Razzle Dazzle, Pt 6: The Takeaway

A six-part video essay about fame and the movies
by Aaron Aradillas and Matt Zoller Seitz  posted August 3, 2010
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"The Takeaway" is the concluding chapter of Razzle Dazzle, a six-part series about fame as depicted in motion pictures. Chapter 1, "The Pitch," laid out the premise of the series: that while there are many things Hollywood movies do poorly, one thing they do very well is show the effect of mass media on societies, on individual lives and on our collective perception of reality. Succeeding episodes looked at familiar social types—"The Hero," "The Fraud," "The Parasite" and "The Maverick"—and showed how people's actual personalities are shaped, sometimes distorted, by the media's need to fit everyone into predetermined narrative slots. "The Takeaway" traces all these forces back to their roots. The media is a business, and its business is telling stories: the more simplistic the better.



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David Strathairn in Good Night, and Good Luck., directed by George Clooney


video essay  |  fame


San Antonio-based film critic Aaron Aradillas is a contributor to The House Next Door, the founder and publisher of Rockcritics.com and the host of “Back by Midnight,” an Internet radio program about film and television.

More articles by Aaron Aradillas

Matt Zoller Seitz is a writer and filmmaker whose debut feature, the romantic comedy Home, is available through Netflix and Amazon. His writing on film and television has appeared in The New York Times, New York Press, and The Star Ledger, among other places. He is also the founder of The House Next Door, a movie and TV criticism website.

More articles by Matt Zoller Seitz
Author's Website: The House Next Door