Earlier this week, I attended a Commonwealth Club presentation of the book and film Fired! by Annabelle Gurwitch. I have to say it (the film) was quite funny. It also gets the right balance of some policy points about our economy (health insurance!) and how to deal with a big life change that can happen from one moment to the next (really, you're firing me?). Gurwitch is also a delightful person. I had a chance to speak (and get a photo) with her after the talk when she was signing books. She's genuine and funny, yet she's dealing with some serious subjects. Her film's approach isn't heavy handed at all, which is one reason why it's so engaging and able to address some real policy points (esp. at the end when she has interviews with Robert Reich and Ben Stein). It's also a very 2006 film in that the people are real, the stories are authentic, and her interview style is quite natural. It's the opposite of the traditional 60 Minutes expose or 48 Hours glitzy and overly-dramatized story. So, I recommend the film to anyone who's been fired, has fired someone, knows someone who was fired... well, I think that's just about everyone.
In other entertainment news, I just finished Professor Goldstein's book Errors & Omissions, a novel that combines copyright law and an unsolved mystery about a script from the blacklist era in Hollywood. Cathy Kirkman has a post with her interview of Professor Goldstein from earlier this summer. IT Conversation's Tech Nation has a podcast interview with Goldstein as well. And as for my view? Well, I enjoyed the story line and having a chance to read about copyright law in a totally fictionalized setting was fun. I also learned some about that blacklist era, and the history there is quite fascinating. Although Goldstein is a fantastic writer, I did find that the story lost pace in a few sections, and there was one loose end -- with the Alliance's lead attorney -- that I felt needed better wrapping up (or perhaps it's left open for a sequel?). Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the story. I actually thought it read much like a Hollywood script itself, and wonder if someone will option rights to produce a film version (or if it's already been optioned perhaps?). I suspect other adventures of Michael Seeley, the story's protagonist, will be forthcoming and I'm looking forward to the next installment from one of my favorite copyright gurus.