I have to side with David Poland’s “stop, George, stop” plea about George Clooney’s plans to remake Sidney Lumet and Paddy Chayefsky’s Network for television. It was a cutting and wonderfully nervy film in ’76 because it was forecasting trends — reality TV, infotainment, cult-of-the-personality news anchors — that were starting to take shape but hadn’t quite happened. And of course, the fact that Network turned out to be prophetic has added to its reputation. But Clooney himself nailed the problem of a remake when he told the Associated Press that he was “briefly mystified when he screened it for a group of young people and none of them saw it as a dark satire. ‘I couldn’t understand it, (then) I realized that everything Chayefsky wrote about happened. And so, suddenly, the idea that the anchor is more important that the news story, and that you’d be doing sort of reality-based shows with heads of gangs and Sybil the Soothsayer all happened. And when you have that great speech with Ned Beatty sitting there going ‘There is no U.S.A. and Soviet Union, there is only Xerox and IBM,’ you realize all of those things were true, or came true.” Exactly, and the point of re-making a film that’s no longer forecasting but echoing today’s reality is….? Note: Scratch that thing I wrote about the Black Panthers and updating the terrorist gang element. I read the article too quickly and I’m always racing around, etc.