Syriana and Gaghan: Two steps forward, one back
There’s a short piece in the current Rolling Stone called "Hollywood vs. Big Oil" — the piece isn’t online, though a very positive review is — about the movie Syriana. It’s got some interesting background details, including a few about the financing from eBay billionaire Jeff Skoll’s Participant Productions.
I’m seeing it on Friday, and I fully expect it to kick ass.
And I respect Stephen Gaghan for making it. It’s a real public service. But dude …
Despite immersing himself in the evils of the oil industry, Gaghan is not a purist. In fact, he has a confession to make. "I have to get a second car," he says quietly. "You know something? I don’t like hybrids."
Look, I get that for some reason every mainstream media story about environmental issues has to include some kind of poke at the eco-messengers and how hypocritical they are for not living in huts in the woods. This is what the green movement gets for making personal environmental virtue such an obsessive focus.
But why does Gaghan have to play the game? And why a potshot at hybrids, which unlike, say, composting toilets, are perfectly accessible and practical? These little signals matter.
I’ll try to get some kind of review of Syriana up over the weekend.
Update [2005-11-22 12:16:37 by David Roberts]: Well, it appears I was misled (by my own wife!). The opening this Friday is limited — Dallas and New York, as far as I can tell (Seattle gets no love). It doesn’t open wide until Dec. 9. So I guess I’ll go see it then. Sigh.