Lays It Out

I found this official release poster for Capitalism: A Love Story on In Contention. And then I read some of the comments. Every In Contention reader who says the one-sheet is cool but they need to remove Moore is dealing from a short deck. One, Moore is always the star of his films. His mentality/attitude/snark is the point. He’s the roly-poly Gary Cooper figure ready to stand up to City Hall and/or the Frank Miller gang. And two, he’s depicted as a small-scaled monochrome figure, which suggests a contained ego.

  • FWickman

    Third!

  • TheJeff

    The purpose of the poster is to sell the film, right? The problem is that Moore is a huge turnoff to many people, including dyed-in-the-wool Libs like myself. His smug mug is going to make many avoid the film.

    Besides that, it simply doesn’t work from an aesthetic standpoint. A photograph of Moore haphazardly mixed in with the otherwise well-composed Bass-inspired art simply doesn’t jibe.

  • Michael

    If it was a truly a Michael Moore film, wouldn’t the poster be him berating a secretary? Or a security guard?

  • http://reno-rambler.blogspot.com renorambler

    Did he lose a ton of weight or is this “digital enhancement”? Hope he’s dropped a few for his own sake.

    There’s a good point to be made both ways. Aesthetically MM inserted looks contrived but he certainly is the star of his films. Perhaps the MM at the top of the poster is enough without his mug?

  • Josh Massey

    Digital enhancement. He pulled the same stuff with the Fahrenheit 9/11 poster.

  • drbob

    How come the back of the head looks like Clinton? Just an observation, but when I first saw the poster, Clinton immediately jumped to mind. Clinton definitely was not a major culprit here (I seem to remember budget surplusses and relative economic stability).

  • http://martiansattackingindianapolis.blogspot.com Josh Massey

    The 1959 version of this poster.

  • DeeZee

    bob: “Clinton definitely was not a major culprit here (I seem to remember budget surplusses and relative economic stability).”

    You seem to forget he was the one who got rid of the Glass-Steagall act which kept the banks in check. Not to mention we’d still have manufacturing jobs, if it wasn’t for NAFTA. No, his “economic stability” had more to do with rich people investing in bubbles. Bush just went the other direction and got poor and middle-class people to invest in bubbles.

    Anyway, Cruise tries his luck at a True Lies-like flick.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ib8e913d233af22e02e62704526ff8640
    THR agrees with Jeff on “Taking Woodstock”.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film-reviews/taking-woodstock-film-review-1003973772.story
    Stevie wants some of that POTC dough.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3id9eac057de820fdc544c56e45d42eaeb
    A&E and Lifetime: Together at last?
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3id9eac057de820fdcd948ed47fc8d4c31
    Another Blob remake, this time from Rob Zombie.
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118007857.html?categoryid=13&cs=1
    Interview with the guy @ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/features/interviews_profiles/e3i63041d69a51cc0fd90a2a6831d05856f
    Clooney’s goat fetish.
    http://www.themoviebox.net/movies/2009/IJKLM/Men-Who-Stare-At-Goats,The/trailer.php
    “An Education” Int. trailer.
    http://www.themoviebox.net/movies/2009/0-9ABC/An-Education/trailer.php

  • Geoff

    drbob – check out TIME’s 25 people most responsible for the financial crisis

    Here’s what they said about Clinton:

    “It might surprise many that Clinton is even on this list (he’s #13), especially because his presidency was marked by economic prosperity. But during his tenure, America saw a lot of financial deregulation, which set the stage for the excess to come.

    Clinton helped repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, which had separated commercial banks from Wall Street, and signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which prevented the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from regulating swaps. He also helped make housing rules more lax by rewriting legislation to pressure banks into lending to low-income families.”

  • Redmond

    They definitely could’ve found a more creative way to fit Michael Moore into that poster. As mentioned above, he just doesn’t fit aesthetically. It was almost an afterthought: “Hey, let’s insert a random shot of Michael Moore here.”

    Also, as a fan of his films and a liberal, I agree with TheJeff, Michael Moore’s ego is a huge turn-off. His name was prominently displayed at the top of the poster, people know his brand by now and what to expect. The full-on pic was superfluous.

  • plastiqueelephant

    I’m pretty glad it has the pic because otherwise I might have accidentally watched this. Besides, he’s so crap on an aesthetic level (in comparison to, say Errol Morris) that I think it’s quite apt that he mars the layout.

  • alynch

    The purpose of the poster is to sell the film, right? The problem is that Moore is a huge turnoff to many people, including dyed-in-the-wool Libs like myself. His smug mug is going to make many avoid the film.

    Come on. You honestly think that Michael Moore movies would sell better by downplaying Michael Moore? He’s the primary attraction, he brings the notoriety. Without his name, this type of film wouldn’t do any better than your average political documentary, which is to say it would do very poorly.

  • Mowkeka

    Michael Moore as Gary Cooper?

    Ugh.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to TheJeff, Redmond, plastique elephant: Whether or not you’ve been taking drugs (and I’m not suggesting this), you guys are giving an excellent impression of being totally divorced from the planet. Moore may be a huge turn-off to you, but he’s certainly not that in the eyes of the vast majority. He’s been the same guy and has been doing the same thing (asking “what’s with this or that bullshit?”) and radiating the same personality since the ’80s. It’s an accepted attitude-brand that most people (except for guys like yourselves) have been rolling with and digesting for years, in the same way they roll with and digest Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks and Burger King and Gelson’s super markets. Outside of those who are deliberately trying to seem stupid and clueless for whatever reason, who in their right mind would call the Moore brand a turn-off? It’s just flat-out nonsensical. Some , I realize, decided that Moore was too strident when he berated Bush policy on the Oscar telecast a few years ago…but then he turned out to be right, didn’t he?

  • Josh Massey

    “Moore may be a huge turn-off to you, but he’s certainly not that in the eyes of the vast majority.”

    Ok, while I agree Moore should be on the poster, he is a turn-off in the eyes of the vast majority – but he will still be a draw to the choir he’s preaching to.

  • Gogocrank

    “Some , I realize, decided that Moore was too strident when he berated Bush policy on the Oscar telecast a few years ago…but then he turned out to be right, didn’t he?”

    Don’t you see that’s the point, Jeff? If Moore wasn’t too sloppy, strident or downright divisive, we wouldn’t need to recognize how right he was Oscar night – or in “Sicko,” or in “9/11″ *in retrospect*. We would have stood up and cheered in real time. But because he is sloppy, strident and divisive, there is a huge hunk of the population that is skeptical of his antics no matter what the aim (or whether or not he hits the target). It does his issues a big disservice, especially since he’s one of the few prominent filmmakers facing them head on. When an important movie like “Sicko” opens, the discussion begins with addressing its flaws, inconsistencies, controversies and contradictions, not with the issue at hand. And I challenge you to find a single major review that doesn’t address his allegedly loose way with the facts, whether or not the film itself actually fudges anything.

    Michael Moore is divisive. Sorry. That’s the incontrovertible truth, no matter where you stand on his beliefs. The movie gods may disagree, but reality is on my side.

  • rayciscon

    I look forward to this movie promoting and improving the standing of Capitalism throughout the world!

    You might ask if I’m crazy, but let’s look at the history of Michael Moore films.

    He creates these films with an express purpose, and with the possible exception of “Roger & Me”, they’ve all succeeded in doing just the opposite of his goal.

    Let’s examine in detail:

    “Bowling for Columbine”: Moore’s goal–demonstrate to America that guns are bad. Result: 38 states now have concealed carry laws, and more guns are out there than ever before.

    “Fahrenheit 9/11: Moore’s goal–make sure that George W. Bush doesn’t get re-elected. Result: GWB wins re-election by a bigger margin than in 2000.

    “Sicko”: Moore’s goal–convince Americans that our health care system is horrible. Result: A US government completely controlled by Democrats appears to be unable to pass any kind of serious health care reform that includes the type of health care Moore is advocating.

    Michael Moore, to the VAST majority of people who attend movies, is essentially a left-wing political version of Woody Allen–he’s preaching to the choir. Most people who go to see Woody Allen movies are fans and know what they’re getting, just as Michael Moore fans go to his movie to get their own political views confirmed… not get objectively informed on an important issue.

    Notice that Moore peaked with Fahrenheit 9/11? Once normal people learned that Moore isn’t presenting a documentary–let’s be honest, he serves extremely slickly made, and often funny, propaganda, they’ve “voted with their feet” and stayed away from his films.

    For this film, I see the continuation of the existing trend of diminishing returns.

    So, thanks Michael Moore for inadvertently promoting a political system that is certainly not perfect, but history has shown that it’s certainly better than communism, fascism, and every other system attempted.

  • Ronald McFirbank

    Yeah, it’s supposed to suggest Clinton. Clinton is hated on the far left for being a centrist who knew how to compromise with the other side.

  • drbob

    Let’s face it, whether you agree with his politics or not, Michael Moore is to documentaries what Michael Bay is to narrative film. He just isn’t a very good film-maker. The fact that his films make money is irrelevant, again just look at Michael Bay.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Another ridiculous statement/analogy…Michael Moore = Michael Bay because their films make money. I feel like I’m drowning here.

  • drbob

    I didn’t compare Michael Moore to Michael Bay because their films both make money. I compared Moore to Bay because they are both crappy film-makers. Hey, I think we should have strict gun control laws, universal health care coverage, and a populace that can see the utter absurdity of voting in GWB as president. But, that does not distract from the fact that Moore is a lousy documentarian.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to Gogocrank: Yeah, Moore sure does play fast and loose with the facts, all right. So much so that Wendell Potter, “an executive in the health insurance industry for nearly 20 years as head of corporate communications for Humana and then for Cigna , went to see Moore’s Sicko in 2007 to take notes so that he could prepare a propaganda counterblast — and yet he found himself agreeing with a great deal of the film,” according to a Nicholas Kristof column in the N.Y. Times. [see link below]

    Repeating for clarity’s sake — a health-insurance-company shill who was steeped in all the tricks and bullshit of his very slimy and odious trade saw Sicko and had to admit to himself that a good part of it was right-on. Too bad. If he had only had a chance to speak to you, Gogocrank, and get wised up about how Moore distorts facts and can’t be trusted, he might have stayed with the health-insurance industry and been a much better-paid fellow today.

    Tell me, Gogocrank — if you weren’t who you are but a neutral observer, and you had to decide whose word is more reliable and knowledgable about whether Sicko tells the truth or not, would you choose an HE commenter named “Gogocrank” or would you maybe choose Potter? Just lay this out for me. Maybe I’m missing something here.

    In my humble opinion people like you are dogs — ill-informed, agenda-driven hounds looking to spread their half-truths and sneering suspicions any way they can. Has Moore ever compressed or told less than the 100% truth about one of his subjects? I think I’ve read that he has once or twice, yeah. Do other muckrakers and advocates for certain positions tend to selectively push their viewpoints over others? Yeah, they do now and then. Has Moore done this a lot? No, he hasn’t. Does Moore deliberately distort and lie about the basic situation and the vast majority of the particulars in pushing his viewpoints? Not that I’m aware of. I think he tells it pretty straight from a common-man point of view. He does his homework. He knows his stuff.

    Have you, Gogocrank, distorted Moore’s record in this thread? Yeah, you have. It’s so great to have guys like you posting on HE.

    KRISTOF LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/opinion/27kristof.html?scp=2&sq=nicholas%20kristof&st=cse

  • drbob

    Regardless of whether he bends the truth or not, I could never get over how Moore treated Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine. To me, it just seemed like Moore was taking advantage of an old man who was clearly suffering from the early stages of dementia. Caveat: I do not in any way support Heston’s views on gun control, but I think he was an honorable man who should not be cavalierly lumped in with right wing lunatics like Jon Voight, Michael Moriarity or Kelsey Grammar. Heston, and also Eastwood, have/had much more nuanced views and could even be seen as liberals on a lot of issues, especially civil rights.

  • SaveFarris

    Nick Kristoff found 1 guy who works for the Health Care industry that kinda-sorta found Moore’s case compelling and *THAT* is somehow proof that Moore is always and forever right?!?

    Sorry, you’ll have to do better.

    To wit, I doubt you’d find Rush Limbaugh reporting that a random member of the NAACP admitted that Glenn Beck had some good ideas to be the be-all and end-all.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to SaveFarris: So one Wendell Potter is..what, an aberration? A lone kook? But if..what, ten insurance-industry spokespersons come forward and say the same thing you might listen? Or would it take 20? How about five? Do you think middle-aged men who experience a moral awakening grow on trees? Do you think it’s easy to take the steps that Potter has over the last couple of years? Is there any chance you’re aware that most men and women don’t make the ethical leap and face up to what they’re doing, and just decide to keep on going and keep pocketing those paychecks and leave well enough alone? Your perceptions and your thinking disgust me — no offense.

  • Gogocrank

    Jeff, I was not impugning the veracity of “Sicko,” one of the most important movies in recent memory (and I want universal health care ASAP). My point is just that Moore is divisive, so whatever movie he launches begins in a sort of message trench that sometimes takes years to climb out of. When you’re making movies for the immediate here and now, you don’t want your message to take years to seep out. That Kristof column is from this week, for god’s sake. The movie is from two years ago. Case proven.

    I was nothing but civil in my observations. And you?
    Try Googling the phrase “ad hominem” before digging in even further.

  • Gogocrank

    Oh, and while a silly screen name has nothing to do with it, “gogocrank” is simply a reference to a classic compilation of D.C. go go music from the ’80s called “Go Go Crankin.”

    BTW, a closer read of your response shows that you actually called me a dog. I mean, why? Where did that come from? For claiming that Moore is divisive? Clearly he’s not the only one.

  • DeeZee

    ray: Well, first off, Bush didn’t win. And even if he did, it was only by a slightly larger margin than in 2000. Anyway, the guy’s movies are generally ahead of their time, which is why they don’t immediately have the same impact they would normally have if they were, say, G.I. Joe.

    bob: “I could never get over how Moore treated Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine. ”

    Did Heston care about the children his organization helped murder?

    “To me, it just seemed like Moore was taking advantage of an old man who was clearly suffering from the early stages of dementia.”

    Well, Heston was taking advantage of the mourning period of people of Columbine to ram his gun nut agenda down the public’s throat.

    “but I think he was an honorable man who should not be cavalierly lumped in with right wing lunatics like Jon Voight, Michael Moriarity or Kelsey Grammar.”

    He was such an honorable man that he joined an organization which lobbied against legislation which would have allowed us to track down landmines.

  • drbob

    DZ:

    I haven’t be able to find anything on the internet supporting your assertion that the NRA “lobbied against legislation which would have allowed us to track down landmines.” Not saying your wrong, just saying I could not find anything on the internet about that.

    I did find some things which suggested that although the US was one of the first nations to support a landmine ban, the US hypocritically wanted an exemption to continue to use landmines in the DMZ area of Korea. Nothing about whether the NRA had a position on this issue or not, and nothing to suggest that the NRA blocked legisliation to allow US troops to search for and deactivate landmines.

  • DeeZee

    bob: “http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9708a/nra-un.html”

    But actually, I probably was thinking of http://www.salon.com/news/news960802.html

  • SaveFarris

    Do you think middle-aged men who experience a moral awakening grow on trees?

    Every single day. There’s a name for it and everything.

    If wanting more than one voice (filtered through an avowed partisan) before declaring that voice to be an unassailable truth makes me “digusting”, well then that’s just a shame I’ll have to live with.

    Apoligies if this is a double post: my connection’s wonky.

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