With the growth of media being more a part of daily life, there’s a lot of commentaries that started to follow. Isolation, belonging and fame. These were themes that were discussed about television, radio, the movie business and recently social media.
Ingrid Goes West (2017)
A lot of people are obsessed with social media. The lead character, Ingrid, is looking for a connection and can only find it online. Most of the people in her life either stay away from her because she’s the social pariah in their group or they have died. She seems extremely alone but very unstable. She makes obsessions with strangers online. Becomes the largest fan of a social media “star” and moves to here perceived location to be closer to them.
“In this network, we only care about ratings.” A TV network exploits a deranged former anchor for ratings. He has nightly primetime specials where he rants about how society is going downhill and news media being corrupt. Almost the same kind of ranting from a crazy person from a street corner. This is the same movie that has “We’re as mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore.”
To Die For (1995)
A fame hungry small town weather news reporter is in search of more fame through criminal activity. This movie has two viewpoints through flashbacks not told by the reporter and recordings from a VHS tape that the reporter being played by Nicole Kidman is doing in front of the camera breaking the fourth wall looking right into the camera. She is unveiled as a relentlessly horrible emotionally abusive person when she is being described by her ex-sister-in-law. The movie is being told in multiple angles for the viewer to see what kind of legacy she will leave behind.
Natural Born Killers (1994)
This film is about two traumatized people sparking a romantic relationship then becoming psychopathic serial murderers. Their exploits are glorified in the media. One of the many topics of the film is our way of divulging the news in mass media. How we, as viewers, can sensationalize stories for fame. It’s all about keeping you there that you are consuming words and talk but not information, dignity or being satisfied.
After an average everyday joe is made into a reality television show gimmick, he starts to realize how much he is missing in his life. This had a large box office draw in the late nineties. Ed witnesses his life getting destroyed by constant media scrutiny and no privacy. He even gets manipulated to end real relationships with funny ones. His life never truly returns being 100% normal.
Truman Show (1999)
What if you are the star of your own show but don’t even know it. This story for starts is about how much us our actions our own choices. We see Truman go through personal discovery for a need of something different. And part of this story is about how we (the audience) are content hungry at the expense of someone else’s life. This movie can be studied for the themes it brings up like the line that can be crossed when creating content and the feeling some people have when they think other forces are in control of what we think because of reinforced influences. Ed Harris’s character Christopher often discusses how it’s better for Truman to stay controlled and remain a product. While we see how his life is exploited for byproducts and more media consumption.
Citizen Kane (1941)
The classic movie about media mogul life of Charles Foster Kane. The character was loosely based on William Hearst of the Hearst media empire. Even though the legacy of the movie being the greatest movie of all time can be a topic of discussion I am going to stick with the plot only. From media tycoon to political running mate to a mysterious loner in an empty mansion.
Making it big in video journalism is hard and competitive. The viewer explores if the lead, Louis Bloom, even has a soul, something to truly offer and if you want what he is offering you. Loius Bloom was a petty thief looking for work then gets a spark of interest into the Los Angeles crime photojournalism. There’s a real chilling performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as an amateur reporter for the nightly news.