Entertainment » Movies

’Mad as Hell’ :: ’Network’ Prayer and ’The Power of Duff’

Monday Sep 30, 2013

Stage & Screen, a collaboration between Coolidge Corner Theatre and Huntington Theatre Company that explores the depictions of shared themes in Huntington productions and acclaimed films begins its second season of collaboration on Monday, Oct. 14 at 7pm with Sidney Lumet's Academy Award-winning film "Network."

The screening will be followed by a conversation with playwright, screenwriter, and film director Stephen Belber and others from the Huntington's production of "The Power of Duff."

"Network" is director Sidney Lumet's brilliant, pitch-black satire of the tabloid-tainted television industry, where entertainment value and short-term ratings trump quality. Over-the-hill newsman Howard Beale's (Peter Finch) televised rant after being summarily dismissed from the anchor desk immediately transforms him into a prophet-like media figure and the focus of a new sensationalized broadcast.

His unhinged rants on live TV resonate with viewers, boost the ratings and intrigue a pair of cutthroat network executives. Finch won the Best Actor Oscar posthumously for his iconic performance; Oscars also went to screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, Faye Dunaway as a ruthless VP programming boss, and Beatrice Straight.

"The Power of Duff" explores similar events and themes: When burnt-out local TV newscaster Charlie Duff suddenly begins offering a prayer at the end of his nightly broadcasts, he instantly becomes a popular and controversial figure to an expanding audience. But even as his prayers inspire millions, Charlie struggles with his own beliefs and his inability to connect with his estranged son.

Last season's Stage & Screen included Gore Vidal's "The Best Man" and a conversation with "Now or Later" playwright Christopher Shinn, Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and a conversation with "Invisible Man" adaptor Oren Jacoby and WGBH Senior Investigative Reporter Phillip Martin, and Fritz Lang's "M" and a conversation with "Ryan Landry's 'M'" playwright Ryan Landry. Additional Stage & Screen events will be announced at a later date.

More information at www.coolidge.org/programs/stage-screen

"Network" and the post-screening conversation
Monday, Oct. 14 at 7pm
Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline
Tickets: $10 / $7 for Coolidge members and Huntington Theatre Company subscribers (with subscriber ID)

Huntington's production of "The Power of Duff"
Oct. 11 - Nov. 9, 2013
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA www.huntingtontheatre.org/powerofduff


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