A Face in the Crowd (1957)
The film A Face in the Crowd explores media abuse, but it also explores the unpredictability of the media. The media has unexpected heroes and villains. In a few sound bites, it can launch unsuspecting figures, and Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes was no exception. One day, the main character is a forgotten drunk and suddenly becomes a frustrated middle-class man with a clear understanding of the issues they face and how hard they work every day. Or does he? Do the housewives Larry praises on the radio really sympathize with him?
In the film, sincerity is examined. The sweet persona Larry crafts on the radio are not so different from his real-life self, but it is evident he has more sinister, selfish motives when no one is watching. He is obsessed. Marcia appears to be the focus of the film initially, but he leaves her behind for drugs, money, and fame. However, that is just the point. The people choose their heroes. It is a miraculous process that does not make sense. There are many deserving people who fail to make it because others seem to have what the public desires. It is the media that puts both cruel and good-willed individuals on top, all at the whims of listeners and viewers who never fully understand the people behind the screen.
His Girl Friday (1940)
One of the original media movies, His Girl Friday is so old that it focuses almost exclusively on the newspaper business in its depiction of the media. It strikes a beautiful balance between taking shots at how news works and offering up a love story that lacks nearly as much bitterness. It leaves a legacy of sharp, machine-gun fire banter. The characters’ conversations are a perfect reflection of the nature of the news world. As dozens of reporters attempt to pick up something important before others do, the business is chaotic.
Both the frenetic editing and the brilliant use of phone calls are also excellent examples of form matching substance. Despite its slow pace, there are moments when the characters appear to be going faster than normal, making the film both easier to watch and capture the essence of classic journalism. Despite this pace, Roselind Russell and Cary Grant both add playfulness to the story that adds heart to a story that mostly shows how ruthless journalists can be. This is the very definition of an oldie but a goldie.
The Truman Show (1998)
Truman Show is about an almost endless list of things. It’s about religion, philosophy, and ethics. The show’s range is incredible, but the reason Truman Burbank exists the way he does is because of the media. It is because of the people that the family-friendly story of Truman escaping his tv prison exists. Money-hungry executives trap Truman in the story of greed but it is also a story of ambition. Christopher finds his series to be a masterpiece, a show that bridges reality and fantasy in a way no other show has. This film’s multi-faceted villain is one of its greatest assets, right behind of course Jim Carey.
Carey’s work is remarkable because it plays off of his vices. There are comedic moments, but they are much more thought out than him screaming some catchphrase spontaneously as he has done many times before. He is forced to be a pitiful character who has seen the world crumble around him before his very eyes, and conceptually few movies, let alone sci-fi movies, have equaled its plot brilliance. What makes it even more incredible is the fact that it’s a movie filled with heart and emotion instead of one that abandons all hope for humanity’s future. Nonetheless, the intellectual is left with many questions regarding the ethicality of the act done to Truman and the relationship between producer and viewer. In the article, the author discusses how creative minds go too far for entertainment and how the ever-present media makes people wonder whether it also intrudes upon them.
All the President’s Men (1976)
All the President’s Men, while it is no less riveting than the other entries but definitely more assertive about the goodness of the media, is on the opposite end of the pessimistic spectrum. It has been said a thousand times, but one cannot talk about great media movies without mentioning this. It is an inspiring story that exemplifies the power of good journalism and the courage of good-willed people.
There is almost no lag in its two hours and 18 minutes, with every scene leading to another revelation as Hoffman and Redford get closer and closer to the truth. As actors themselves, they set the standard for the unbeatable, tireless journalists who put all their effort into their work. As they drink coffee, they radiate fatigue and drive from the sweat on their faces. It’s real. It’s a story of justice having it’s day and corruption usurped by a press, and it’s a story that benefits immensely from taking place on American soil. The film is the quintessential American journalism movie, which has nothing but praise for the men who went above and beyond.
Nightcrawler is as searing as any media take. Lou, Nina, and everyone else looking for a story are brutalized by it. Nightcrawler’s atmosphere is thick with darkness, its pitch-black environments not even close to the darkness of the ensemble. Nightcrawler is lauded as a neo-noir due in part to its bleak look at human nature. As well as a complicated antihero worthy of praise and criticism, it also expects the worst from people. Lou Bloom is one of the most persevering and hardworking characters of the 21st century. While admirable, his determination underscores how tough the TV business is and how it can incite immorality.
As Lou pushes the boundaries of ethical journalism and sabotages others, the viewer realizes that news is as cutthroat as any other industry. His desire to capture the violence, the accidents, and the bloodshed he sees is not merely something sacred to him. It shows how media and tragedy are connected. The media wants terrible heartbreaking stories that will make everyone extraordinarily rich while Lou is obsessed with rising to the top.