Night and Day: Wednesday, May 04, 2005
files\2005-05-04\nd_sidebar.jpg
Jeffrey Skilling (right) is behind bars already in ‘Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room.’
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Power Corrupts

Just so we’re clear, Night & Day has never been in the same room with the Enron guys. The highly entertaining documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room details the financial scandal that reduced America’s seventh-largest corporation to nothing in a matter of weeks in 2001, in terms that can be understood by those of us who don’t have MBAs. The film, which screens at the Modern over the next two weekends, was based on a book written by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, and the latter will be on hand Friday to answer questions.
Using interviews with former Enron employees, Alex Gibney’s film lays bare the financial shenanigans of Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, “Fast” Andy Fastow & company in a lighthearted manner that recalls Michael Moore, especially in its use of humorous musical cues. The film is particularly strong in showing how the firm created artificial power shortages in California to make tons of money. (It’s too bad that the movie undermines its credibility by floating the idea that Enron conspired with the Bush administration to dethrone Gov. Gray Davis and install a Republican — a certain Austrian movie star, at that.)
More than the Enron guys, the movie indicts an entire financial system, since all of the people who were supposed to stop this large-scale fraud from happening — the firm’s lawyers, Arthur Andersen accountants, the Wall Street analysts, the press, and the White House — failed spectacularly at their jobs. Enron also reveals just how deep the evil was running at the company. We hear one Enron trader learning of the wildfires in California and exulting, “Burn, baby, burn!” In one of his self-justifying tantrums, Skilling complains of being compared to child molesters. By the end of this enlightening film, you’ll think that’s too kind.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room screens May 6-15 at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Tickets are $5.50-7.50. Call 817-738-9215.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions