I LOVE Michael Moore. Always have. I met him once personally in the early 1980s in Detroit when he wrote for and edited a very good muckraking radical weekly newspaper that he founded called The Michigan Voice (it was originally called The Flint Voice after his hometown of Flint, Michigan but he expanded the newspaper's reach to take in coverage of the entire state). He was very impressive when I met him in 1982-83 and I think he and his work still are. What I really like and deeply respect about the man and his work is that he's not another smug, cynical, and gliberal dilettante who thinks (and acts like) he's "above it all". In other words: He really gives a damn and actually puts his own ideas and principles on the line in his art and life. He's an actively engaged, critical, and caring artist and citizen in an era where far too often those things are simply dismissed, ignored, or ridiculed. That in itself doesn't make him perfect or flawless by any means of course but at least there is a fundamental core of real dedication, sincerity, and honesty in the man and his work that gives him genuine credibility and reliability in my book (unlike many of the sneering pseudointellectuals and passive-aggressive nihilistic pinheads who roam the halls of academia and hopelessly sectarian enclaves of "armchairville" where "revolutionaries" --hah!-- sit around allday talking infantile smack about whose politics and art are the "purest.") Dumbass Divas!
So let's hear it for the artists/activists/citizens who do far more than merely talk trash and vainly posture like it's all about them and their abstract "goals" for the rest of us...So continue to kick ass and take names Michael. I hear ya...
Sell! Buy! Rebel! 'Capitalism: A Love Story' Is Out Today on DVD (...and what is up with Wal-Mart?)!
Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
DVD-Day for "Capitalism: A Love Story" has finally arrived for all you good folks who just couldn't figure out how to fit in a trip to the movie theater between your three part-time jobs -- or simply weren't able to afford the $10 for the small popcorn at your local rip-off cine-mall when my film was released last fall.
What's with you people?! I make these movies for you to see on a big screen, in the dark, with 200 strangers who want to hoot and holler along with you. Those of you who did see it -- thank you!! You helped to make it the 8th-largest grossing documentary of all time (and, as of Sunday morning, "Capitalism" had sold more tickets than Best Picture winner, "The Hurt Locker").
But for those of you who didn't get to the theater, what's your excuse? Didn't want to sit through 20 minutes of TV ads up on the screen before the movie started? Don't like sitting next to people who have 6 important cell calls to make during the film? Feet get stuck to the floor after two hours of people spilling their 164 oz. sodas, thus preventing you from getting up when the film's over? Jeez, what babies!
Well, starting today, you can now OWN your very own DVD (or Blu-ray) copy of my latest action/romance/horror film, "Capitalism: A Love Story" -- and watch it in the comfort of your soon-to-be-foreclosed home! Get it cheap at Amazon, rent or stream it fast at Netflix, or go down to the local Wal-Mart that put your locally-owned mom & pop video store outta business and pick it up for pennies on the dollar. See! Something for everyone!
The fact that Wal-Mart is carrying this movie -- a movie that specifically exposes Wal-Mart's past practice of taking out secret "dead peasant" life insurance policies on its employees and naming itself as the lone beneficiary should the employee meet an "untimely" early death -- well, my friends, need you any further proof that Corporate America is so secure in its position as the ruler of our country, so sure of its infallible power that, yes, they can even sell a movie that attacks them because it poses absolutely no threat to them?
A sane person would think that Wal-Mart would never carry "Capitalism: A Love Story" because it's simply not in their best interests to inform their customers of their shady past. After all, many Wal-Mart stores wouldn't carry "Bowling for Columbine" back in 2003. That was *Kmart* I went after (for selling the ammo to the Columbine killers)! But I guess that was too Mart-y close for Wal-Mart -- so no DVDs were allowed of that film on the shelves of some of the world's biggest retail chain's stores (the movie studio estimated that cost them $2.5 million in sales).
But seven years later, it's a new day in America. The corporate coup is complete. Corporations like Wal-Mart now call all the shots, write all the laws, pay off almost all the congressmen and essentially (along with the other Fortune 500 companies and Wall Street) rule the nation. They've helped to eliminate consumer choice and the free market while convincing you they are all for "free enterprise" and the "U.S.A."
More importantly, they've snuffed out any criticism or opposition. They've even co-opted liberals, like the people who made the wonderful documentary, "Food, Inc." The last half-hour of this movie includes -- I kid you not -- an homage to Wal-Mart as the filmmakers swoon over this kinder, gentler company that has decided to -- bless them! -- put an organic food counter in their stores! Thank you, Wal-Mart! Kumbaya! (And hey, granolaheads, don't forget to flash a smile on the way out of the store at the "greeter" who can't afford to see a doctor.)
Yes, Wal-Mart, by selling "Capitalism," is saying to me: "Go ahead Mike and expose us all you want! Hahahhaha! We're so convinced that the public has either been dumbed down or made numb enough to not give a lick about whatever it is you're saying about us and capitalism. We can sell a million of these and it won't make a damn bit of difference about our ability to rule the world. So knock yourself out, big guy! Hehehehehehe. Go ahead and put your little movie on our shelves. It will never start a revolution."
Or so they think.
But what if they're wrong?
What if they and their brethren -- the banks, the insurance companies, the hedge fund sociopaths -- are too confident we won't fight to get our country back? They think that because they, the richest 1%, now own more financial wealth than 95% of all Americans COMBINED, that they can get away with anything. Perhaps they're right. Perhaps they're not.
I did ask someone at the studio why Wal-Mart was so willing to carry this movie.
"They're no dummies," he told me. "They know who shops in their stores -- working people, blue collar, the people hit hardest by the economy. They know your movie will resonate with them and that only means one thing -- ka-ching, ka-ching at the cash register!"
Happy now? Good. I thought I'd cheer you up on my big day!
Listen, let me cut right to it: I am passionate about this movie. It is not only my most personal film, it is the most vital and necessary film I've made in my 20 years as a filmmaker. Period. I told my crew at the start of this movie, "Let's make this film so brutally honest that NO ONE with any money will ever want to write us a check to make another movie!" And so we set off to make the most dangerous documentary we could.
As gloomy as our situation in the world looks these days, I refuse to give up. If there's even the slightest chance that we can turn this around, then I want to help, I want to be part of the fight along with you.
And I want you to see this movie. Not next week (by then, the health insurance companies will have won). Not next month (by then, the banks will have scuttled any new regulations). I need you to watch it right now and I need you to get as many of your friends and family to watch it as soon as possible -- and then I want you to do something.
That "something" can be found in the 80 new minutes of material and DVD extras I've put on this home video. It's 80 minutes of bold ideas and things we can do to get our country back. No one has seen these extras -- and today will be the first time they're available on the home video of this movie.
Well, that's the pitch. I get nothing $-wise from the sale of these DVDs. I just want you to see this movie because, if you haven't, I think you will not only be "entertained" for 2 hours, you'll be ready to rock-n-roll your way down to the local Citibank and create the nonviolent ruckus they need to see. THIS IS OUR COUNTRY -- not theirs. They have plundered and pillaged long enough. Homes in this country receive foreclosure filings every eight seconds! This must be stopped.
Let my movie be the tool you use to rise up and become the citizens I know you want to be. If not now, when?
Thank you for all your support over all these years. You must know by now that I honestly couldn't make these movies without you.
My absolute gratitude and best wishes for you and yours,
P.S. To order "Capitalism: A Love Story" from Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Love-Story-Michael-Moore/dp/B0030Y11XS/ You can also add "Capitalism" to your Netflix and Blockbuster queues.
P.P.S. To see just how secure Wal-Mart feels in its place as King of the World, I'll take a spin around to some Wal-Marts this weekend and see if the DVD has been pulled off the shelves. I'll let you know!
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