separate things. It's sort of you know, it's it is the creative process. It is probably more conscious of kind of the analysis stuff that I do, but it will come from the same place. It's like Yeah, I mean, I It's not like I'm sitting there when I'm writing something and going does this pass my sort of ideological litmus test, but, you know, I'm also I like to think at the point where in my own work, I'm sort of in tune enough with myself and what I'm trying to say that that's, that's not an issue. It's like, I'm not gonna, I'm not going to accidentally write some kind of, you know, insane neoliberal gibberish without noticing it. But um, but yeah, I mean, critical faculties, I think are it's you. Any any judgment you ever hear me passing on somebody else's work is is mild compared to the judgment I passed on my own on a minute by minute basis. So it's the same thing, it's kind of like, you have to look at, you have to look at yourself critically, it's all of your work critically, while you're creating it.
Josh, do you ever? Do you ever feel like you're kind of on an island in Hollywood? Meaning that like Hollywood is like a very traditionally liberal place? Do you? Do you get pushback from either within the industry from like, friends who work within the industry that like, you know, from for having more of a, I don't know, like a critical progressive leftist perspective, however, you want to categorize it? Interesting
question. Because I mean, in terms of actual work, you know, because I don't write explicitly political stuff I try, I try to do I'm a big fan of like the sort of classic filmmakers that Scorsese used to call or that he's called smugglers, the people who try to sort of like make kind of mainstream movies and kind of smuggle their nefarious ideas in. So I tend to be working kind of mainstream kind of entertainment. I'm not, you know, not writing Oliver Stone Films, but But you are trying to kind of do things with them, and hope you get away with them that and nine times out of 100 the problem is not that somebody recognizes what you're doing and goes, Oh, we mustn't have that. It's just that they just kind of run a steamroller over it. And by the time they're done, you don't recognize where, where it all went. You know, in terms of socially, it's worth it, because, you know, it's certainly my politics have have impacted my, my work. I think a bit, you know, sort of really starting in 2016, because, of course, you know, pre 2016 If you are a leftist in America, you sort of felt like, you know, you're out on a on a lifeboat somewhere, and there weren't really that many others. And, you know, the whole the whole Bernie movement was kind of such a, such an eye opening experience, when you realize that this guy that, you know, we all know about, we all kind of loved when he'd pop up, like once every blue moon on mainstream media, and you'd be like, Would it be great to live in a world where that guy was, you know, taken seriously as a politician. And then all of a sudden you wake up, and he's filling football stadiums without getting any media attention. And you're like, I'm not alone. And finding out that there are other people, even other people here who feel the same way. But yeah, it's funny, because, you know, la as we saw, the less primary, it's weird, like Hollywood is sort of like, you know, Biden town. But considering how Bernie did in the, you know, the last primary, it's also like, it's burning land. So, you know, the industry is, is still pretty stodgy and liberal and so forth. But, you know, la itself, not so much. But yeah, I mean, it's a constant. But but in terms of how it's affected me professionally, minimally. I know a couple of producers have, you know, gotten into it with them and so forth, that it's unlikely that we'll end up working together in the near future. But it's an interesting, interesting waters to navigate. I will say, Well,
you picked a great film for us to watch today. And I'm really
rather we asked, we asked you to rather wheeze. Yeah, we
chose you. Yeah,
this is this is usually the guest picks the movie, this was an instance full disclosure to the audience that our original guest bailed on us. So Josh was kind enough to step in. And actually I'm actually more excited to speak with you about this film.
Oh, wow. Who is the original guest? No, I got it. Wow.
Well tell you afterwards.
Spicy Frank. Okay. So the film that we are talking about is network, which came out in 1976. Directed by Sidney Lumet written by Paddy Chayefsky starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall and many more. The budget was 3.8 million around 3.8 million and the film grossed worldwide 23 point 7 million. The film had nine Oscar nominations at the 49th Academy Awards, including Best Picture that led to four wins. Best Actor for Peter Finch, Best Actress for Faye Dunaway and Best Supporting Actress for Beatrice straight and Best Original Screenplay. I believe it was Tchaikovsky's third Oscar win network. In case you have not seen it in a while is a satirical or have never seen it if you've never seen it. Stop listening to us. Watch it immediately. Come back at us it's a satirical film About a fictional television network, the union Broadcasting System, UBS and its struggle with declining ratings. After being told he will be fired for his poor ratings news anchor Howard Beale pleads with viewers to stay tuned for his final broadcast. However, he instead has an on air meltdown which results in a spike in ratings. The network's executives decide to exploit Beals antics creating a media sensation. hilarity
as we saw the year as riff convention is 1976. So a little bit of historical context for when this film was released, the United States is about to celebrate its bicentennial with fireworks and nautical parades. Jimmy Carter has just been elected the 39th president. Three years after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, Patty Hearst is convicted of bank robbery and is sentenced to 35 years in prison. That term was later reduced to seven years. On television Happy Days is the most popular show. The film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest wins Best Picture, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show wins its second straight Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. The average family income is $16,000 a year a new house costs around 43,000. And the retail price for a gallon of gas averages 59 cents, it's on April 1 Apple Computer is bound by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and also the Perrier bottled water is introduced in the United States. That's it. You know, that's all you needed to know about what was happening in 1970. So Josh, we usually start the conversation asking our guests Why did you choose this movie for us to watch? Can't ask that question. So I will ask you, why is this an important film for understanding the media, the modern day media ecosystem?
I'm not even sure it is anymore, to be honest. I mean, it's a movie now that, you know, it's hard to for some people to get, you know, I was I was a kid when this came out, my dad took me to a lot of wildly inappropriate movies. So I saw this in theaters, as as a child and like a bat, like about how old 10 or 11 or something but but it's it's, he was he was predicting what he saw coming. It was not. If you look carefully, you can see that he was right. It was not he was not making observations that were common. But he was making observations that when they were made struck you as like, oh my god, this guy knows what he's talking about, if that makes sense. This is this is what media is going to become. And it's been interesting going back and watching this film over the years because you would watch it as we would get closer and closer to becoming the Chayefsky is vision. And now here we sit in 2023. And you know Trotsky's vision became reality so far back in the rear view, it's hard to remember that this movie was predictive and that it was satirical and all the rest of that. It's like, I can almost see somebody watching it today and going Why would you make a movie about this? This is, you know, it's like a slice of life point CNN. Yeah, it's except for the amazing dialogue. You know, I mean, that's, yeah. And it's a really, it's a fascinating movie on that front. And also because Chayefsky was so good. It's not it's not one sided. It's not like that thick, as much as he is very much railing against the real thing that he really, really, really hates and fears. He's not his characters are black and white. They aren't. They are a bunch of innocents trapped in a world they never made. They are complicit in the creation of the future that is coming to eat them alive. They are flawed at best they are. It's an amazing, amazing screenplay, and he was a great writer. For for screenwriters. One of many things that we love about the film is that and this is a testament to Sidney Lumet as well who was one of the great filmmakers and who understood very much the power of the script. The opening credit in the movie, if you remember it is network by Paddy Chayefsky. You don't see that credit in American films, you just don't. Because he didn't direct it, he wrote it. And we have this insane sense that directors are somehow the authors of movies, which is a theory that has caused ungodly amounts of damage to not just writers, but I think to cinema and to working people. But yeah, so I mean, it's just it's an amazing film on every level, the performances are, you know, some of the best actors in the world. Just getting to just, you know, go off it at full speed. And I mean, I could go on for hours about it. But yeah, it's it's a beautiful piece of work. And we now live in an era where not to go off on having done something like I have no idea how many episodes is the Westway thing 180 We watched every episode of the fucking West Wing and dismantled the terrible, terrible politics of that show. But you know, the fact that and much of this due to his own kind of campaigning, Aaron Sorkin is often perceived of as our generations Paddy Chayefsky. gives you a sense of how far we have Scott. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Somebody else word out that like is newsroom feels like his attempt to do network except the difference is he doesn't really understand that he shouldn't be raging against anything you know it's just he lives in a world Chaski understands that the nostalgia these characters feel for a world that is disappearing is tainted by their own kind of flaws and corruption. Whereas Sorkin kind of just romanticizes it. You know, I doubt we're gonna get back to the point when men did the news. You know, it's like,
that's so interesting, your perspective on having seen it at the time. I'll be very young. And the experience of watching it back now and feeling like I mean, of course it it feels like nothing compared to what we see. And yet. I found it because there are so few films with such clarity on the systemic issues in media. You know, we have our networks, we have our morning show, we have versions that were like, Oh, this is doing this, and it just totally misses the mark and has such bad politics, that I just think this holds up so well. And it's so salient and clear. It was interesting. Sidney Lumet said that when it came out when it opened, everyone said it was a brilliant satire, but that Patty always said that he wrote it as reportage, she reported, it wasn't meant to be a satire, it was just, as you had said, stating what was being seen. And I would say that, that holds up. It doesn't. It didn't feel aged. To me in a lot of ways. Even though what we see is so much more extreme it, it felt so honest and obvious. We'll
measure it against you know, it's a different medium, but measured against all the presidents man, I just did a podcast where we're talking about political movies. And I always make a point of like, making sure like I I flat out reject the notion that all the presidents went as a political movie. It's not about politics, politics are just the, you know, it's like saying a movie in which a reporter investigates a murder is a murder movie. It's not it's about journalists investigating a story. But look at how they do it in that film. It's there. So ennobled there. So it's just there's no questioning of the media theory and of the impact it has. There's no even you know, nod towards the notion that, that there's any kind of corporate control of that media. They're just damn good guys going out to get a story that's going to bring down this powerful, adequate film. I mean, I don't mean, I absolutely love All the President's Men, but it exists in this kind of idyllic, you know, knight in shining armor. No journalist has knight in shining armor universe, whereas network is like, We're five minutes away from this happening, folks.
Yeah, I feel like the the only thing that network did really account for it was like the advent of the Internet, which is, you know, I mean, how could How could China ski have known at that time, but what he was putting his finger
on? There's this vox populi episode, where it's like, hey, let's just talk to people about what they think for half an hour, which is sort of like,
you're absolutely right. I mean, a little bit of background for anyone who like doesn't know, like Tchaikovsky is has become this commemorated screenwriter of his time. And he personally, as he's watching, you know, news develop throughout the 70s he personally is like, I fucking hate this. I like I hate television. I hate the medium. I think it's dumbing down our discourse. I think it's it's sensationalized. I think everyone is just pushing for ratings like the corporate influence the profit motive so he seeks out to write this script as basically his what he deems the cable news industry. He spent a lot of time in cable newsrooms where he said he was shocked
by what he thought cable news was not a thing your TV news
and this is the script that came of it. And I was blown away in this rewatch, because you're right, like Sidney Lumet cannot be overstated how brilliant his his blocking and his framing is in this film,
with actors and and just
like throughout there are just so many shots in this movie that just are like burned into your brain and just in the way in the creative way that he's found to frame it But even with all of the even with like the mastery of the filmmaking is still the screenplay that shines through more than anything which is I think, a testament to everything that we're talking about specifically. His his critique and the dialogue that he writes between these characters is just so rich and it's just made me so sad. Rivka and I were we we met an acting school and so we would you know, we audition I don't anymore but rific is still does but you know, you get sides for stuff and you're like fuck vote this this is dogshit like I like like I couldn't wrote this this morning and it would have been better than the shit they're handing me so yeah, it's it's a pretty phenomenal writer stroke. So
like writer's break is over. I am allowed to acknowledge that there are some bad writers in our union by They asked me during the next strike and I will have to call you up, sir. Yeah, yeah, I mean and it's a testimony to limit to because you know who is such a great director and so confident and who he was you know, there's there's so many I mean, there's so many giant directors who aren't that he didn't feel any need to, you know, as, as with everything he did, it was like, what's the what's the best thing I can do to serve this script this story? So there's no no point. Do you see him going? Oh, wait a minute. How do I make this feel like a Sidney Lumet film? What can I do to remind them that I'm here? And it's like, oh, man, just shoot the fucking thing the way it needs to be shot and get the best actors you can and direct the hell out of them. And, you know, do what a great director supposed to do. I love him so much. It's
to that exact point. I'm sure you know what, Josh, but there's a famous book that Sidney Lumet wrote called making movies. And in it, he talks about the framing of network and how, because the movie was about corruption, there was a big corrupted the camera. So you notice it starts off with a very naturalistic look. And slowly by the end, it's totally a commercial. So the the objective was that the camera would also become a victim of the television. And I think that is just like that's it is, is you're so tuned into the script and the purpose and the intention and the political intention of the film that you know how to move your camera and all the parts of the picture around that effort. And that's when you have a great, great film like this. He
was a big fan of stuff like that, where where the effect would be very slow and you would never, you know, nobody notices that stuff without Lumet pointing it out to them during film and it's like but you you the impact it has on you is immeasurable. Yes, you aren't. You're looking at a different movie. By the time it's over here. Like when the LE when did that happen? It's like happening in reshot?
Josh, you mentioned about how these characters which I really, really appreciate it how these characters had room to be complicit. We didn't have to feel as we so often feel in films about capitalism that sort of ruins it that they're just greedy at the end of the day, or it's not their fault, or everyone's a victim. And it captures something we're certainly we see everyone complicit in the system, but it still maintains the clarity of the system. And there's all this nuance around, it didn't feel as simple as Oh, that's a inherently greedy person who potentially was just born greedy, you know, but And yet, it also doesn't matter. We just see them functioning in this world. And I was particularly struck by I think Diana Christiansen is one of the best characters ever written. She's great. And she especially I love this character, because she particularly is the opposite of, you know, this beginning of this girl boss that really started like really took off in the 80s and then just made a comeback and like the tooth that live millennial, you know, we love to say girl boss, but when I think of that, it's like, it's the, like her maniacal capitalism and her ambition isn't like, celebrated because she's a woman in this film in any way. In fact, it's, it's unapologetic. And it's very clear that it's somehow associated with the patriarchy in a way that doesn't feel like her feminine side is being taken away, it becomes very clear that it's like part of that system. And she's also suffering from it, right? It's, she's not
gender neutral. Yeah, you couldn't just drop a Male Actor into that thing. She's exactly what Chaski doesn't have. You know, in this this, this comes before it's obviously it's after the kind of the women's lib movement has really hit. I think Ms. Magazine start coming out a couple years earlier and stuff. And I eskies clearly, it's it's one of those things where you know, these like, yeah, sure, fine. Isn't fall prey to the thing that comes later. As you say, the girl boss thing, there's no, like an Chaski is fine. It's like yeah, of course, women can be as mercenary and fucking horrible as men that like, can we get on with our story? Instead of having to dance around her gender as though it's, you know, a separate from her and separate from capitalism and all the rest of that stuff? Yeah, she's an amazing character. We am holding on to I mean, I love his like, you know, he can't help but be drawn to her as much as he knows it's bad for him in such an interesting way, and he's such a dick, that amazing speech he gives to his wife, where you're almost going like, oh, well, I get you like what an asshole. In spite of the fact that it's an incredibly, but it's such a good speech because it's so self serving. It's what he tells himself, you know? Yeah,
I really hated him. For really didn't sit well, but I felt like I had permission to hate him. It didn't feel like I was having that experience of hating him and being like, Oh, I'm supposed to like him. I was like, Oh, I don't think I'm supposed to like him and I love that.
Yeah, he's just he's just one of the least awful people in this story is I feel
like maybe the choice for for Diana's character to be a woman. It felt more of like a generational Little commentary than it did a gender commentary. Because like, you know, in this world, all of these old guard, you know, TV producers like Max, you know, the anchors, like Beal, and then obviously corporate executives like Robert Duvall, his character, those are all going to be white men for sure. So I thought it was. So I feel like maybe Tchaikovsky's choice to make Diana and then also Laureen, both women, it felt like more of a generational choice than then something that was going to be like strictly commenting on gender, because I feel like I think
she's also got a kind of Angela Davis thing going on as well. I
mean, there's kind of Oh, definitely think that
that's an aspect I think is really interesting in the film, because our perceptions, these things change with time, especially our perceptions of representation. And I've spoken to people who are, you know, they think it's a problem with the film, that the only black characters are this revolutionary army that's completely selling out for money. And that that is the era we live in. Now, if you're going to make this film now. And you want to make the point clear, you'd have to make sure and you would, of course, it's 2023. So there would be multiple opportunities for almost any of the characters in this thing to be black, which back in 1976, or 75, when they made it was not the case. But also, you have to understand that the perception of the kind of characters that she represents, were pretty revered, sort of in certain circles. Chaski is not, I don't believe, I don't think he is holding them up to make fun of them. If anything, I think he's holding them up to show the incredibly corrupting influence of TV. It's a he wants to take somebody that, you know, the audience that he cares about reach your writing at a higher level than to hear not worried about reaching four quadrants, he's like, I'm writing to people who see the world kind of the way I do to some extent, trying to scare them, and choosing this kind of black revolutionary army, they are going to be to that audience, they're actually going to be kind of sympathetic. So it's not, it's not like, you know, if you made the film today, you're only black characters are just these like, you know, you know, a moral packs who sell out for $1. It's like, the opposite. It's like, look, what TV does. It takes these people and and corrupts even them. Yeah,
I would agree. I would say that's part of what's so brilliant about it is everyone's, every movement, including the gender is being co opted your shareholders. And it's got such a clarity on that, from the beginning that I never felt that anyone was being made fun of or minimized or blamed. Everyone held was part of that system. Yeah,
somebody today would think it was him sort of, like, you know, criticizing black liberation movements. And in fact, it's If anything, it's the opposite. But But, again, if you're making the movie today, you'd have to recontextualize it a little bit different to make that clear.
I mean, I took it a little bit of like, you know, commentary on the splintering of of leftist organizations throughout the late 60s and 70s. And that would have had kind of devolved into like, you know, the Weather Underground the Symbionese Liberation Army, so like there was I felt like some warranted commentary about how splintered yeah
there might be a little bit of like, yeah, the old like People's Liberation Front of Judea versus the Judea Liberation Front. That's a Life of Brian reference, folks.
You know what, that's one of the few Monty Python's that I've never actually watched I got oh my god. I know. Oh, yeah. This
is one of the few Orson Welles movies I've never gotten around.
Alright, well, this is why I left the entertainment industry so I don't have to take shit from guys like, you know, I but I totally agree with you that that their utility in the film was to show the corrupting force of television. And it's honestly it's one of my favorite scenes, if not my favorite when Lori and Hobbes is just freaking out about the distribution rights. And I think my fair points yeah, yeah, the Communist Party isn't gonna see one dime, it is distribution rights, just like That's fucking that's absolutely brilliant. I do want to get into the Howard Beale part of this satire because that is sort of like the central central plot of like, what everything else in the story is revolving around. So if you haven't watched this movie in a while, it basically starts with Howard Beale, who is a you know, he's been a TV news anchor for for decades. He's at the end of his career, he's about to get fired. And then he basically has like a little bit of a nervous breakdown and announces he's gonna kill himself on air. They end up pulling him they put him back on and then he he sort of becomes what what is described as the Mad profit of the airwaves after Diana Christiansen realizes that she can tap into something. She says he's articulating the popular rage, the American people want somebody to articulate their rage for them. And so I remember for the first time seeing this in college and being like, holy shit, like this is a full on pre staging of what, like the what, at that time in the early 2000s What cable news anchors had become, and it's sort of like the linchpin of this entire film and it's pretty brilliant and I especially brilliant for me, because there are moments where in Beals speeches you know, when he's lambasted television as a Medium when he's, you know, going after certain, you know, aspects of the TV industry or just like American culture that are feel completely right on. But then there are other moments where you're like, Oh, this guy's fucking losing his mind. So I think it's I think it's a really smart choice that TASKI makes to make, like some of the things he's saying totally resonant. And then other things are like, Oh, this guy's out of his fucking mind like this. This guy needs to this guy needs help. Yeah,
I mean, he's clearly snapped. He's clearly had an episode. But yeah, at first kind of the stuff he's saying kind of makes sense, the. But it's broad enough that it connects with almost everybody. That's the great thing about the scene, you know, as mad as hell seen? And, you know, obviously, I thought you were gonna bring up sort of the trump of it all too, because there there's that it's like a guy who just sort of articulate or doesn't relate, sort of, in articulates, is that, like, is that a word? Just to kind of general rage and anger that's, that's running through the country. And then gets me we haven't mentioned and to me, it's like, you are moving this scene, there's almost no movie, net Beatty speech. It's like, fronted by the real God, not the when it comes to midnight, because you're on TV, schmuck, but the, the sort of the corporate control of the world. And Ned Beatty has a speech to about four minutes long, and it's just one of the greatest speeches in the history of film because it just tells you how the world works. And, and, and then he goes off and preaches the gospel of the corporation after that is broken. And
it's so telling, because, you know, I think what JFK nails in the early part of Howard Beale, where he's just, quote unquote, articulating the popular rage is that there's no actual analysis in what he's saying. There's no actual he's not actually, it's not actually finding the systemic problems and pointing them out to people and explaining how things are, why things are happening and why you should be angry about them. In fact, in the in the Mad as Hell speech, he says, you know, don't call your congress people don't write, you know, don't do anything, I wouldn't know what to tell you, even if even if you would, which I thought was just so perfect, because like, that is what Donald Trump does, that it's just like, we, we shouldn't be angry, and I will be angry. But the reasons or the diagnosis of the problem is completely non existent. Or if anything, it's just, you know, if it's like a, you know, extreme right wing, or it's gonna be, you know, the immigrants, the queer people that whatever, it'll be some scapegoat. But as soon as Howard Beale actually does use actual analysis and diagnose a real problem, which is with the corporate structure of his news organization, that's when he crosses the line like that's that that is the one thing that is unacceptable in the eyes of his corporate overlords,
I think it's a really good reminder of how to be critical of messaging and movements now, and even movements that Co Op get co opted really quickly by mainstream media by the elite. It's a good reminder of oh, if they're not if there's not an articulate issue here, and it's just a generalized statement about a feeling. And there's not action connected to what this movement is asking for. Perhaps it's something I can be critical of, and it's going to be easy for, you know, target or Ugg boots to get behind. Or not dangerous. And so that's just a good It's teaching us how to look at our, our movements today.
I mean, I hear it all the time from you know, people on the left that are like the revolution is being you know, bought and sold back to us. And you see that constantly and like, yeah, the way that brands choose to market their stuff today, you know, like, the NFL being like we stand with black lives or you know, whatever bullshit, like whatever Harlow
and Kylie Jenner was a Pepsi ad.
Oh my god. Oh, my god. That was, honestly, that was so amazing that so many people because that's another that's another thing about Hollywood is like so many people, like hundreds and hundreds of people who had like, say in the room all got together when they storyboarded that commercial, that cast Kylie Jenner that got her people, they all looked at it. And they were all like, Yeah, this is good. No, this is good. This is this will help people this is not cute.
boots Riley satirises. Really well in sorry to bother you. We never actually brought that segment up. So I'm glad we get to come back around to that. It's so well done. But yeah, that was absolutely ridiculous. And you see it all the time. And I think we've gotten immune to it. And I think it's important to keep your eyes out for it and question it. You know, I remember there was a debate, I had to talk to a lot of people about why it was so harmful and why people had were very upset to see the NYPD walking in the Pride March in New York. You know, and then it's very easy to let that it's like so easy to co opt movements like pride movement, you know?
Oh, sure. Yeah, so either bid for the right to because it was like with our gay cops, but yeah, of course, but then No, I mean.
Yeah, no, but I mean, because that marched and that movement and originally started as they were a liberation movement, and they were protesting against the police. So, yeah, all the ways in which these and I think that's what this film really is at its essence, which is also why I thought, seeing any movement, it was important for them to show how a leader could be co opted. And that was the lesson I learned is like you can't trust a single, you know, we see it with our progressive politicians, it's really easy for a single person to go in and get co opted and get whatever happens behind closed doors, whatever they're saying, which is why we need to strengthen our movements so that we can hold them accountable when that inevitably happens.
So you're so but yeah, so there's no centralized leader that they can lock in a room and then maybe for five minutes. Exactly. There's a completely over but there's a great, great, great Bill Hicks routine where he talks about that. He said, like, the thing is, you know, if you ever wonder what happens to these people, it's like, say you. So you actually managed to elect a good president. And he says, the first thing they do is they lock him in a room. And they show him footage of the Kennedy assassination from an angle no one has ever seen before. And they go Do you have any questions? Yeah, what's my agenda? Please?
Honestly, probably not very far from the truth. You know, something I love about the Ned Beatty speech. I mean, they're like, other than as you said, Josh being one of the greatest monologues ever put to film. He's basically talking about the dictatorship of capital, the rule of capital and how you know, money is the all encompassing all empowered thing that binds life together. And something that I picked up on this rewatch, he says, It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things that is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today, which I would fucking blew me away because like I don't I doubt that Tchaikovsky was hearing you know, people like defenders of capital or libertarians at that time being like, people are just naturally greedy. And you're like, that's why we you know, that's, that's human nature. Human nature is to be competitive, it's to be self interested, it's to be greedy, which this speech does perfectly to like to suggest to suggest that the exchange of commodities, that is the natural world, that is the atomic natural, like on a subatomic level, like all humans are here for is for the exchange of goods and services. That's, that's why God put us on this, this green earth is to just exchange with one another and
one vast ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common profit. Oh, man, well, yeah. Hold the sheriff stock.
It's brilliant, and something that I push back on constantly, which is like, No, it's not, it's not human nature to just like, be a cog in a machine. It's like, we're here to like, fulfill having had fulfilling lives and, you know, build relationships and find love. Like, that's what life life is about. But this, this articulation of this worldview, which has just become so much more pernicious in 2023 is just like, it's really mind blowing how he was able to see all this ahead of time,
why shouldn't they make a profit?
How it just immediately makes it as it's like, this is actually a spiritual, like, capitalism is a religion, and it's a spiritual solution is the level that it's put out and you can't question that, you know, like, that's the brilliance of religion is what are you going to question God? You're not going to question this shit. And in some ways, I think as in are just essence of being humans who have some kind of need for a spiritual understanding and reasoning and searching for why we're on this globe and this planet feeling things and wanting to be good for each other. Like that actually provides something to a lot of people and ultimately, it's be I think the brilliance of capitalism is it understands that it's beyond economic. It couldn't just sell you an economy like economics, it had to sell a spiritual solution. And that's what's so dangerous about it.
The last thing I want to hit before we go to the awards is again this like this, this generational divide that he paints in this film because I really do think that this is a this is a movie about like the greatest generation versus the baby boomers. And what a corrupting influence baby boomers have had on American culture. You know, he says in the big scene between Max and Diana he says you are television incarnate Dianna indifferent to suffering insensitive to joy all of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality and maybe think I you know, it actually like threaded a needle for me I read this there's this great book called a generation of sociopaths how the baby boomers betrayed America Wow Yeah,
Mom don't listen.
Yeah pretty goes pretty hard on those poor boomers. But, you know, the two the, the two strands that he lays out is like these are the reasons why the baby boomers are the way they are is like one they inherited, you know, essentially the greatest political economy of the, you know, of the 20th century that was built by the New Deal. And, you know, the post war boom. And the second part is they all sat in front of the fucking TV. So even even this guy who wrote this book was like, Yeah, I think I think TV was a pretty corrupting influence on this generation that actually like sequestered the young from their, you know, from like other social groups at a young age when they were like learning how learning social development which kind of created a more antisocial streak that ran through the baby boomer generation. So so it's nice to see Paddy Chayefsky sort of echo the same sentiment. Yes.
I mean, there's something you know, I was I was very different. For the last 1213 years of his life with Harlan Ellison's a great, short story writer to the 20th century, he was one of the writers, it made me want to be a writer and Harlan wrote, a bunch of columns are collected in books, the books are called the glass teat. They're nonfiction writing. They're amazing for a lot of reasons, because it was in the 60s. And I don't know if you know, the books I've talked about on the show, but he was writing and things like the LA free press and stuff. political criticism of television, the kind of stuff you see all over the place. Now, at a time when that was highly unusual. I mean, he would take an episode of The Partridge Family and explain why they were selling the Vietnam War using the sitcom you know, and then he talked about how commercials do things to you, and so forth and so on. It was amazing stuff way ahead of its time. And it was also I would say, like, if you read him and Neil Postman, you sort of have read the ferment of like, almost all great leftist media criticism. What was doubly amazing, is that he was doing it while he was a working TV writer.
Wow. Yeah. So he knew that
what we started talking about at the top, kinda
Yeah, I mean, certainly Ireland was, you know, was a good friend. And every time somebody wonders I can get away with doing some of like the West Wing and work in the in the industry I go like it's so it's so tiny compared to the blasphemy he was getting away with back in the day, that feel okay, but But yeah, he talked about all this stuff in and you know, it was right in the middle of that. While all that was happening to that generation, it's incredible stuff. I will say, if you track this stuff down Obi Wan, kind of so he is as much a victim of that era, as much as he was cutting edge, there's going to be sexual attitudes and other things in there mostly mostly sexual. That were, let's say a tad less advanced than one might want. All I can say is that, by the time by the time we hit the 21st century, Harlequin had evolved way past all of that. But there are amazing, amazing pieces of criticism, and well worth your time. And that's
a big part about what we talked about on the show about, you know, not everything ages the best. And it's important to be able to retain, like the value of things that even you know, even if even if some aspects of them are a little more unsavory in a 2023 lens.
Well, in fact, just the start, just keep going. It was one of the conversations I had with him towards the end of his life, we were talking about somebody, somebody had just been, he was Morgan Freeman had just gotten some hot water because he had done an interview and he had been a little bit flirty with the woman who was talking to him and I could be getting the facts wrong. But the the video that I saw, I was watching like a 73 year old, 70 something year old, black man from the south from a completely different era, talking to a young woman, there was in the context of who he was, he was completely raised like a grandfather, you know, he wasn't even. He said to me about her dress on her nails, like a nice dress, that kind of stuff that had Chris Pine Senate, you know, age 32, you'd be like, Oh, my God, I can't believe you said that. And there was no adjustment for the fact that this is a much older guy from a completely different culture than the one we're all living in now. And Harlan and I were talking about that. And he said, we're all working to create a world in which the people who come after us perceive us as monsters. So, you know, if 50 years from now, people, people who share our politics are listening to this podcast and going oh, my God, they're awful people. It's like, we have all failed is my point. Yeah,
we're we're all destined to get canceled at some point. That's right. Well, I
think I think just to add, to the conversation, from my perspective on these companies, is like, yes, we have to maintain the value but also there's value in being critical of what we're like how we're evolving and are not evolved selves, because I think a lot of people push to reject, like, can't we hold on to this and I think it requires an identity change and it requires that kind of reflection requires you to also change who you are and I think a lot of people are afraid of that. And so remit your heroes are never gonna maintain be your hero. You know that. And even with someone like I don't know the Morgan Freeman situation, but I remember there was a Really infamous, I think it was John Oliver with Who was it, it was an actor that he really kind of kind of pushed against which I, gosh, was it. But what came out of it was this attitude of Kenneth just this is who I am. This is my Caltech. You know, I grew up in a city, I touch it, but like, let me let me be me. This is part of my this is part of my upbringing. This is part of who I was, it was like it was okay then why Why have to be accountable for like my cultural inheritance and upbringing? And I think the fact is, as we've shifted move in our as we evolved, like, it probably was never cool with some of the women, even in that culture, they just didn't speak to it, you know. And so I think there's, there's many dimensions to that shift, but one thing,
because it's awesome. I mean, I have a lot of waiting for a tour around that came up at times that just were horrifying to me. And I'll point out that you're also inured to it in the sense that it was like not not a thing. In the sense it was like, whatever. I mean, I have heard horror stories I've heard stuff from I was good friends with an actress who was when I met her 25 years ago was in her 70s. And the stuff that was to her just water off a duck's back would lead most of us in therapy. Yes. And yeah, you know, because there's, I guess, a system I went into, you know, I did find, I think, great dad, right, a baseball bat. I mean, it's just like,
Yeah, I mean, and that's kind of what's perfect. And I think actually tying it back to the movie, the lack of sentimentality that I think and Lumet talked about, even with Diana's character that he was like, told Faye Dunaway do not play this with any sentiment, you know, you have to play it straight. You have like really avoid that. And it's profound now because you really see people in the, in the element that in their time so even though Max is such a frickin dick, like you were saying, you see, you understand it's connected to every it doesn't make it excusable. But it somehow is makes more sense than it being excused by some sort of like human nature, that we really are all products more than we like to think of our culture and our time. And that's also why in our leftist ideology, we believe in systemic change. And that's the path not just you have to be born a better person, maybe God will get it better next time.
I mean, it's that cynicism that I think set something like this apart from fucking Sorkin and the West Wing like that, like that lack of idealism, that lack of aspirational like, oh, it's all just good. We're all just good inside. And at the end of the day, we just want like a good, nice democracy. The fact that this film is just is at the most cynical or at the least, you know, just paint paints every character with just complexity. There's just like, everyone's great. It's not like anyone's straight good or bad,
so that a guy like Chaski, who would not be able, I mean, it would be inconceivable that his ideas would be kind of more advanced than than then Sorkin's today in some sense. You know, you look at Westway. And one of the things just like collaboratives doing the Westway thing is how incredibly racist and misogynist this guy is. And, you know, that's not there in network and certainly not in the same way. You know, we talked about the limited Liberation Army and so forth. But that's, that's not the kind of, you know, condescending patronizing day to day racism that you see in the West Wing, and it's like, how is this guy more evolved 35 years earlier than kind of who we are today in many ways.
I recently watched a few good men and I did not realize how much of that movie is just every male character telling Demi Moore how fucking stupid she is like literally like that's literally that that is her character arc is to be told how incompetent she is by all of the men in the movie.
Sure. And also is it's one ton about Bay too, right? Is that what they're protecting us from is like that will be like What are you protecting us from Cubans? What? Don't get me started? Well,
speaking of characters and their politics, Josh, this is the part where we get to the awards for this movie. So we got three of them. First award is best politics goes to the character with the best politics in the movie, I would say probably Mrs. Schumacher played like so brilliantly by Beatrice straight because I think like most of these characters, as we say, are very morally and ethically murky. I just think like that scene. It's it's her performance is so brilliant. She wins Best Supporting Actress for this performance, one of the shortest on screen performances that was still won in an acting category. She got one seems about like five minutes of screen time. And yeah, she's just like to
make everything about me. It's also if we have a hurted one, I think he would have had almost exactly the same amount of screen time and she'd but he got he got nominated for Best Supporting Actor for history, and only had the one scene that was almost downlink. Only nominated. What are you gonna do? But yeah, I was gonna say Beatrice, right? Yeah, that'd be the one. Sure. Although I don't know she's kind of me too. Just sort of submitting, you know, I guess she's understanding the world she lives in.
Didn't like that submitting, but also what is she going to do? But what were her politics? I don't know that I could tell you what her politics were if we're being true to our own rewards. Oh, you know, I know who it is. Is it the it's the one member of the guerrillas the guerrilla faction that you medical? Who
goes off and ration society? Yeah. And she's like,
Fuck this. I can't believe your fucking day go
there's one one.
That's That was her actual
politics at work? Yep. Yeah.
All right, our next award you guessed it worse politics goes to the character with the worst politics in the movie. This is a good one is a very good one. For the stacked competition.
Well, I mean Ned Beatty, just because he's right doesn't mean he's good. No,
I mean, and I but I also wouldn't agree that he is right I mean, he's right in that like, like this is the world like within capitalism but I don't agree with him that this is actually the world itself
okay. But but he that is that his his church I mean, he worships that's yes. He's like if Rush Limbaugh actually believe what he said I would maybe go with
Robert Duvall his character Frank Hackett just because he there's so he has so much more agency in the film compared to net Beatty, like he he does he's the one like executing a lot of pretty you know, like ruthless ship throughout the movie. You know, he's the one that like literally executing our bills and then literally executing erratic literally executing Howard Beale. I mean, yeah, yeah, so I think for that alone, I gotta go with Robert Duvall was Frank Hackett.
Diane is pretty, pretty bad.
That's true. Pretty bad.
I love it.
But she's not great. I mean, I don't you know, I mean, she also kills Howard Beale. I think it might have even been her idea.
No, no, it's no it's a great I wish her the exact line. But it's Duvall is like, well, I guess we're gonna have to kill.
Yeah, she doesn't put up a fight. All right, our last award is best supporting character, who maybe even deserving of their own spin off the character that the movie should actually be about who you would want to see a movie about?
I would watch an entire movie about the ecumenical liberation society, and the Mao Zedong hour. I think that could that that's right for like its own satire in and of itself, especially like if you put like a 2023 spin on it. And it kind of we went back to this, like the reselling of the revolution back to us kind of a thing. I think that could be actually I think someone should make that movie some, someone needs to point out how these revolutionary and radical ideas get repackaged and repurposed and resold to people and it performs. It performs our revolutionary impulses for us rather than actually allowing us to make any sort of material change. So
that's my Diana's working at VICE News. He's like,
Oh, I want to see Ned Beatty in his off hours. Like what is he like to live with this? Yeah, like, you know, what's, what's the deal? Does he actually does he make eye contact with his wife? He
only screams like that. Yeah.
Yeah. What is that about? What is his downtime?
That's or he's just so sweet. Or he's like, the sweetest guy.
I really love some. I think my pick might be more Diana, for me. I know, she has a pretty big part. But I could just Where does she go from here? All
right, Josh, thank you so much for joining us. This has been a really lovely conversation. Yeah, absolutely. Um, before we wrap up, I'd like to ask our guests how we as artists, and as people strive to practice our values and our everyday life, even with it's all its complexities and contradictions. So if there's one thing that you do in your life, whether it's like, you know, a practice, you engage in an organization you work with whatever it is that you were, you get the chance to practice your, whether they're anti capitalist values, whatever kind of values in your life.
I mean, that's, that's a tough question. I mean, you know, I wish I wish calling people Nazi pricks on Twitter constituted exercise.
It's not it doesn't not
constitute, it's not doing exactly when to do it. My
dad was on the podcast, Josh, and he said, he just woke up and said, Fuck you capitalism every day. So there you go.
Yeah, it's tough. You know? I don't know that. There's one way. You know, I try to be supportive of groups of people who are doing things that I admire, i i wish I've long since given up. It's just fundamental change in character. I am struggling. I think it's a it's something I've seen more in men. I don't think it's built into us. I think it's cultural more than anything, because I'm seeing it more in younger women now too, which is I think, good, maybe bad. But I've heard that score where you're like, I got to come up with a solution to these problems. And meanwhile, you know, my wife was every bit as politically engaged as I am goes off every week and she's not on the board directors have a organization, the Hollywood food coalition that does, you know, they feed 300 food insecure people at night they do amazing work. It's like they've got it down to an art where pretty much every dollar that comes in, pretty much all of it goes towards food to people. And it's like, I revere that I've gone down there, sometimes it always feels good to do it. And it's like, I'm like, why is Why do I feel like I need to do more when I clearly can't. And she's from that school of like, you see a thing in front of you that you might be able to have an impact on and you try to do it. I very often just because of the nature of my work, I've come to know a lot of people and I've exploited that to connect people in other worlds and political worlds and so forth, where I try to connect people in ways that can be helpful, just simple stuff. Sometimes I'm just helping friends with great political podcasts, get good guests, who I think need to be known more in various worlds, I mean, that kind of thing. Obviously, you try to inject stuff into your work. But that's that's a long term project. And it is it assumes that everybody else who's writing is doing the same thing. And that all the subliminal stuff we're putting in there will actually have an impact which goes to that delusion I mentioned first and then just I'm, I've been a father now for can we have 18 months and every every day is an attempt to instill the best values in the little schmuck in return for what he does for me, which is, I gotta say, waking up every week being in a house where like, one person wakes up every day going, Holy shit, I get to do this again, this is amazing. I love everything. He's really good, really contagious. And and I think it's an important thing to sort of try to remember in our lives that it's nice to wake up again the next morning, but I don't know. I don't know if any of that constitutes a good answer. But
that was that was yes. That was a really beautiful answer. Yeah. Well, Josh, this was a lot of fun. Again, really appreciate it. Thank you.
Thank you so much.
It was a blast.
Thank you all so much for listening, make sure to follow us on Instagram and Tiktok. And if you want to support the show and get access to our premium episodes, you can go to M VC pod.com to find all of that info.
As a reminder for next week we will be answering listener questions if you have any questions for us, email us at movies vs firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can DM us on Instagram.