Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Foreign Film Comedy About Office Deception
Here is a movie from Danish director Lars von Trier about a boss who disguises the fact that he is the boss to avoid the wrath of his colleagues, then hires an actor to play himself during a business crisis. It is called The Boss Of It All. For those of you who like foreign cinema, this might be fun. According to The Boston Globe, the movie "finds the common ground between business and acting -- panicky improvisation -- and wonders whether applause or an executive comp package is the greater reward." Methinks this is more a theatrical meditation about acting as imposture than about corporate dynamics. On second thought, the Globe may be right. CEOs often "pretend" to be CEOs, just the way politicians "pretend" to be presidential timber. In our post-modern world, we are often more concerned about the image we inhabit rather than what we actually do.
Why not hire an actor to play you better than you can play yourself? You would think, if money is the only object, that real-life CEO types would prefer anonymity and just take the money and run. The curious thing is that many bosses seek fame, even while indulging in behavior that brings them nothing but public disgrace. The trick is, I guess, to become famous among your own - those who "matter" - while remaining obscure to the masses. That's the way rich dudes use to do it, but that no longer suffices for most of them. It's not enough to be Conrad Hilton, they want to be Paris, too.
"For cubicle dwellers, a piercing comedy" from The Boston Globe
"Von Trier Goes To Work" from The New York Sun