Anders Bergstrom's blog on Words, Films, and Music

Thursday, December 08, 2005

On Monday night I finally got to see Good Night and Good Luck, the film about Edward Murrow and CBS news' conflict with Senator Joe McCarthy in 1953. Seeing the potential of the medium and way that Murrow and co. so doggedly pursued what they felt was justice was not only great filmmaking, but it was inspiring as well. Director/Actor George Clooney shows why I cite him as one of my favourite entertainers working today. His second film (the first being the underrated Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) shows that he is a serious director, with a knack for compelling drama and an eye for composition.

The Acting is fantastic - David Strathhairn does a great job as Murrow, and could even nab himself an Oscar nomination. The supporting cast, including Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Patricia Clarkson, Robert Downey Jr. (great as always) and Frank Langella, are all great as well. Particularly interesting though is the use of historical footage for the portrayal of Sen. McCarthy. No need to fear that he's been "villanized." He does a fine job of that himself.

The picture is beautiful - This is a finely composed film, and the use of black and white makes me long that more films would do so. The black and white not only seems appropriate to the period, but looks great too. Clooney uses many tight close-ups in the film, giving it an intimate and personal feel.

One last thing that really stuck with me was the cigarette smoking in this film. Murrow always has a lit cigarette during his show, and at one point they even show an old 50s TV ad for cigarettes. It's shocking from the stand point of our modern culture which demonizes cigarette smoking, because it was so prevalent in that culture. But also, the black & white photography wonderfully captures the smoke in the air, lending some particularly memorable and beautiful imagery.


On another note, comic book fans should pick up the latest issue of Mark Millar's The Ultimates 2 #9. This is a shocker. Or if not a shocker, it's a definitely the most heavy-hitting issue of the series, especially if you thought that last issue (which saw Captain America accused of treason and placed under arrest) was full of surprises.

Millar is one of the best writers in comics (both this one and Frank Miller as well). His handling of The Ultimates concept (what if the Avengers existed in a world much more like our own) is spot on. He writes this series as if it is the ultimate political-action-science-fiction film. And what an insanely huge film it would be. This series has it all. Grand spectical. Personal insight. Characters who are well developed. Fantastic art design. I'd kill to be able to make this into a movie.


On a more personal note, I'm done one essay and working on the next two (hoping to be done by Monday before I jump on a plane back to Saskatoon for the holidays that night). Life keeps me busy here, so I haven't had a lot of time to contemplate going back home. Let's just say that as great as Victoria is (and it is), there are a number of things that will make the visit home very sweet indeed (and yes Aren, you're Xbox 360 is one of them).

Today I've been listening to Feist's album, Let It Die. It's great. I'm particularly enjoying "Mushaboom" and her cover of the brothers Gibb's "Inside and Out." As, Aren and Joel are prone to say, that is all.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Damn I fogot comic book day gain. I'm runing out to read it right now!