I found a place to watch “Network” from 1976 for free! There are subtitles in Portuguese but you can still see the film pretty well.
The Network is sort of a 4th major Network sort of like Fox is today but it is in its death throes with ratings going into the toilet. They must fire Peter Finch, the evening news guy because he’s supposedly dragging down the ratings. When he’s told he is is to be fired, he goes nuts and his nuttiness (which is truly lucidity, since the only people who truly know reality are “nuts” and everyone else lives in a concocted fantasy to stay “sane” or is a sociopath) gets a ratings boost. His rants start reviving the Network and he is not fired even though he had told the whole audience he would “kill himself on air next Tuesday”.
It’s a must see movie that foretells the future of what the world is today. The main thing I got out of it is that in the future Finch says that people would not be totally human with human emotions. but, “humanoids”, products of the entertainment industry. It has come to pass. The rants of Peter Finch are great and sound like prophecy. The saddest part of the film is where Finch says “yes, Democracy won today, but that’s it, it’s over” after a merger with Saudi Arabia and the Network is foiled
Faye Dunaway plays Diana, the love interest who falls in love with Finch’s best friend, Max, played by William Holden. He leaves his wife of 25 years to live with her only to find her a sociopathic unfeeling “humanoid”. The best scene in the movie is the two breaking up where he tells her he has to leave because she is a life sucking force and that he is truly human and that he wishes to retain his humanity, even though he is old and “dying’ in this youth infested world.
There are also subplots about how Dunaway finds other subversive shows to grow the Network’s ratings. One scene I find weird in a post 9/11 world is how Diana and Max are in bed laughing off the FBI’s attention to Diana’s shows, like they have all the freedom and the government is basically an annoyance. How quaint.
There is also a subplot about all the corporate raiding going on behind the scenes.
I was only 10 or 11 when this film came out. It could have been made today. My favorite film of that era was “Jaws”. Oh my. The most popular scene is the familiar one where Finch comes on his program, pushes another anchor off the show and says “he’s as mad as hell and he is not taking it anymore.” and gets the whole nation to scream out their windows.
Most people I know under 60 or so seem to be “humanoids” devoid of any deep emotion or loyalty. People who have grown up since the Baby Boom era are products of media…they are “consumers”, “human resources”, get it? People are “product”. The family is dead. People are disposable, marriages are disposable, children are disposable. The only thing that matters is survival. Humanoid feral beings are now the norm. The bus is a riding freakshow.
Perps are angrily muttering in the background. They KNOW. Oh they know.
There is something I want to say but I just can’t put my finger on it…you just know the show is true, though. Remember your older relatives? Your parents? Your grandparents? Remember how REAL they seemed? I mean, I miss that. Terribly. There were always bad psychopathic shits around but there were REAL people around, too. It balanced out. It’s now the End Times. What is accepted as “human” behavior is not normal. It’s freakish. Make sure not to miss the “money speech”.
I guess what I am trying to say is that evil is banal, and that is the era (1970s) when the widespread evil of the world became banal with television and violent movies-even before video games and the Internet. It was the desensitization of the new “humanoid”.
The movies has lots of bad language and a few sex scenes, so if you are the “Focus on the Family” type you might not want to see it.
I’ll leave it to you to see the ending. No spoiler.