Cannes winds down. What's winning the Palme?
4 hours ago
At the bottom of all our terrified souls we know that democracy is a dying giant -- a sick, sick, dying, decaying political concept writhing in its final pain. I don't mean that the United States is finished as a world power. The United States is the richest, the most powerful, the most advanced country in the world, light years ahead of any country. And I don't mean the Communists are going to take over the world because the Communists are deader than we are. What is finished is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It's the individual that's finished. It's the single solitary human being that's finished. It's every single one of you out there that's finished. Because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It's a nation of 200-odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter-than-white, steel-belted bodies -- totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods. Well, the time has come to say "Is dehumanization such a bad word?" Whether it's good or bad, that's what is so. The whole world is becoming humanoid -- creatures that look human but aren't. The whole world, not just us. We're just the most advanced country, so we're getting there first. The whole world's people are becoming mass-produced, programmed, numbered, insensate things.Speaks for itself, as it has for 30 years. And this is the calmest, subtlest speech in the film, which builds with such sheer confidence and sleekness toward its climax. I mentioned above that the climax -- the on-air assassination -- is the only thing that isn't based in fact. The last line of Lumet's audio commentary?