There’s no way to protest capitalism like champagne in a penthouse. That’s how the afterparty for the premiere of Michael Moore’s newest movie, Capitalism: A Love Story supposedly went down.
This stunt invites the typical criticism of Moore: that he’s a hypocrite enamored with the idea of himself as a Hollywood star. He’s an easy target for ridicule from the right, and his methods are questionable, but that’s not why Moore fails as a filmmaker. Moore’s shortcoming is in the types of movies he makes.
Ever see Canadian Bacon? It’s a great movie about the military industrial complex hijacking the US government written and directed by Michael Moore. There’s a strong anti-military undercurrent if you are looking for social commentary; if you aren’t, it’s just a funny movie that paints the picture of a country bought and sold by military contractors.
Could a similar movie have gotten Moore’s points across better than Bowling for Columbine or Sicko? Probably – just as a novel is more memorable than a textbook. Of course, that may not be Moore’s goal. Perhaps he is trying to be the conscience of Hollywood – the compass which gives direction to other movies which hit the same themes. In DC, the analogy might be to think tanks like the Heritage Foundation or Center for American Progress supplying research and ideas to political candidates.
Either way, come October 2, Michael Moore’s movie is coming to a theater near you. I’m looking forward to it. And the irony of decrying capitalism in a venue which costs $10 in admission will not likely be lost.