Monday, April 11, 2011

"All Great Work Is Preparing Yourself for the Accident To Happen"

I was out of the loop this weekend because I was in New York City bringing Inara to her mother, so I didn't get a chance to comment on the death of Sidney Lumet here. I've mentioned before, on several occasions, how Lumet's 1976 film Network is -- well, let me just bring back what I first said about it on this site a few years ago:

"It should surprise no one to learn that Sydney Lumet's pitch-black masterpiece Network is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's a film that's almost impossible to wrap your head around as you watch it now, in 2008, because everything you see and hear seems unacceptably incongruous with the notion that the film was released in 1976. To call Network prescient would be the ultimate understatement. The truth is that almost every grotesque, rotten and unethical thing that screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky predicted about the future of television news has come to fruition in the thirty-two years since Network debuted in theaters. There's never been a better movie made about the TV business, and I'm not sure there ever will be."

Lumet was the sure hand at the helm of Network, as well as other classics like Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico and The Verdict. He was a giant because, as one reviewer I read over the weekend said very well, he generally made films about and for adults. He dissected their lives, the truths of their existences, their faults and those dark secrets they tried hopelessly to hide, and he found compassion for their desperate battle to remain moral in an immoral world.

Sidney Lumet was one of Hollywood's true gifts to the world.

He'll be missed, but damn did he leave a pretty terrific legacy behind.

Watch a Clip from Network Here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to me how many web sites have linked to Network in their Lumet obits. I find Network to be dated - it remaines a movie worth seeing, but I don't think time has been good to it.
The Verdict, however, gets better with time. I would argue that was his absolute masterpiece.