Having experienced The Interview and its all its wonder, there is a collateral fallout to this film that most art ever achieves. The Interview will not win a single award, yet its impact is political, cultural, and societal.
You should see it merely to see what the fuss is all about.
This dumb little movie designed to make us laugh created political and practical waves that ultimately scared us all.
As a movie, the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy about a pair of TV news people that travel to interview and then maybe kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is silly, and spotty. If Rogen’s humor is your thing, this isn’t bad. Franco is funny, and some of the material is so R-rated wrong it gets a few laughs.
As an event, The Interview worksed on a level to increase our paranoia about the ‘net while decreasing our faith in leadership of any kind as driven by anything other than self interest and money.
As a film, the best thing that could have happened to The Interview was its cancellation, ostensibly because of the Sony email hacking crisis. Without the hacking scandal and ensuing headlines, this movie would have been a financial bomb.
The publicity generated from Sony’s decision to kill the movie was a marketing department’s dream. They didn’t spend a dime to generate more headlines than the combined efforts of American Sniper or Unbroken, two massive budgeted films with eyes on Oscar.
This film went international, prompted remarks from President Obama, and in the end only a few number of people know exactly what happened and why. The behind story of The Interview will ultimately be far more entertaining than The Interview. Was it really North Korea? Were there Sony insiders? Was the decision to kill the movie merely an effort to raise awareness to sell a few tickets?
Whatever the case, without The Interview many people do not ponder the frightening ramifications of just how much of our lives we so easily put on the Internet. The hacking scandal likely reached more people than anything WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ever did.
The hacking scandal is a scary reminder that “Delete All” is its own kind of scam and breeds false security. It’s all there. It merely takes a person with motivation and knowledge of computer coding to find it.
Whether it’s Assange or the hackers who uncovered the Sony emails, we should know that Cyperspace has no eraser.
As a society, we crave convenience and the Internet has made our lives easier. All we have to do is provide the most private digits of our lives on a screen and we just bought a few more minutes to our increasingly crowded self-important schedule. We blindly put it all down to download a song, buy a movie, or setup a first date.
Individually, we don’t think we are important enough for a hacker to care what we are doing, or what we think. That is likely what the Sony execs believed, right up until the time they saw their own embarrassing emails repeatedly run by a 24/7 media that has always loved garbage just as much as Rupert Murdoch.
Only this time it was just junk. There will be a time when a hacker cracks a mainframe that matters far beyond exposing the private thoughts about Angelina Jolie by a studio exec.
Killing The Interview was never about censorship. This was not 1936 Berlin and a government-led DVD burning of the movie at a town square. This was a scared group of individuals that, eventually realized their initial reaction was merely an over-reaction.
Serendipitously, they benefited from their own paranoia. As a film, The Interview should have been a loser, but as an event The Interview won in a way few movies ever do.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760
Twitter: @macengelprof And The Big Mac Blog