Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Up in the air

Birdman is a curious and uncompromising film that takes some serious watching. I felt challenged to discriminate between what was real and what was fantasy for Riggan, the central part. It follows the classic play within a play format (maybe even play within a play within a play...?) and depicts Beetlejuice as a washed up actor trying to reclaim some authenticity by staging a show he has written, directed and stars in.

Lots of things are thrown around, lots of spit is spat as the actors confront themselves and audience on stage. In an odd way, it was almost as if Apocalypse Now had been transposed to Broadway. Whilst the lead actors do a fine job, the quiet understated acting of the lesser roles adds much richness and depth to the film. A film to experience rather than enjoy!

One of the big questions the film seeks to address, in my opinion, is whether you can be confident in yourself even if it appears that no one else is... Are we defined by others or do we define ourselves and then attract people to us who match out own appreciation? What came first: the Birdman or the egg?

For me, the film asserts the truth that it is for each leader to define themselves. That does not mean, not searching for and hearing feedback and other's appraisals. But it always means comparing the appraisal by others with our own sense of self. Leadership, authentic leadership, is first about knowing who we are.

Who are you?

This is the sixty ninth of 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment