Sidney Lumet passed away on April 9th. He directed one of my 5 favorite American films of all time and I'm embarrassed this afternoon to realize that it's a perfect No Agenda Film and it hadn't occurred to me to pick it as a Monday Movie until now. Anyway, Network (1976) will blow your mind if you have never seen it before.
Here is the quick description from IMDb:
"In 1975 terrorist violence is the stuff of network nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS television network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network."
It is also worth noting that both Sidney Lumet and the screenwriter for Network, Paddy Chayefsky, were quite prolific in the early days of live television. I think this lends even more credibility to this film in that it was the observations and predictions about the medium of television from two people who were intimately aware of what was going on behind the scenes. If you buy the DVD of this film, the commentary track is enlightening and scary at the same time.
Here is the famous "Mad As Hell" speech (still gives me chills). Remember this is from 1976!
Brought to you by The World of Cinema