Friday, July 8, 2011
Waldermar Torenstra and Karina Smulders in "Bride Flight"
As Newspapers Go, So Goes the New York Times?
By Skip Sheffield
Love it or hate it, the New York Times sets the standard for US journalism. What would happen if the great gray lady of newspapers sickened and died?
That is the disturbing question posed by the documentary “Page One: Inside the New York Times,” opening at FAU’s Living Room Theaters.
Filmmaker Andrew Rossi uses a kind of scattershot approach, starting with gloomy obituaries on once-great newspapers, then focusing on talking heads such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, then moving on to editors, reporters, editorial writers, pundits and famous authors like Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe.
One guy who keeps popping up is NYT columnist David Carr, a raspy-voiced guy who is a self-admitted former crack addict. Carr has a wry sense of humor, but he is an odd choice to represent the most respected news source in America. More conventional is current executive editor Bill Keller, whom we see holding editorial meetings, but we don’t really learn about the complexities of gathering the news worldwide. We do see the NYT’s gorgeous new headquarters, which ironically has already been sold and leased back to the newspaper
It helps to care about print newspapers to be interested in “Page One.” I care deeply about newspapers, though I no longer make a full-time living as a journalist. I think a transition to mostly online is inevitable. I subscribe to New York Times online, and it helps me feel plugged in.
For the foreseeable future I think we will still have flagship print papers such as New York Times and Washington Post, but smaller, lower level papers such as the entire now-bankrupt Tribune Company will continue to close their doors. However, I think community newspapers such as Boca Raton Tribune will continue to be read as long as they are supported by advertising.
“Bride Flight” Sprawling, Sexy and Soapy in New Zealand
“Bride Flight’ is a big, sprawling, soapy, sexy saga using a real event as a springboard: the final 1953 Great Air Race from London to Christchurch, New Zealand aboard the winning KLM Dutch airliner.
Aboard the plane are three women who strike up an instant friendship. Esther (Anna Drijver) is a Jewish fashion designer whose family was wiped out in the Holocaust. Marjorie (Elise Schaap) aspires to conventional marriage and motherhood, but it will not turn out exactly as she hoped. Ada (Karina Smulders) is a dewy beauty who instantly falls for handsome passenger Frank (Waldermar Torenstra) although she is promised to another man in New Zealand.
That man is Derk (Micha Hulsof) is a priggish ultra-conservative minister who spurns Ada’s advances on their wedding night, yet becomes a stern father to three kids.
It is the on and off relationship between Ada and Frank that provides the sexy part of the story. Marieke van der Pol’s screenplay veers between 1953 and sometime in the 1960s, when Frank has become a successful winery owner. The very beginning and very end of the film is set near the present and the death and funeral of Frank.
Director Ben Sombogaart has a way with the camera and the scenic vistas of New Zealand. “Bride Flight” is gorgeous and a bit too long at two and a half hours, but between the soap opera-complicated plot devices, there is some hot stuff, Dutch-style. Yes, Smulders smolders.