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Films >> Silkwood (1983) >>

1) [The director] and his writers...have attempted to impose a shape on a real-life story that, even as they present it, has no easily verifiable shape. (Canby C27)

2) Film is an extraordinarily powerful medium. Once a popular movie comes out that presents the story it tells as a truthful account, that version becomes history. To be a character in a historical event which has been reinterpreted by Hollywood for its own dramatic purposes is an irritating and frustrating experience. (Burnham Section 2, 1)

3) ...people may stay away from something that smells like a message. (Meryl Streep, qtd in Keerdoja 89)

4) A movie that is generally artistic, entertaining and accurate ought not to be relegated to the land of make-believe simply because it exposes aspects of reality that some would rather pretend are untrue. (Davis A22)

5) They wanted entertainment and there were a lot of producers around town who didn't believe people would pay to see an anti-nuclear story. They thought we had a political ax to grind. (Buzz Hirsch, executive producer for Silkwood, commenting on the film's outline being "rejected by virtually every producer in Hollywood," qtd in Blowen 8D)

6) ...what I figured out is that everybody has a different impression of you. Your lover, mother, co-worker, all have these varying and contradictory impressions, and what you get is not the portrait of one person, but of three or four. (Meryl Streep, qtd in Ebert 77)

7) It's the difference between boldface and regular type. The words are the same, but in boldface they stand out more, and you can see that somebody's making a point of calling your attention to them. A lot of so-called real life in the movies is boldface. The actors are underlining the "reality." What we were trying to do here was just give the regular body type. In other words, there's nothing especially sensational about the lives these people lead. (Meryl Streep, qtd in Ebert 77)

8) If I die, no one will know what I was really like, and that's the truth. (Meryl Streep, qtd in Ebert 81)

9) [Making the films that I want to make] was hard 10 years ago, and it's even harder now. A studio would much rather make a $110 million action movie with a big star than a $10 million movie with a little one. I wish this weren't also true for the theater -- but it is. Bigger and dumber is better. (Nora Ephron, Silkwood screenwriter, qtd in Kreamer

10) The dirty little secret of the movie business is that there are no profits. In fact, italicize that: There are no profits. The entire movie business is a Ponzi scheme that's set up to allow a small number of people to live lavishly. And those people -- many of whom went into the business because they wanted to make good movies -- after a few years, they just want to keep their jobs. They're sort of like Al Gore: They want to stay in office so badly that they've forgotten why they wanted the job in the first place. (Nora Ephron, Silkwood screenwriter, qtd in Kreamer

11) There are times when the truth matters in movies based on fact and times when it doesn't. Nobody would expect every scene and every utterance in films such as Gandhi, Funny Girl, or Gallipoli to be 100% accurate. Films about well-documented major events and people big enough to have become part of history somehow have the license to cheat a little. (Sawyer 178)

12) While a limited degree of artistic license may be permissible in portraying tangential aspects of this docudrama, essential facts must be respected for the genre to have any integrity. (Bonavoglia 38)

13) ...films whose purported polemical intent never gets too much in the way of adventure, mystery, and romance. Because such enterprises tend to lose momentum -- not to mention box office -- by veering from straightforward melodrama for sharp detours left of center, commercial imperatives tend to win out over political ones. (Doherty 24)

14) The media barrage us so insistently with names that we can barely do more than associate each with one fact or phrase....This nugget is enough for us to jump to certain conclusions. (Kissel 16)