The Expedition to the End of the World

Capitalism Michael Moore

In our review for Fed Up, a documentary on the American obesity epidemic, I recommend that it be distributed free, at least to the poor. “Who wants to pay $10 or more to watch a bunch of talking heads make claims about how the food industry and government have made the problem even worse over the years?” I wondered. “This shouldn’t be the content of a theatrical release.” Now the film is on DVD and Blu-ray and through digital outlets, and we do think it’s worth seeing. But like many issue films of today, this is not a movie so much as it’s a necessary news report — the kind of thing that the networks would air to large audiences (albeit ones with much fewer choices in TV channels and other media options) in the ’60s and ’70s. Presumably, Michael Moore would agree with the stance on such a doc. He has long been arguing the case for more cinematic nonfiction films in theaters and on Oscar ballots. This week, while being honored at the Toronto International Film Festival with a 25th anniversary screening of Roger & Me, Moore spoke out on the need for docs to be more entertaining. The Guardian quotes him as saying, “People want to go home and have sex after your movie. Don’t make them feel ‘Urggggghhhh’.” In his speech, a keynote for the TIFF doc conference, he urged the filmmakers who are primarily lecturing viewers with their docs to quit the business and become teachers, because […]

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As April leaves us with this one last day, it’s appropriate to end the month’s theme of environmentalism with a look at films that very well could change your mind about something regarding alternative energy or climate change. And even if they don’t go that far, they’ll at least surprise you a bit about their subject matter and probably get you thinking differently. These are not documentaries aimed at sending the usual green messages, but they’re not conservative features looking to debunk those usual green messages, either. They’re about or made by people going against the grain in their thinking on the issues, and that makes them really fascinating. The following list highlights documentaries about the environment that aren’t preaching to the choir. They take risks with different attitudes, and here’s what’s not surprising: none of them are big hits. Cool It From director Ondi Timoner (Dig!; We Live In Public), this 2010 doc is based on Bjorn Lomberg‘s books The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the State of the World and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming and features Lomberg explaining his highly controversial theories on climate change. He directly responds to Al Gore‘s points from An Inconvenient Truth with his own facts on sea level rise and super storms and even polar bear endangerment. Lomberg isn’t a global warming denier from the other side of the political spectrum, though. He just is saying to “cool it” with all the fear-mongering rhetoric as well as all the wasting of money for solutions that aren’t working and maybe aren’t necessary. A movie like this […]

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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