On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, hosts Rivka Rivera and Frank Cappello are joined by screenwriter and The Audit podcast co-host Josh Olson, for a celebratory discussion of Sidney Lumet and Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 dark satire Network.

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A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

In the modern era of cable news, the most vehement pundits often garner the most passionate audiences. With the success of figures ranging from Keith Olbermann and Tucker Carlson to Alex Jones, sometimes it feels as though a newscaster’s vitriol is valued more than their reporting. This toxic dynamic has been intensified by the internet and the emergence of alt-news personalities such as Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens. 

Almost 50 years ago, screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky saw the writing on the wall when he penned his now-famous screenplay for Network, a dark satire of the predatory and exploitative TV news industry. 

In today’s discussion, Rivka, Frank, and Josh unpack the sardonic brilliance of Chayefsky’s screenplay and Lumet’s filmmaking, how the film depicts the ideological battle between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers, and how the character of TV executive Dianna Christensen remains one of the most important film characters ever rendered on screen. 

For next week’s episode, MVC will be answering questions from the audience. If you have any questions for Rivka and Frank, you can email them to moviesvscapitalism@gmail.com.

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