Saturday, April 18, 2009

Son Dan and I go see "State of Play" at the movies

I thought this movie starring Russell Crowe, Ben Afleck, Rachael McAdams, Robin Penn Wright, and Helen Mirren was well done and quite relevant to the times. It was based on a series developed in England and changed to an American setting. Russell Crowe plays a newspaper reporter and Helen Mirren his boss and Ben Afleck his friend from college who is now a congressman and subject to corruption in office. The story also makes the case of the newspaper as a the best source of all the pertinent details of the story. And what would we do without it?
I don't think it will become obsolete just because we need newspapers on a local level to give us the indepth story. That can't be done nearly so well on the Internet. And I think we might end up with better newspapers if the publishers pay attention to local issues. I think for a long time the trend was away from local coverage, which did not make sense since the Internet could do a better job of just reporting the facts of national newstories, cheaper and faster. Newspapers trying to compete soon lost ground.
So now we are back to the basic reason newspapers were invented in the first place, to cover stories nobody else could in each city. I am just as interested in the newspaper now as I ever was, because I am reading about so many issues that are related to Arizona economy, schools, employment, everything in fact!
Just recently the Arizona Theater Company announced it would do four new plays that have never been produced before this coming season. The success of this exciting development will depend on how well the newspaper covers these plays. I have a huge invested interest in this, because I would like to see one of my plays produced here before I die. I would like to see Raymond's grant winning play "Blue Baby" produced here. It should have been well on its way to a big production when it received a $5,000 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts with the famous Tony Kunstler, the playwright who wrote "Angels in America" about the AIDs epidemic, as a judge. Raymond's play dealt with homoxexual rape in a city jail where such stuff should never be allowed to happen. The victim has merely been picked up on a drunk drivng charge and supposedly incarcerated over night. Instead he is tortured for five hours and nearly murdered, and his life will never be the same again.
A local playwright writes a play that deals with issues of this magnitude and the leading newspaper critic in Phoenix and indeed all of Arizona manages to avoid seeing two of his own productions of this play?
When did a newspaper man become great by avoiding tough issues? This is what I mean by the newspapers becoming and staying relevant at all times.
My own plays deal with some very tough issues, and I can never get a production here if theater critics continue to tiptoe around issues. My play, "Daughters of the Shadow Men" a Youtube improv version of which I embedded in this blog some months back, deals with the outing of a gay father by his family, long after he is dead, when the mother writes her history of their marriage and reveals information that coincides with what one of the daughters has observed. Do you think this play will ever get produced if the newspaper critics shy away from such subjects?
My latest play "Blue" also deals with gay men who have married and have children, and I put a reading from the script up on Youtube to try to persuade not only Arizona but America to produce plays like this, simply because these problems are part of our lives. Sooner or later I figure these videos will attract someone who will want to produce them.
Look at that Scottish singer whose Youtube audience brought her to the attention of the world.
The local newspapers need to demonstrate that they can handle tough issues and they will survive!


Ann said...

Very nice outfit the green necklace assessory. I wondered if State of Play would be a good movie. Good to have a report.

Connies Photos said...

I hope something of your work gets noticed-you deserve to hit the big time sweet lady.

Amrita said...

Reading the newspaper is a very important part of my day. The Internet or TV cannot replace it.

I have not read Thin Air, the book you mentioned.

Kipling is one of my favourite authors.He lived in my city for a while.

I like Russel Crowe and Ben Affleck.


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