It would be amazing if you guys could read this and maybe give me some feedback on things you like/dislike, and would maybe change.
HERE IT IS
The movie “Capote” dives into many different aspects of journalism and the conflicts that may accompany the job. It depicts the time Truman Capote spent in the early 1960s researching and writing his book “In Cold Blood.” The real life story of Truman Capote, played magnificently by Philip Hoffman, diving into a foreign community and a real life murder crisis exposes the challenges a reporter can face and how one might deal with those challenges. From ethical conflicts to personal dilemmas, this movie is an extreme example of the actions that a journalist might take to uncover a story.
“Capote” takes place in early 1960s New York and in a small town by the name of Holcomb, Kansas. These two places at the time were very alien to each other and this is expressed very well. The inquisitive looks that Truman receives in the small Kansas town is a perfect example of the conservative views of the people during that time. Opposite of that, the New York scene is shown as the polar opposite of Holcomb. The high class gatherings and sophisticated dress of the individuals paints an accurate picture of how much these two worlds differ.
Much of the picture seems to be an exact recollection of what occurred during the time that Truman Capote was spending researching and writing his book which would be a new type of genre, the non-fiction novel. However, there are a just few inaccuracies present in this film. In the movie Truman travels to Kansas to do research for an article he is looking to write in The New Yorker , upon meeting with one of the murders he decides that he will write a book and later on says that the book will be his new type of genre. According to an account of what happened in the New York Times this is completely backwards. Truman had the idea of a type of non-fiction novel well before discovering the murders that took place. Also once he did discover the article he knew right away this would be the subject for his book. Another small inaccuracy is truman mentioning in the movie, his remarkable ability to recall 94% of every conversation, but in a the December 31st, 1965 issue of the New York Times Truman says he is “92% accurate.” Also in the film it is shown that Truman spent his time writing the book in Costa Brava, Spain although as also stated in december 31st issue of the New York Times, “He toiled over the book for the best part of 5 years in Verbier in the Swiss Alps where he has a small chalet and in Brooklyn Heights where he had an apartment.”
Besides these minor inaccuracies I found no others. Some of the accuracies in the movie were dates of the killings and the depiction of Truman Capote himself.
The main character of the film, Truman Capote, was played by winning actor Philip Hoffman. His replication of Capote was stunningly accurate not only in the way the man “walked and talked” but also revealing the true nature of the weird man that is Truman. Both the Boston Globe and New York Times agree that Hoffman’s was successfulin connecting the audience with who the “eerie author” (globe) Truman Capote was. His performance was definitely worthy of the Academy award it recieved.
Throughout the film Capote struggles with getting the people of the town of Holcomb to discuss the incidents. He uses many techniques throughout the movie to get what he wants and in this lays the discussion of journalism ethics. The most prominent of Truman’s probing is with one of the killers, Perry Smith. Truman aids the killers in receiving a better lawyer and helps them with their appeals, raising the question whether such a thing is ethical or right for a reporter and/or novelist to do. Aren’t all people entitled to a fair trial or was Truman Capote simply doing what he has to in order to receive the story he needs?
Towards the end of the killers death sentence Truman repeatedly lies to Perry about the title of the book and at one point telling him that he has not even starting writing it yet. All for the simple fact that he needs his story and in order to do so he needs Perry to talk. This form of evidence clearly shows that Truman is a man just trying to get his story, which raises another question. Is it ethical to lie to a dying man to simply get a story, even if the man is a cold blooded killer, does it matter?
According to the SPJ code of ethics, every reporter should try to the best of their ability to minimize harm. This included their sources and subjects. So is lying to a murderer unethical? How about waiting for two mens death in order to have an ending for a book is that ethical? Truman does just this, towards the end of the movie, Truman states that he needs an ending to his book and until the killers fate is decided this can not happen. Short after it is made apparent to Capote that Perry and his counterparts road has ended. Prior to this Truman wrote to Perry stating that He could no longer find a lawyer for them, or so he says. This is not a not a very well showcased act of minimizing harm in most peoples opinion I'm sure. Although, these men are killers so do they deserve the same rights as everyone else? In that question lies the conflict of the story of Truman Capote seeking his non-fiction novel and is what makes the story so remarkable.
The film Capote is a riveting display of journalism research at its finest. Depicting how Capote chased after his non-fiction book “In Cold Blood”, many conflicts arouse themselves pertaining to how a journalist conducts himself and whether ethical treatment of subjects and sources is really a factor for some reporters. The movie is an accurate recollection of how Truman Capote went about his research and is a fantastic display of acting, writing and film making. A great story of one side of the moral struggle journalist can face.
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