A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: Sam Roberts

A Great Night with Good Night and Good Luck

David Strathairn Edward R Murrow

By José I. Ortiz

Because we’re accustomed to a packed house at the Forum on Law, Culture & Society’s films and post-screening discussions, when I saw several empty seats on the chilly evening of October 22, I worried that I might have chosen the wrong night to attend. But once the evening’s film, “Good Night, and Good Luck” began, my worries were over.  I sat back and settled in for what turned out to be a truly outstanding event.

The post film panel was composed of the film’s star, David Strathairn, reporter Bob Simon of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” and Sam Roberts a New York Times editor and correspondent. Leading the discussion, as always, was the charismatic law professor Thane Rosenbaum, director of the Forum Film Festival.

The film is George Clooney’s tribute to one of the most revered journalists in our nation’s history, Edward R. Murrow. Mr. Clooney directed, co-wrote, and acted in this movie, in addition to helping to fund the film, which was made for under $8 million, a marvel of thrift when films’ budgets regularly soar into the hundreds of millions.

This is precisely what is right about this film. As a movie lover I’m one of those “cinephiles” who watch European films to indulge the side of me that wants a deeper, more “artsy” form of entertainment. “Good Night, and Good Luck” has no flashy flyover scenes or CGI explosions. In fact, the movie was filmed in black and white and made to look like it was filmed using a Kinetoscope camera, the kind used for Mr. Murrow’s own shows on CBS.

A very well spoken yet down-to-earth journalist who took his job seriously, Edward R. Murrow didn’t pander to his audience. When was the last time you listened to a reporter who was able to quote Shakespeare on a live broadcast and not sound pretentious? That was Mr. Murrow.

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