On Friday, Sonakshi Sinha’s Noor will attempt to offer new insight into what it means to be an Indian journalist – and what it means to be an Indian journalist in the age of social media.
There have been several movies over the years that portray journalists, and journalism, as it is perceived – noisy newsrooms, overeager reporters stumbling onto major scoops, hassled editors (who, somehow, always appear to be overworked). Whether Noor captures the truth behind the news, it remains to be seen.
But till then, we can always rewatch (or maybe discover for the first time) these films, which are among the best to capture the essence of this noble profession, which has made cynics out of the most romantic people.
Here’s an unusual list of movies which have, and will continue to, inspire generations of journalists.
All the President’s Men (1976)
This is, of course, the first film that jumps to everyone’s mind when they think of films about journalism, and for good reason. It really gets into the murky minutiae of the profession, the hours spent hunched over newspaper clippings, the nights spent pouring over data. In an age when information is just a hashtag away, it’s almost quaint.
Spotlight, in a major upset at the 2016 Oscars, beat the frontrunner, Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant, to bag the top prize. The story it tells is perhaps more gripping than the way it tells it. Honest, efficient, and often brutal, it’s the rare movie to explore what goes into an investigation.
State of Play (2009)
Part murder mystery, part political conspiracy, it’s no wonder that State of Play attracted an amazing cast. It is strange however, why so few people actually saw it.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
For an entire generation of moviegoers, Meryl Streep’s performance as the icy editor of a fictional fashion magazine Miranda Priestly (it is said that she was modelled after Vogue’s Anna Wintour), is how they know the legendary actor. And in Anne Hathaway’s dismissive aspiring journalist, it mirrors the world’s larger perception of soft news.
The End of the Tour (2015)
A dramatisation of journalist David Lipsky’s five-day road trip with one of the most mysterious writers of the time, David Foster Wallace, The End of the Tour is an intimate portrait of two individuals, bonding over conversation. It also features some of stars Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel’s best work.
David Fincher can do little wrong. His twisted thriller about the unsolved Zodiac murders explores the obsession that often goes behind some stories. And it led into his adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, another film which combined journalists with serial killers.
Network is perhaps one of the most prescient movies about the business ever made. Sure, back in the ‘70s, Howard Beale went mad as hell and self-destructed on live TV because he couldn’t take it anymore, and the world witnessed his descent into madness. But don’t we tune into the circus that is the 9 o clock news every evening?
Nightcrawler had cult classic written all over it when it opened to little fanfare back in 2014. Jake Gyllenhaal, who is always tremendous in whatever he does, was robbed of an Oscar nod.
Almost Famous (2000)
Based on writer/director Cameron Crowe’s experiences as a teen reporter for Rolling Stone, Almost Famous is one of the best films about many things – music, teenage, rock and roll, and of course, journalism.
Control Room (2004)
If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to be in a newsroom during a major global event, look no further than this acclaimed documentary, which goes behind the scenes of the Al Jazeera newsroom during the invasion of Iraq.
David Frost was known mostly as a charming TV host, but when he interviewed disgraced US president Richard Nixon for a series of televised interviews, the world tuned in.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
For no other character has created more journalists.
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