Sunday, May 09, 2021

Movies! Movies! Movies! Part 2

Day 3 of the virtual fest had me diving deep into Watergate. My current book is The Watergate Girl, a memoir by the prosecutor who questioned Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, so my head is here anyway.

I watched Scoop, which gives an overview of journalism in the movies. Then I saw TCM's Ben Mankiewicz' interview with Carl Bernstein. There was also a promotional featurette from 1976. where Robert Redford himself interviews Ben Bradlee about how it feels to watch your life portrayed on the big screen. I got the feeling Bob Redford kinda wished he could be Bob Woodward.

Fortunately the Cub game broke very bad very early, which left me free to watch All the President's Men (1976). When I think of this movie, Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee comes to mind. He's so funny, elegant, profane and charismatic, you can't take your eyes off him. But today, I especially enjoyed Redford. There's a controlled tension to his turn as Bob Woodward. Dustin Hoffman has the showier role as Carl Bernstein, but he feels like a bit of a hamhock at times. (I must admit, though, that since reading my beloved Nora Ephron's accounts of her marriage to Carl Bernstein, my overall opinion of him had dipped over the years.) 

Another thing I now appreciate, that I hadn't noticed before, is the use of light and shadow. When Woodward and Bernstein are at the office, they are under fluorescent lights. Everything is open and visible ... and safe. When they're out digging for the story, they're almost always in shadow. On porches, in darkened living rooms, in a parking garage ... and uncertain. The use of light is important to creating suspense in a story where we all know the outcome. See? I'm learning things from the "extras" TCM is giving me!

DVR'd and saved for later: Hollywood Home Movies: Treasures from the Academy Film Archives.

1 comment:

  1. After taking a film course in college (my favorite class!) I appreciate the art of lighting and sound, and the editing that each has.

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