Adam Mckay on Network

Adam McKay, the writer and director of Don't Look Up, a chilling present-day satire about how today's media and populace would respond to an impending apocalypse, selected Network to screen at the Paris Theater, as one of the key inspirations for his film. 

Network is a movie that as the years have rolled by continues to shift and morph genres as culture and society changes. More than just about any film ever made, Network is an honest to God living, breathing film.

When it was released in 1976, it was a razor sharp satire about a fictional. exaggerated, and grotesque reality that we could laugh at collectively and comfortably from the vantage point of a world where the press had just taken down a corrupt President. 

But in the 1980s, after a movie actor whose co-star was frequently a monkey became president, Network started to hum with a looming prescience and started to slowly become more of a snarling righteous social drama than an absurdist satire.

By the time the 1990s culminated with a media explosion, the rise of the internet and Bill Clinton assuring us, lip pursed, that the left wing can indeed be left-wing while eating steaks with Wall Street, Network was bubbling and hissing, transforming into a full-on horror movie. A sign post from a previous era howling “beware.”

And now that we have experienced a President floating the idea of ingesting bleach to treat a virus? Now that we stare every day at a collapsing livable climate while our news talks about a bear getting into a hot tub captured on video?

I like to think of Network as a slice of life film. A light touch, well observed comedy about a news show that has a bumpy time due to its host suffering mental health issues.

And even in this new role, it’s still one of my all time favorite films.

--Adam McKay