Tag: Fordham Law

A Great Night with Good Night and Good Luck

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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John Adams and the Rule of Law

By Will Bartholomew

On Friday, October 19 Fordham Law School’s Forum on Law, Culture, and Society kicked off its annual film festival at the HBO Theater with a screening of Part One of the mini-series “John Adams.” The evening took on a hint of Hollywood gala as smartly-dressed patrons mingled over drinks and appetizers in the theater’s foyer before the show with the event’s guests-of-honor, Kirk Ellis, who wrote the screenplay for the series, and Judge Denny Chin, of the Federal Court of Appeals.

The festival, which is in its seventh year, seeks to spur discussion of the role of law and lawyers by showcasing films that deal with legal themes. Actors, writers, intellectuals, and members of the legal profession with a connection to the film are invited to help facilitate the discussion after each screening.

This year’s festival drew a capacity crowd for its opening night. As showtime neared and the audience filed into the theater, the room became so packed that even the festival’s lion-haired director, Thane Rosenbaum, had to search for a seat.

As the crowd settled in, Professor Rosenbaum rose to the podium at the front of the theater and, after thanking the people who had made the event possible, posed a question to the audience:

“Why did we choose Judge Chin for this post-show discussion? Why is he the perfect person to speak after Part One of “John Adams”?”

No one even ventured a guess. The answer would have to wait.




With Dylan, Lawyers May Stay ‘Forever Young’

By Tara Krieger

He’s been the poet laureate of folk music for half a century, more a symbol than a man. His lyrics have pervaded discussions of matters surrounding politics, jurisprudence, civil rights, emancipation, the environment, literature, and economics.

So how many roads must a legal scholar walk down before running into a Bob Dylan lyric? The answer, my friend, was demonstrated at a two-day symposium hosted by Fordham in conjunction with Touro Law School on Bob Dylan and the Law.

‘Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen….’

One of the panelists was NYLS’s own Michael Perlin. He estimates having used Dylan-inspired titles for over fifty law review articles and book chapters, because “there is nobody like Bob who has spoken on so many different issues.”

Speaking ‘in the jingle-jangle morning’ Tuesday in front of thirty enthused academics, Professor Perlin dared say that Dylan’s story of the “Hurricane” (‘the man authorities came to blame for something that he never done’) and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” (about the too-lenient sentencing of an aristocrat who murdered a ‘maid of the kitchen’) had more of an impact on “the way the American public thinks about the criminal justice system than all the professors of criminal law and procedure put together.” (more…)