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Just because you put on a fucking safari helmet and looked at some poop doesn't give you the right to insult what we do.
May 26, 2011 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Page One: Inside The New York Times is a brilliant new documentary from Andrew Rossi, director of Eat This New York and Le Cirque: A Table In Heaven. Starting in November 2009, Rossi spent a year filming the NYT Media desk: "I’d just arrive daily, go up to the third floor and ask what they’re working on today and can I follow you. At first many were shy, but over time I remained patient and waited for things to happen."

While there, Rossi was able to capture the response to the launch of WikiLeaks "Collateral Murder" video, the collapse of the Tribune Company, the exit of US forces from Iraq, and the NYT's own experiences with layoffs. Many scenes are stolen by the foul-mouthed, take-no-prisoners media desk reporter David Carr, but the banter between editor Bruce Headlam and his team of reporters (including the hyper tech-savvy Brian Stelter) creates a film something like a cross between Aaron Sorkin and The Office.

The film premiered at Sundance, is currently playing this weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival, and will have a non-festival premiere in New York on June 17th.
posted by lantius (11 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Does Judith Miller give me the right to insult what you do?
posted by Trurl at 3:51 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Inside the New York Times Book Review. Not brilliant, but lots of geeky details for book review readers.
posted by stbalbach at 4:00 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there someplace to watch this entire film online for free?
posted by hippybear at 4:06 PM on May 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really want to see this, though I'm afraid it's going to be more of a pre-mortem than anything else.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:09 PM on May 26, 2011


Thanks for the SIFF pointer. Missed this one.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:09 PM on May 26, 2011


I saw the trailer for this online and again last night at the arthouse (went with friends to see the Herzog cave documentary). Like 2bucksplus, I'm afraid it's a pre-mortem, but certainly it's capturing the newspaper business at a time of technological change. But I think the same thing could probably be said of any year that a documentary filmmaker captured between 1985 and now.

Unfortunately this thread will be closed by the time my local arthouse gets it or I'd commit to recording my impressions when I see it.
posted by immlass at 5:13 PM on May 26, 2011


I saw it recently. It benefits from extremely propicious timing, in that it follows the Times from the Collatoral Murder video to their partnering with Wikileaks to vet and release the Bradley Manning documents, which seem to signify an epochal shift at the Times, which reallybdoes seem a bit adrift at this moment, having come out of a series of scandals into. Worl in whixh legacy media is failing. And it helps that the dilm focuses on David Carr, and extremly smart oddball who manages to inject the film with both a lot of humor and an unexpectedly ragged streetfighter personality. Even as he reports on the collapse of old media, his methods are painstakingly old media, involving hours of sorting through documents and making cold calls in hopes of interviews that will bust open a story. It's a fascinating film.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:06 PM on May 26, 2011


Heard about this in Dutch media this week, hadn't seen the trailer. Thanks for posting this!

(On a side note: maybe Ricky Gervais, Christopher Guest et al. have ruined sincere fly-on-the-wall documentaries for me forever, but for half of that trailer I had to remind myself that it wasn't improvised acting.)

Still, looking forward to seeing this!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:27 PM on May 26, 2011


Saw it at Full Frame. Loved it -- fantastic film. (Actually watched it while sitting right next to Bruce Headlam and the filmmakers, which was cool.)
posted by statolith at 6:38 PM on May 26, 2011


It's a weird title: Page One is the outside of the New York Times....
Anyway, do they interview / watch people other than the media team? That seems to be all you see in the trailer.
posted by chavenet at 4:01 AM on May 27, 2011


Some impressions:

- Packed crowd at the Egyptian theatre today. Standing room only, if you were at the back of the queue.
- At the appearance of Joe Lieberman, one Seattlite yelled at the screen, "Shut the fuck up!" lots of laughter.
- David Carr was the definite emotional center of the film, and he earned the most laughs and cheers for his snappy rejoinders at the Vice douchebags, as well as his before and after demo of what a news aggregator would look like without mainstream press.
- A good documentary in some respects. The makers gloss over the NY Times souring its relationship with Assange, and pulled some punches about the Times' mishandling of work by Jayson Blair and Judith Miller.

Well-made, the doc almost feels like a glossy ad for the Times, centering on Carr as the grizzled, hard-nosed fighter with a heart of gold, embodying the fighting spirit of a tough, independent paper that loves to scrap, even in hard times. It touches upon the outsides of what can be done to keep a paper running, while the medium of the press switches over from analog to digital. This is perhaps unavoidable as we're in the middle of that transition.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on May 28, 2011


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