I was lucky enough to be part of the opening night festivities for the new Capitol Theatre in Cleveland. The newly renovated theater was a hotspot in Cleveland in the 20′s but it’s been empty for nearly 3 decades and it has finally been brought back to life. They have three screens and will show 3D movies as well as arthouse and independent cinema. If you know me by now, you know I couldn’t be more stoked for this. It’s only a few blocks from Go Media!
Anyway, on opening night, they showed Michael Moore’s new film Capitalism: A Love Story. They also showed the new documentary on Lebron James called More Than a Game and Toy Story 3D. Being a fan of Mister Moore, I decided to see his new flick.
Overall, it’s enjoyable and funny. Depressing at times. It’s got all the typical Michael Mooreisms you’ve come to expect – bullying around rent-a-cops and trying to get into corporate headquarters and heavily guarded buildings. The film basically shows a myriad of examples of how the system of Capitalism is failing us and how we’re all headed for doom and gloom if nothing is done. Sure, I could agree with his statements. And you’ll probably be convinced if you watch this film. But keep in mind, he never once tries to give the other side of the argument (personal responsibility anyone?) and continues to blame everything on “evil” businesses and corporations.
Moore’s main point is that there is no more middle class. Only the haves and the have nots. The film has many moving and hilarious ways to show this. From voice-overs carefully edited into kitschy public domain footage and juxtaposing the fall of capitalism with the fall of Rome. They even play the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video, which our audience loved!
I could go on and on about the politics of the film, but I won’t. As a film, it was his most ambitious project; tackling such an epic subject. But in doing so, he creates a disjointed and jumpy film that tries to cover too much ground. One minute you’re learning about kids who got sent to Juvenile hall for random small offenses and then it jumps to how pilots aren’t paid as much as they deserve. Moore goes so far as to talk about how commercial airline pilots are on food stamps and then it correlates that with plane crashes. Michael Moore is nuts, he does these tricks all the time to manipulate his audience. While I admire him as a bold and brave filmmaker who certainly makes entertaining films that question our political beliefs, he is very sneaky.
In an NPR interview I heard the other day, he admitted to accepting money from major corporations to fund his film and he felt it indeed was hypocritical. He says that in a capitalist world, these businesses think that even bad press is good press and they will eventually see a profit even if Michael publicly bashes them in the film.
But all that aside, I am glad he’s making these films. I do hope to see some sort of change to our system. People are scared to make change and think that it will all be different overnight. No you cannot get rid of capitalism, and I don’t think you should. According to Moore’s facts, the top 1% richest people in America have more money than the other 97% combined. That’s just ridiculous. The American people are convinced that THEY TOO can be rich like them one day. Hopefully films like these open up people’s eyes (which they have) to change that.
If you’ve seen it, what did you think?