A confluence of events this May Day make a showing of James Brooks’ “Broadcast News” (1987) absolutely necessary. Let’s see, today:
- Is the real Labor Day instead of the faux U.S. “Labor Day” and will include actual mentions of words like “socialist” and “protests” around the world;
- Fittingly, given that it’s May Day, the New Mexico Public Education Department is handing out its ludicrous, silly, yet professionally soul-crushing “Summative Evaluations” today, in a bullshit-filled blizzard of “data” ostensibly “compiled” to “get rid of bad teachers.” What a fucking joke; there’s really no other way to put it;
- It’s my wife’s birthday and Holly Hunter basically IS my wife in this film, with the same professional longing, great sense of humor mixed with moral outrage and beautiful vivacity that made me marry her (my wife, not Holly Hunter) in the first place. Interestingly, I’m actually far, far closer to Albert Brooks’ character than William Hurt’s myself, take that as you wish psychology profession…
Some may wonder why a romantic trifle like “Broadcast News” is part of the Criterion Collection (hence no clip specifically…I think I’d show the “Layoff Day” scene if it was available), but excellent writing that precisely captures one’s wife doesn’t come along that often. Happy Birthday, Emily!
And teachers, have a great weekend reading and re-reading those five-page, color-filled “informative” Summative Evaluations. I suggest accompanying your reading with a glass, or seven, of old vine Malbec. Slightly bitter wine fits perfectly here. Happy May Day!