Tuesday, February 07, 2006

That's Not Entertainment

Feeling like Hollywood has gotten more preachy lately? You might be right.

Consider Participant Productions, the makers of "Syriana," "Good Night, and Good Luck," and, soon, "Fast Food Nation." The Guardian took a look behind the curtain:

Set up in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, billionaire co-founder of eBay, Participant's express purpose is to make movies that will help to change the world. In the words of Meredith Blake, the firm's executive vice-president: 'Our product is social change, and the movies are a vehicle for that social change.'

Blake puts it even more forcefully elsewhere. She's quoted as saying things like, "Participant exists to use films as a means for social change."

So what's her role in the company? According to the "Guardian" article,

Blake ... greenlights films on the basis of the issues they raise. A project will only move forward if she finds it has a valid social or political message.

"Munich" isn't one of theirs, but it easily could be.