Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 106: The Reporter

 Photo of the Day: Box Office

For three brief, thrilling years at the start of my career, I worked as a newspaper reporter and fell in love with journalism. It is a dream profession of mine, and a field that I both enjoy and excel in. Unfortunately, the breed of journalism that I love is slowly dying in this digital age, and true reporters are increasingly rare. This is why I am particularly impressed by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, who is able to harness the power of traditional journalism with incredible authority and effectiveness. I was very excited, then, when I heard a documentary called Reporter, which spotlights Kristof, would be shown tonight by the Flaherty Seminar. The movie was produced by renowned Brooklyn-based filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar, and the admission price included a post-screening question-and-answer session with him.

As a film, the movie was good, but at times fragmented. Granted, it was ambitious to tackle a project that follows one of the nation's most famous reporters covering one of the world's largest conflicts in Congo and somehow manages to spin it into a 90-minute piece while still maintaining artistic integrity about your own message and perspective. In that sense, Metzgar did a great job staying focused on his theme of the complexity of compassion without being distracted by the many obvious tangents that presented themselves. The film did lead me to admire Kristof all the more after observing those steadfast journalistic qualities that I so eagerly aspired to cultivate play out in very real-life situations. It really made me miss journalism and my days of hunting down stories.

After the screening, Mei Ling, Jayson, and I went to grab beer and 10-cent wings at Phebe's Tavern and Grill, where we had the opportunity to discuss the movie and the person of Nicholas Kristof, among other topics of conversation. I may have dominated the conversation, as I seemed to be the most affected by the film. But it was a very inspiring night for me, one that asked me to analyze my passions, goals, and actions and make sure they are aligned.

Buying tickets at the Anthology Film Archives box office.
Jayson and Mei Ling waiting in the lobby for the movie to begin.
In the theater before the screening of Reporter begins.
A one-on-one interview with director and filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar.
Filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar shares his process for making the documentary.
We leave dinner to a fine sprinkling of snow on the ground!
Christmas lights and snow is a very happy combination.

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