Yesterday I went to the Rochester Cineworld cinema to watch The Post. Going to this cinema during popular times, Friday evenings and Saturdays, often means a struggle to get parked. There are plenty of spaces but I think some people can’t park straight or in the spaces and then it’s a ripple effect across the car park after that. It doesn’t help that the lines as guidance for parking are virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the surface. It’s best to arrive at the car park just as one film finishes then you get an outpouring of cars and hence spaces.
I went to watch The Post. After the film I rated this movie on IMDB and perhap, you could have a look at the scoring system communication. The application then tweets my result:
— Ian Parish (@iparish) January 20, 2018
This film touches on so many issues that I hope to do it justice. Firstly, this film covers the release of secret documents from the DoD about the Vietnam war and the subsequent publication of them in newspapers followed by the government attempting to silence the newspapers. The newspapers were publishing the papers because they clearly showed that the government was lying to the public about many issues.
As the film is based around the Washington Post there is a small disgruntled group out there that think it trivialises the publication by the New York Times, but that is not the impression I got. It is clear in the film that The Times was publishing before the Post and that they had worked on it for much longer. This story is about power, women, suppression, and integrity.
The duty of the press to report the Truth outweighs their duty to friendships or the state. This film deals with the friendships of the owner of the Post and its editor. They know the main politicians within the plot and there’s the deliberation of them over-coming the friendships to print the story that needs to be in the public domain. This is a struggle but the message is clearly that politicians have always, and still do, cosy up to press barons to ensure a more biased hearing in the print. It happens today. The press seniors want to feel close to the powerful but they get drawn to the dark side.
There are a few scenes where we see Meryl Streep acting the part of a woman in business in the early 70s. She struggles against the object sexism in the boardroom. She is bullied by men who teat her as a lower form of life and force their own greedy ideas on to her. We learn that business is not what she wanted to do but it was forced upon her. Her performance was brilliant, I felt for this woman of the establishment, even though she was part of the establishment.
Watching the scenes where the paper is going to press and seeing the machines used to make newspapers was fascinating. I doubt very much it is done like that now and I’d be impressed to know where they found the machines for this film. I suspect some of the shots were CGI from previous “how it works” films. I love the complexity that humans can create to serve a good purpose.
This film was the story of an over-powered president of the USA bullying and shouting down the newspapers because he didn’t like the truth that they were printing. This was 1971. He hoped to shut down the press using the courts. It turns out that what the newspapers printed didn’t harm the soldiers fighting in Vietnam or damage the reputation of the USA anymore than trying to win that stupid war. The current situation is strange I think. The president in the White House is an over-powered racist with no political knowledge who is trying to shout down the truth the newspapers are trying to print because he wants to be loved and popular and “the best”. The methods have changed, he uses social media to get his ideas out there, but it is the same thing. Except, over the last year there have been SO MANY lies that I doubt the press can keep up and hold the executive in check. Many in the US population don’t care and aren’t bothered but reporting the truth is important. I hope the press continues to do so.
So, we have a film portraying a newspaper informing the public about the lying in the White House and exploring themes of sexism and oppression. Just like the current situation. It is a timely film for Hollywood to make and important to have its place in history. The entertainment world, which is largely not-republican, is fighting back. Notice who gets the awards and for what reason. Hollywood is using its position to push ideas through to the public, to help them see the chaos their country has become.
I gave this film a 10. Which is slightly surprising. I probably won’t watch this film again, but I am likely to follow it with All The President’s Men sometime soon. I gave this film a 10 because I am angry. I am angry at what I see this country, the UK becoming. I am angry at the utter incompetence of the political leaders in this land. The shit and shock of Brexit and the hatred that is being fuelled by social media and some elements of the press. I am angry at the self-destruction. Part of me, every now and then, stands back and says “go fuck yourself UK, you brought this on yourselves. I’ll keep my head down in my own little world and hope I can manage the next 30 years as this fucking stupid shit-show plays out”. I really wish I could pull away and be less caring about society and this country but it turns out I used to like this place. I used to enjoy the fact I could be me in a liberal, progressive country. I think I used to like this place. I liked the freedom to moan about the country without fear of reproach. I liked the freedom to not stand for the anthem. I look around and see a sad little island self-harming in the dark corner afraid to seek help or change its behaviour. My anger meant I want all people to see this film. To see how politicians use the press. To see the self-righteousness of those in power and how fragile they are. Look, I’m just angry at the “system”, the self-serving politicians and how they are destroying this country.