Exploring films that use the blogging phenomenon……….
Watching “Julie & Julia” before Christmas was my first experience of a film that is based on a blog. Amy Adams uses a blog as a memoir to document online her daily experiences cooking recipes from a cookbook. She sets herself a challenge to cook 524 recipes in 365 days and describes her progress on her blog. This blog becomes popular and makes her a published author. The film is set in 2002 and Adams is a young writer called Julie Powell who uses the blog to motivate herself and document her progress. Eventually her blog is featured in a story published in the New York Times. Consequently her blog project receives attention of journalists, publishers and literary agents.
This led me to reflect on other films that use blogging and a podcast for Radio 5 Live with Mayo and Kermode had done an interview with Steven Soderbergh on the film “Contagion”. It referred to the role of Jude Law as conspiratorially minded freelance internet journalist. His character name is Alan Krumwiede and he posts video blogs(also called vlogs according to my reading!!) about the disease. In one of his video blogs he ” appears” sick and later claims that he recovered using a specific cure. As people panic and overwhelm the chemists in order to get this “cure” they accelerate the Contagion as the infection passes on. In a similar vein to Julie above, Krumwiede gains national attention. However this is where the similarity ends as it is later realised that Krumwiede was not sick but was attempting to boost demand for the treatment. Despite being arrested for conspiracy and fraud, he is released after 12 million blog readers collect and pay his bail! This is a summary of Law’s role in the film but it looks good:
The interview was revealing as Soderbergh discussed the snaggle tooth Law introduced in order to change his characters face to look untrustworthy and shifty. The role of the blogger in this film is to be semi conspiratorial: Law’s character articulates many things that are actually true. The director specifically referred to a moment in the narrative where he has a rant on a bench…….Im looking forward to watching this!