2005-07-11 - 8:56 a.m.
Bad-Ass Commie Nigger and Other Delights
Watched the "classic" Network on Friday. Although very dated, it's true that its satire regarding the media circus that is modern life is still relevant, and makes for an often incredibly funny black comedy.
Especially enjoyable is the subplot involving a communist figure modeled on Angela Davis and a domestic nihilist-terrorist gang. In their first meeting, Faye Dunaway's character introduces herself: "I'm Diana Christenson, a racist lackey of the imperialist ruling circles." To which the Angela Davis character replies: "I'm Laureen Hobbs, bad-ass Commie nigger."
On the whole, fairly enjoyable, though I'm sure the waves it generated had much more bite in 1976 when it was released.
The following is an especially effective bit of the screenplay:
140. INT. THE FARMHOUSE - LIVING ROOM
(a nervous man, to the new arrivals, now entering)
Where the hell have you been?
(embracing the GREAT KHAN)
Ahmed, sweet, that dodo you sent for a driver couldn't find this fucking place.
There is a genial exchange of helloes and waves between the phalanxes of AGENTS --
Let's get on with this before they raid this place, and we all wind up in the joint.
(to FREDDIE now pulling up a crate)
We're on Schedule A, page seven, small c small i –
(whisking through her copy of the contract)
Have we settled that sub-licensing thing? We want a clear definition here. Gross proceeds should consist of all funds the sublicensee receives not merely the net amount remitted after payment to sublicensee or distributor.
We're not sitting still for overhead charges as a cost prior to distribution.
(whose nerves have worn thin, explodes:)
Don't fuck with my distribution costs!
I'm getting a lousy two- fifteen per segment, and I 'm already deficiting twenty-five grand a week with Metro. I'm paying William Morris ten percent off the top!
(indicates the GREAT KHAN) -- And I'm giving this turkey ten thou a segment and another five for this fruitcake -- (meaning MARY ANN GIFFORD) And, Helen, don't start no shit with me about a piece again! I'm paying Metro twenty percent of all foreign and Canadian distribution, and that's after recoupment! The Communist Party's not going to see a nickel out of this goddam show until we go into syndication!
Come on, Laureen, you've got the party in there for seventy-five hundred a week production expenses.
I'm not giving this pseudo insurrectionary sectarian a piece of my show! I'm not giving him script approval! And I sure as shit ain't cutting him in on my distribution charges!
MARY ANN GIFFORD
(screaming in from the back)
Fuggin fascist! Have you seen the movies we took at the San Marino jail break-out demonstrating the rising up of a seminal prisoner- class infrastructure!
You can blow the seminal prisoner-class infrastructure out your ass! I'm not knocking down my goddam distribution charges!
The GREAT KHAN decides to offer an opinion by SHOOTING his PISTOL off into the air. This gives everybody something to consider, especially WILLIE STEIN who almost has a heart attack.
THE GREAT KHAN
Man, give her the fucking overhead clause.
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