The 31 Best Films Of 2011 - No. 29
Page One: Inside the New York Times
I’m going to start off by sharing a little secret with you guys. I’ve never read a copy of The New York Times. Well, never may be a slight overstatement but I can honestly say that I can’t remember ever reading a copy of The New York Times. Don’t get me wrong, I like The Times and the work they put out. I find myself scrolling through their website regularly, but I can’t ever recall holding a physical copy of their publication in my hands. Not even during one of my bazillion and one trips over to the US. So what attracted me to go out of my way to see this film? Well that’s simple, and it had nothing to do with journalism.
There was a time when to me New York City was just that, a city. I had never visited there, never really intended to visit there, never really wanted to visit there. I’d been over to the states a few times, each time enjoyable, but always with a sense of relief towards the normality on returning home. Then when I old enough to travel unsupervised for the first time, I went to Jersey for some music. The trip wasn’t about seeing America, it was about seeing bands and making friends. Of our week stay, we had one final day where the music has ceased and everyone else had already packed their bags and headed home. So we decided we might as well jump on a bus and head over to Manhattan. Why not. As that skyline got nearer and nearer I felt myself falling for something that I’d not yet even experienced. As if I was genuinely falling for an idea. The bus pulls into Port Authority, the skyline disappears, and I’m overcome with this feeling of deprivation. Was this new found elation really caused by something so elementary as a skyline? I had to find out, and I had to find out fast. Finally finding the nearest exit, I walked out onto the a New York street for the first and thus begun the greatest love story the world is ever likely to see. No longer seeing that skyline, but being in that skyline was one of the greatest moments I’ve ever experienced. It will stay with me forever. And the building that first confronted me and started this love affair as I stepped out the bus station? The New York Times building.
Now I know you’re probably wondering if you’re still reading a film review but let me assure you, without that experience, I probably wouldn’t of caught this film. I can’t remember the exact number of cinemas it was shown at in this country but I know that that number was small, very small. The New York Times gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever had so the least I could do was go and catch it’s film. I never thought a documentary about a newspaper could be so fascinating. It’s no doubt that The Times are still one of the biggest players out there but to me there was only really a few set ways a paper could be run. People write articles, machines then print those articles, people then read those articles, which in theory is how it’s done but the characters that make up the first part of this processes were the most oddly inspiring people I’ve ever watched on film. Especially David Carr whose most up front views on life made me want to pack up everything, move to NYC and stand outside The Times building in hope of having the chance to hang out with these people. I never thought I’d say that about journalists of large publication. All the stories featured in the film are all of events that were fairly global so it was super interesting to see how these people approached them and how they were going to tell them to the rest of the world in the best way possible. I’ve been back to The Times building every year since we first met so maybe some may view all this as a little bias but I can honestly say, you don’t have to be interested in journalism to enjoy this film so if you’re looking for something a little different, I highly recommend watching this.