Monday, 7 December 2015

Dark materials

Johnny Depp does not do many movies, but the ones he does, stand out. Black Mass is another to add to his impressive list of films that quickly become notable moments in the long history of cinema. It is not so much 'film noir' as 'film ténébreux', set in the Stygian hell of south Boston in 70s and 80s.

I could argue that the film would have been even more dramatic had it been filmed in black and white, but then one would have lost the brown suits, beige cars and orange décors of the time. This is a gruelling and gritty true-life film out of which almost no characters emerge with any integrity. But this is a must see movie.

What is there to learn about leadership from a bunch of gangsters and corrupt police? Given the number of films made with such ingredients, you would hope something! It is certainly isn't ethics or strategy (or perhaps it is?)

The untold story of this movie is how come two brothers ended up in such different places: one a senator and the other a gangland boss. The more cynical would say that there is little difference, but there really is. What happened to them in their early years that led them down such different paths? We will probably never know but could school leadership (for example) have made a difference?

How well do you manage not knowing many things?  


This is Blog 132 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

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