On Wednesday, director, screenwriter and producer Adam McKay inserted himself into an ongoing debate on Twitter between critics and more passionate admirers of his latest Netflix film. Do not seek, an edifying tale of our current climate crisis. Presumably in response to movie critics who found the film less than satisfactory, he tweeted, “I love all the heated debate over our film. But if you don’t have at least a little embers of anxiety about the climate collapse (or the instability of the United States), I’m not sure Don’t Look Up makes sense. It’s like a robot watching a love story. “WHY ARE THEIR FACES SO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER?” “
If McKay was ever hoping to avoid accusations that he was one of the most patronizing people making movies right now, that statement certainly doesn’t help. In fact, the main charge against Do not seekthe effectiveness of satire, as defined in Comments and through parts of Twitter, is the infuriating nature in which he assumes his audience is blissfully ignorant and indifferent to the rapidly increasing heat of our world and, therefore, needs to be illuminated by an authoritarian allegory. So, it makes sense that McKay, along with author and former speechwriter Bernie Sanders David Sirota, who co-wrote the story, and a number of liberal experts, classify anyone – but mainly journalists – who criticized the film as indifferent to the threat of climate change or, more extreme, as climate change denier.
For those who haven’t seen Do not seek, the film follows two scientists, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, on a quest to inform audiences of the rapidly approaching comet that would wipe out Earth. Their warnings are coldly dismissed as they urge interested politicians to implement defensive measures and crazed journalists to report on looming disaster before it’s too late, to become viral memes on social media , much like how our most vital institutions have failed to adequately address global warming for the sake of capitalism and how kids today are more concerned with getting likes on Instagram only by the fate of mankind. Find?
While McKay rightly targets those in power, his two-hour analogy ignores a global movement of pro-science, environmental activists, and laymen who would most certainly rally around this scenario, including journalists who would talk about it. aggressively. Instead, the media is widely portrayed as incompetent and disinterested in public safety. DiCaprio’s character attracts attention purely for his looks while Lawrence’s character is mocked on social media for breaking down on TV. And the general public only cares about their livelihoods when the comet becomes visible.
According to McKay’s analysis, there are very few humans on Earth – McKay is obviously one of them – who are intelligent enough to act in their own best interests or who have the compassion to care. of the future of others. During this time, vulnerable communities who are currently experiencing the drastic effects of climate change – not just when it reaches the stage where it has a violent impact on everyone, which McKay seems to be primarily concerned about in this film – are raising awareness, proposing solutions and holding back government officials to the job.
Despite these complaints, I wasn’t completely put off by the film, perhaps because I’ve gotten used to McKay’s didactic overtones over the past five years or because I’ve been warned on Twitter for weeks at a time. ‘advance. I found it easier to digest as a slightly funny popcorn flick as opposed to the brain-stimulating text it wants to be. The film’s main saving grace is a bizarre but above all successful ensemble of heavy hitters producing excellent comedic performances, including – aside from DiCaprio and Lawrence – Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett as deeply unserious cable news hosts, Timothee Chalamet as a punk skateboarder, Rob Morgan as the head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (which McKay wants us to know is real), Mark Rylance as a tech billionaire and Meryl Streep as a hybrid. sharp Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
“I found it easier to digest as a slightly funny popcorn flick as opposed to the brain-stimulating text it wants to be.“
Even though I mostly had a good time watching Do not seek, according to McKay, Sirota and his herd of obtuse advocates, I just don’t “understand” the urgency of our climate crisis because I didn’t think the film was necessarily smart (despite the fact that I just endured a Christmas in the Northeast). I can’t think of a better example of how Hollywood views activism than a filmmaker measuring public environmental awareness by his reaction to a Netflix movie that cost $ 75 million to make and quite possibly produces tons of waste in the process. More importantly, this is another common incident of artists refusing to accept what critics do because of their egos. It shouldn’t be necessary to repeat with every release of a lackluster film that a reviewer’s job is to assess the quality of a film and how it conveys the ideas it presents, not to applaud the filmmakers on the basis that the ideas they present are correct.
This distinction between criticism and marketing can become blurred to outsiders when art and journalism are increasingly produced under the same roof. Likewise, a very large majority “review” of Do not seek on the editorial arm of Netflix, Tudum quickly began to circulate after the McKay explosion. The website, which only covers internal content, described the film as a “perfect satire,” proving that while some underpaid writers on the internet don’t get their backs on McKay, the multibillion-based streaming platform. of dollars that funded his film and now an Oscar campaign surely does.
Maybe McKay should cover the disintegration of journalism in advanced capitalism next.