It’s rare I venture into the entertainment world, imbibing the latest tidbits of gossip. It’s not my thing. Never has been. My heroes lie elsewhere—those who’ve made the world a better place. Having said that, there exist those I admire in the film industry for their aplomb as film auteurs, writers and directors dedicated to moving beyond titillation and using this powerful medium as high artistry to make us think about those values lending meaning to our lives: Aaron Sorkin, Oliver Stone, Francois Truffault, Michael Moore, Stephen Spielberg, Werner Herzog, and still others, among them Woody Allen, a personal favorite, come to mind.
This morning I came upon this wonderful passage in Woody’s just published Apropos About Nothing where he’s elaborating on Zelig, his attempt at documentary commentary. It reverberates with insight that reinforces my own in our turbulent time of “wrongthink,” or revived McCarthyism with its notorious blacklisting, its pile-ons and would-be lynchings of those who dissent:
“Zelig was about how we all want to be accepted, to fit in, to not offend, that we often present a different person to different people knowing which person might best please. In the end this obsession for conformity leads to fascism.”
What more needs to be said?