Network

From 1976, this iconic American New Wave renegade text is even more startling than it once was—was Hollywood ever this cerebral, this caustic, this ethically apocalyptic? That 90 percent of Network's satire has become fulfilled prophecy by now doesn't take the shine off of its broadsword. Reality-show whoredom, death TV, New Globalistic anti-humanism, audience as robotic consumer—it's all here and all still hamburger in the teeth of this movie, written with hissing rage and in huge, thoughtful paragraphs by Paddy Chayefsky and directed with a vivid sense of '70s genuineness by Sidney Lumet. It feels in the watching like a hilarious organic nightmare, but Network is very much a carefully crafted object, its structure brilliantly hidden, its sardonic flourishes made with a wide variety of weapons, its absurdities riding coach with hardcore realism. Peter Finch and Faye Dunaway star. Note additional shows Sat.-Sun. at 4 p.m. (R) MICHAEL ATKINSON

Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 7 & 9:15 p.m., 2008

 
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