One surefire way to get some buzz going around your festival is to kick it off with a heavyweight flick. And the savvy organisers behind this year’s Venice Film Festival opted to raise the curtain with Good Night, And Good Luck, George Clooney’s directorial follow-up to Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind.
Shot in striking black and white, the film tells the story of a key moment in America’s burgeoning broadcasting industry of the ’50s, when news anchor Edward R Murrow bravely confronted the hysteria-fuelled bullying of Senator Joseph McCarthy during his anti-communist witchhunt. “There are no true bad guys in the movie,” Clooney declared at Venice. “It’s trickier than that.”
Picking up where Clooney left off with Confessions, Good Night is an intimate and stylish affair that’s got feel-good hit written all over it, despite its serious (and topical) subject matter. Clooney himself made direct links between his film and current fears in the US about eroding civil liberties. “My goal isn't to go out and attack the administration. My goal is to create a debate,” Clooney said. “The Patriot Act is going to be re-voted on in October; it’s an interesting time to be involved in the debate about civil liberties.” Clooney’s picked his corner and he’s come out fighting, folks…
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