I’m Mad as Hell…

…and I’m gonna remake a 1970s movie. The Washington Post report that George Clooney is remaking the 1976 Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet satire of sensationaized TV news, Network, has been making the rounds this week.

Andrew Cline at Rhetorica asks who’ll play Howard Beale. My first suggestion is Philip Baker Hall, who could pull off the weathered journalist/anchorman role pretty nicely. But the more important question in my opinion: Who gets the Faye Dunaway role?

Cline also points to the Jck Shafer Slate review of Clooney’s latest film, Good Night and Good Luck, which is about the “battle” between Edward R. Murrow and Joeseph McCarthy. I saw a trailer last night before a screening of The Constant Gardener, and the film looks gorgeous with its black and white cinematography and smoke-filled newsrooms. Shafer faults the film for being too generous to Murrow, but given McChris’s defense of the “golden age” in the comments to this entry, I’m willing to use that fictionalizing if it will serve as an effective critique of contemporary media practice.

Clooney’s first directorial efort, the Charlie Kaufman scripted Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, also turns its eye towards questions about media and celebrity. I’m starting to detect a theme here….

Update: I almost forgot the most important part. Clooney’s planning on doing his remake of Network on CBS–live.

4 Comments »

  1. dvd Said,

    October 6, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    I’d normally be opposed to a remake of Network, but the live TV approach is a terrific idea, and Clooney previously did right by another Lumet classic when he did his real-time broadcast of Fail Safe.

  2. Chuck Said,

    October 6, 2005 @ 5:36 pm

    I haven’t seen either version of Fail Safe, but I’ve been planning to see the Lumet version for a long time (not sure why this hasn’t happened). Was the original also in real time or just Clooney’s version?

    But the “live” approach to Network sounds fascinating.

  3. dvd Said,

    October 6, 2005 @ 6:01 pm

    It’s been ages since I’ve seen Lumet’s Fail Safe. It was pretty much entirely real time, as I remember it – although it obviously wasn’t filmed in real time, as Clooney’s was.

    It worked wonderfully – I think I remember one moment where Richard Dreyfuss stumbled over a line, but aside from that it was a brilliant exercise.

  4. Chuck Said,

    October 6, 2005 @ 11:06 pm

    Cool. I’ll try to Netflix Fail Safe at least (if it’s on DVD).

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