Introducing the Fourth Estate Film Series

The Washington Monthly is thrilled to announce the launch of The Fourth Estate Film series, a program of classic and contemporary movies about journalists and journalism, featuring in-person discussions with leading reporters, media experts, and film industry luminaries.

The series, hosted in partnership with the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre, opens on Wednesday, May 29 with ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, the Oscar-winning 1976 film adaptation of the book by legendary journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Starring Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein, the movie dramatizes the Washington Post‘s investigation into the Watergate scandal, which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation and earned Woodward and Bernstein a Pulitzer Prize. After the screening, Woodward will discuss the film and his half-century experience covering Washington and multiple presidents, including Donald Trump, the subject of his latest book Fear, with Washington Monthly editor-in-chief Paul Glastris. He will also take questions from the audience. 

Other films in the series include:

Beloved TV newsroom dramedy BROADCAST NEWS (1987), written, directed, and produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James L. Brooks, who will appear in person for a post-screening discussion alongside New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, the inspiration for one of the main characters. Washington Monthly digital editor Eric Cortellessa will moderate.

Sidney Lumet’s satirical classic NETWORK (1976), followed by a panel discussion featuring Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Beth Reinhard, moderated by Washington Monthly editor-in-chief Paul Glastris.

Howard Hawks’ screwball comedy HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940), followed by a discussion with Atlantic senior editor and film critic Christopher Orr, New Yorker staff writer Margaret Talbot, and Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi, moderated by Washington Monthly digital editor Eric Cortellessa.

“Movies have always dealt with the complex task of truth-seeking, but none more so than movies about journalism,” said Washington Monthly editor-in-chief Paul Glastris. “In an era when the media is under relentless assault, when leaders at home and abroad vilify accurate reporting as ‘fake news,’ this series will celebrate the centrality of the Fourth Estate to our way of life. For the 50th anniversary of the Washington Monthly, we are thrilled to partner with the AFI Silver Theatre, the ideal venue for a comprehensive and entertaining look into the many portrayals of the media in movies.”

“Hollywood’s early treatments of journalism often played up its fast-talking and hard-living characters, well suited to screwball comedies and film noirs,” said Todd Hithcock, AFI Silver’s Director of Programming. “But across the years there have also been many realistic depictions of working journalists, films that demonstrate an insightful awareness of the job’s demands. Also, a number of recent documentaries have delved deeper into the practice of journalism and have provided crucial insight into our media history. We’re looking forward to partnering with Washington Monthly on this very timely series.”

All screenings will take place at the American Film Institute’s historic Silver Theatre at 8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MDClick here to see the full schedule.

We hope to see you there!

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