Michael Moore’s Next Movie

Variety has reported on Michael Moore’s next documentary:

Michael Moore’s opting to spoof romantic conventions in titling his upcoming documentary “Capitalism: A Love Story,” which addresses the causes of the global economic meltdown.

“It will be the perfect date movie,” Moore said in an announcement Wednesday. “It’s got it all — lust, passion, romance and 14,000 jobs being eliminated every day. It’s a forbidden love, one that dare not speak its name. Heck, let’s just say it: It’s capitalism.”

Moore and Overture Films had announced previously that the film would be released domestically on Oct. 2 — a year and a day after the U.S. Senate voted to approve a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Paramount Vantage will handle international distribution.

The film is described as focusing on “the disastrous impact that corporate dominance and out-of-control profit motives have on the lives of Americans and citizens of the world.”

I’ll have to wait and see what I think of this one. While there are certainly problems with the capitalist system which are responsible for the economic collapse (as even conservatives such as Richard Posner have argued) my suspicion is that Moore will over-emphasize the bad while failing to appreciate all the benefits of capitalism.

I’ve found Moore’s work to be quite mixed in the past. Fahrenheit 9/11 was an easy one as the case against Bush was so strong. Sicko showed both the good and the bad sides of Moore. He did an excellent job of showing the problems faced by many in hour health care system (as long as you realize that millions of other people are also satisfied with the system). On the other hand he white-washed problems in foreign systems. For example, he showed Americans receiving health care at a clinic in Cuba suggesting that this is the type of free health care which is available in Cuba. Actually he went to a clinic which treats foreigners only and which is not representative of Cuban health care. He showed the positive aspects while ignoring problems in countries such as Great Britain. While France does have an excellent system, Moore even exaggerated the benefits available there. I fear that a documentary on capitalism will emphasize the worst of Michael Moore’s views.

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16 Comments

  1. 1
    Christoher Skyi says:

    ” my suspicion is that Moore will over-emphasize the bad while failing to appreciate all the benefits of capitalism.”
    That is both at once an understatement and a safe bet!
     
    P.S. I liked Fahrenheit 9/11.  I never thought I would, not only see, but talk positively about a Michael Moore documentary. Thanks GWB!

  2. 2
    T. Aire says:

    There is a good movie about the economy called: Stock Shock-The Short Selling of the American Dream. Funny and tragic at the same time! StockShockMovie.comWhy does Stock Shock have over 26,000 followers on twitter-and Michael only 12,000?!

  3. 3
    jasperjava says:

    I think Moore pulled his punches with Fahrenheit 9/11. He could have made an even more damning case against the criminal B*sh regime.
    I loved Bowling for Columbine, though, and Roger & Me.

  4. 4
    Daisy Reviony says:

    Michael Moore’s Next Movie – Liberal Values – Defending Liberty … http://tinyurl.com/l9sq8l

  5. 5
    Kilo says:

    The only real problem with Moore’s films is that people keep calling these “documentaries” and then wanting to criticise them as though they are.

    There’s literally nothing about Sicko which suggests it is a documentary. It has more in common with the format and content of travel shows or video diaries.

    Seriously, if he made any attempt at all to make a documentary then let’s have this conversation. Otherwise what’s the point? You may as well discuss how terrible Krugman’s NYT encyclopedia is. He hasn’t even mentioned aardvarks yet, he just keeps banging on about economics.

    Meanwhile, the world’s premier documentary makers at PBS Frontline have put out at least 4 outstanding programs on the topic over the past 6 months which, although they are still available online, most of you won’t bother watching.

  6. 6
    Daisy Reviony says:

    Michael Moore’s Next Movie – Liberal Values – Defending Liberty … http://tinyurl.com/l9sq8l

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Why does Stock Shock have over 26,000 followers on twitter-and Michael only 12,000?!”

    If measuring in terms of audience, I would still go with Moore. I bet far more people see his films. It is also likely that more people read his web site than follow Stock Shock. (I am purely talking about numbers and making no comment on who deserves more coverage as I have not seen Stock Shock.)

    Perhaps something that is smaller and especially on line develops a greater Twitter following, while people interested in Moore follow his work in many additional ways beyond Twitter.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Kilo,

    His films are billed as documentaries. It is valid to criticize his films when they provide misleading information. There are good and bad aspects about Moore’s movies and both should be mentioned when discussing them.

    I agree that Frontline does excellent work (on many topics including health care) and more people should definitely watch their documentaries.

  9. 9
    Jesmi says:

    The great shame with Michael Moore is that his techniques are so cringeworthy, and his tone so preachy, that a discerning viewer soon disregards his message because of the way it’s delivered. I watched Bowling For Columbine again the other night for the first time in ages, and I found myself getting quite irritated with it despite a few essentially sound messages to be found within.

  10. 10
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I found the basic premise of ‘Bowling for Columbine’, the specific capacity for violence that may be inherent in the American character, far more interesting and accurate than gun control messages from most of the left. The notion that other countries have as many or more guns per capita but America has much more gun violence per capita raises important questions about the criminal justice system that neither political party wishes to address. I liked the movie a lot.
     
    I also liked Fahrenheit 9/11 a lot, though I thought Moore did pulls his punches in some areas I also thought he beat the conspiracy drum a little too hard in others. There is an old saying about not assuming malice aforethought when incompetence would explain things more easily and simply.
     
    I haven’t seen Sicko, so I can’t comment on anything firsthand. I do know, second-hand, that one of the HMOs he targetted was Kaiser Permanente, and I was a very satisfied Kaiser Permanente customer when I could afford it. In the areas where they provide service, one rarely has a problem with care being denied or overbilled. Their policy on out of system care does need improvement, but they are usually very flexible in genuine emergencies.
     
    What is more, as much as I hate to say good things about an HMO, I have generally found the doctors at their hospitals to be both every bit as competent (sometimes more) and a great deal more patient-friendly than doctors in many public hospitals.
     

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    I don’t have any first hand experience with Kaiser but I have heard they are much better than many other HMO’s.

  12. 12
    Fritz says:

    I find the notion of “capacity for violence inherent in the American character” to be lacking in predictive value.  There are large sections of America that are well armed and yet incredibly non-violent.
     
    Frankly, I’m not sure there is all that much of a common American character.  OK — maybe an overwhelming opinion that we can do something to fix any situation.  But, other than that rather delusional but charming optimism, I don’t see all that much commonality.
     
    The actual rates of violent confrontation are wildly non-uniform in different ethnic groups in the US, so I am not sure that “American” is the common factor.

  13. 13
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “The actual rates of violent confrontation are wildly non-uniform in different ethnic groups in the US, so I am not sure that “American” is the common factor.”
     
    This is and isn’t true. There are higher rates of violent crime in different income brackets. Generally speaking, the less one has the more willing on is to try to get more violently. In urban areas, minorities may be the largest population in the lower income brackets. However, in rural areas (such as the area I live) there are many more whites than minorities and whites make up the majority of the lower income brackets and the violent crime rates (the numbers, of course, are lower because there are fewer people) are usually not significantly different than urban minority populations. Our problem with drugs, with guns, and domestic violence in my area of TN-VA is nothing to sneeze at, despite the fact that our minority population is relatively small. Ethnic differences are not as great as one is generally led to believe when one takes economics into account as well.
     
    As for the question of the existence of a common American character, I’d start with your offered thesis of we can do something to fix any situation’ and add ‘there is a right solution and a wrong solution and we must choose the right solution’ and ‘anyone who disagrees with MY right solution is stupid or evil.’ These three theses, taken all together, explain a lot about American politics and political parties. When one looks at other countries whose political systems include three or more major parties, or whose political systems include far more participatory minor parties, or both… one sees just what I am describing and how American it is.
     
    One can also breakdown this thinking to see exactly where a greater capacity for violence becomes part of the mix. Once one accepts the idea that those who disagree with one are stupid or evil, violence becomes a much more valid means of settling disputes.
     

  14. 14
    Fritz says:

    Eclectic — the ethnic characteristics I have heard most tellingly suggested as a strong predictor of violence is “Scots-Irish”.  As described pretty clearly in both “Born Fighting” and “Albion’s Seed”.   And is the culture that inhabits your region thoroughly.
     
    I have also read that a lot of African-American culture, because of the time in the antebellum South, strongly derives from that culture.

  15. 15
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I am skeptical of ethnic theories, though I certainly put some credence in cultural theories. However, with the exception of some very distinct /cultural/ minorities (of varying ethnicities), the majority of American sub-cultures share much more than they do not share, regardless of ethnicity. Whether one ascribes this to the ‘melting pot’ of the second industrial revolution, the ‘frontier’ values of the period prior to the Edwardian industrialization, or the ‘colonial’ values of the period more immediately before and after the revolution, American culture is clearly shaped by common traits.

  16. 16
    Christoher Skyi says:

    It’s interesting how “crisis” changes these guys: GWB was practically an isolationist firmly against “nation building” — before 9/11.
     
    Obama ran as a “centralist,” but conservative critics were correct: he had serious left-leaning tendencies.
     
    Crisis seems to bring out the true colors of these guys.
     
    Like Iraq and GWB, get ready for the Great “Bigger Government” Screw Up Part II:  the social democratization of the American economy.
     

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