Don Draper and the Enduring Appeal of Antonioni’s La Notte
Hoffman goes beyond earlier, more superficial, analyses comparing the films of Michelangelo Antonioni to the life of Mad Men’s protagonist, Don Draper, to determine why Draper identifies Antonioni’s La Notte as one of his favourite films. Specifically, the chapter argues that, for Draper, La Notte reinforces an artistic and professional struggle he endures throughout the series: whether he should risk failure and preserve artistic integrity by telling unconventional stories or conform to the derivative narrative demands of advertising. Further, La Notte accentuates a bond between Don Draper and Mad Men’s creator, Matthew Weiner, who faces a similar challenge writing for television. The chapter presents Mad Men as an overtly autobiographical meta-text on the pleasure and pain that comes with telling unconventional stories.
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