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Dramas > Fast Food Nation (Richard Linklater, 2006)

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message 1: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10503 comments Fast Food Nation

Many critics failed to see the beauty of Richard Linklater’s recent gem, Fast Food Nation by expecting him to accurately reveal the mass of information in Eric Schlosser’s excellent book. To do so would have taken 16 hours of documentary footage, but Linklater (w/Schlosser as screen writer) chose to take the central theme of the book: failure – and course it through a few of the socio-political problems illustrated in the best-selling paperback.

If you’ve read Schlosser’s unforgettable rant you know how powerful the meat industry is and how much lobbying influence it has in Washington D.C. and beyond. With that in mind, it seems astounding that the film could be made in the America we live in today. Depictions of corporate cover-ups, toxic food manufacturing, the meat industry’s blatant disregard for the lives and safety of their employees (the same “illegal” immigrants that politicians and the bigoted citizenry love to hate), questionable slaughter-house practices, and the deep apathy that has cast a hypnotic spell on today’s corporate-driven suburban landscapes all populate the crowded world of Fast Food Nation.

Mr. Linklater’s film (like the book it is based on) reflects just how far we have fallen from the American Dream that ushered in drive-up service and neatly packaged suburban charm. If Americans find FFN hard to digest it is because they are getting a close look at not only what is in the beef, but also the willing subject devouring it. Far more complex than a mere poke at flesh as food, Fast Food Nation presents contrasting viewpoints on what it is to be an American in our culture of rapid convenience.

message 2: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5315 comments Excellent review, Phillip. An unjustly overlooked film by one of my favorite directors.

message 3: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10503 comments thanks tom. yeah, i think this one was mostly overlooked. i agree with you that linklater is a really consistent director, and ambitious. it doesn't seem like he's fenced himself into one style or interest. his work seems to have a nice range.

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