Sunday, April 18, 2021

MOVIE WEEKEND: THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

 Nomadland = beautiful

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom = lush

The United States vs. Billie Holiday = dull

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My word for The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is exciting (2020; Rated R; I watched it on Netflix).

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 has six Academy Award nominations: Best Movie; Best Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen); Best Original Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin); Best Editing (Alan Baumgarten); Best Cinematography (Phedon Papamichael); Best Song (Celeste, Daniel Pemberton). 

Of the nominated movies I've watched so far, this one is the most conventional, in that it clearly manipulates one's emotions with an exciting trial, its interesting cast of characters, and an even more exciting conclusion that has the observers in the courtroom cheering. Aaron Sorkin, who also directs, is good at taking events with a factual basis and fictionalizing them so they're exhilarating.

In 1968, protests at the Democratic Convention in Chicago were led by Students For A Democratic Society's Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and the Yippies' Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong). Their activism led to charges against them and then an unfair trial presided over by the evil Judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella). Nixon was out to get them, but they had great pro bono representation and an assist from Ramsey Clark (Michael Keaton). 

I remember hearing about the Chicago 7, and then the trial, on the news every night, but I was too young to understand what it really meant. I learned more about it when I was older, and feel I appreciate it more fully because of this movie in spite of the fiction. Because the movie is good, I read about the facts of the case.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

23 comments:

  1. I have only seen half of the movies up, and can't say I liked any of them. I blame it on the pandemic.

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    1. I'm working my way through them and enjoying some.

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  2. We liked this movie too. The real-life riots and trial happened when I was an adolescent, just as I was becoming a political junkie interested in all the civil rights protests and movements going on in the USA. I remember avidly watching the news about the trial. The treatment of Bobby Seale was so, SO shocking. It appalled everyone except bigots and hawks.

    I vividly remember Abbie Hoffman's American flag shirt too -- THAT'S what shocked and appalled bigots and hawks at the time. In those days, the Stars and Stripes were never put on anything but flags or government images. Nowadays, the American flag is on everything from the cheapest plastic crap to thongs and underwear and of course, no one bats an eye.

    I saw Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin speak live once, debating each other at the University of Manitoba in the late 1980s or so. They were doing a dog-and-pony show at campuses across the USA and Canada. Hoffman was still a leftie but by then Rubin was a Wall Street neo-con yuppie. Their debate definitely foreshadowed the divisions that exist in America today.

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    1. In my reading I was surprised to see how Rubin had changed. I recall a talk show host (maybe it was Merv Griffin) saying he'd interviewed Abbie Hoffman for his show but the network decided it couldn't be broadcast because of his flag shirt. Crazy! What happened to Bobbie Seale was the real shocker for me.

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  3. I did not find the film exciting but I did enjoy it.

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  4. My life was in total chaos at that time (raped that summer). I just remember watching the protestors at the convention being beaten bloody by the police and how shocking that was. Just like it was shocking to see college students being killed at Kent State...and the assassinations...and the riots...and watching horrible Vietnam footage on the news every night. But I didn't pay attention to the trial. My own personal life was such a mess at the time. I will watch the movie to find out what I missed.

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    1. Your life certainly was chaotic then. You had your own personal hell.

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  5. Hi Janie - I'd certainly be interested in watching this ... thanks for the review and your comment on it. All the best - Hilary

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  6. Never having been a fan of movies (I doubt that I have seen seventy-five in my life), I am at a bit of a loss in terms of commenting on them, unfortunately. The last time I was in an actual movie theatre was to see "Good Morning Vietnam" so that will give you an idea as to how long ago that was!

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    1. I seldom see a movie in a theater. It's much too expensive and there's always a risk that the person sitting behind you will narrate the entire movie.

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  7. This is one movie I really would like to see and hope I can before Sunday when the Oscars are on but I doubt it. I heard nothing but great things about it.

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    1. I don't think it will win Best Picture, but I certainly liked it.

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  8. We haven't watched a movie in forever. We watch a lot more shows.

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    1. I know you're not into movie, Jo-Anne. You keep busy with so many things, especially your family.

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  10. I was a wee-babe (and not living in the USA) when it took place, but it was already part of counter-culture mythology when I came here. I LOVED this movie

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  11. Interesting! I'm eager to see this movie, actually. I can use the fact that Aaron Sorkin directs to convince Dave to watch it too. :)

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  12. I was finishing high school and starting college during these years so I was hearing a lot about the Chicago riot and the ensuing trial. As a relatively conservative young guy I found the protestors to be an unsavory lot. But I was in East Tennessee and I wasn't all that alone in my thinking.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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