Fact VS Fiction
There are a few movies I know that first bedevil the audience then engage us to feel for the protagonist who himself does the BAD for his and only GOOD. This type o’ films rivets us on a bida who does ghastly and bloody revenge and all that. And at some point, the audience becomes the invisible conscience.
All I know is that Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass (2003) pretty much had this superb combination of 98% drama and 2% “suspense”— that is without the obtuse special effects. Basically, it was based on a true story in the late 90s in the States. As I watched this film with my Journ102 guys in class last Tuesday, the twisted Russell Crowe (Beautiful Mind) and the antsy Michael Keaton (The Paper) teleported to my head at lickety-split. And perhaps, we realize that the lead role can be demoted to the supporting. Anyhow, the movie empowered us student journalists, and at the same time warned us. Yes, this movie is for all the people in The Media.
Stephen Glass (your Star Wars’ Anakin Skywalker) is taking his first steps on the stage of journalism with his sought-after writings in The New Republic. He’s the gemstone of the staff, being envied at all angles:
Amy Brand (trying-hard staffer): Have you noticed the way Steve’s phone has been ringing lately? Did you see all those editors at the correspondence dinner? The way they were circling him?
Caitlin Avey (some supporting editor): Is that what you want, Amy? To get a bunch of smoke blown up your ass by a pack of editors?
Amy Brand: Yes. Yes it is.
…until his last story “Hack Heaven”— that revolved on the concessions between a kid hacker and a software company— which was too fishy to begin with. A newspaper online competitor discovers
and debunks that the elements in the story were not really on the record hence non-existent. And eventually, they caught that everything was fictitious. It turns out, every news story Steve wrote (which gained sparkling attention and praises) was a heck of “short stories.”
Chuck Lane: He handed us fiction after fiction, and we printed them all as fact. Just because we found him entertaining.
Thanks to my professor for letting us view this thang. It would be unforgivable for me to have not watched this if ever because this flick offers a tip on how bad a career could go if we use your talent as your weakness. As my classmates said, “Steve’s in the wrong company; he should’ve just wrote books.”