If you happen to be suffering from a terrible summer cold and your family has (thankfully) left you alone for the afternoon, down a couple shots of Dayquil and throw these titles on your Netflix instant queue:
Capitalism: A Love Story and Manufacturing Dissent.
The first is Michael Moore’s best “documentary” since Roger and Me, skewering capitalism in an entertaining thesis that doesn’t derail into self-indulgence, unlike his previous efforts including what I thought was the mostly awful Bowling for Columbine. The most important part of the movie for me was his point that democracy and capitalism are simply not the same thing, and I thought the movie makes that case eloquently. (Thank goodness someone is pointing that out!) However, just in case you are suddenly seduced into ignoring Moore’s penchant for manipulating facts to make his point (at least he doesn’t make them up completely like his enemy pundits on the right) there is finally a good documentary about the man himself, told from a very objective viewpoint by one of his (former) fans…in other words, it isn’t another hateful look at the man designed by some crazy right-winger to get Glenn Beck’s approval, but rather a very insightful, thoughtful look at the filmmaker and his works. The most interesting part of Manufacturing Dissent are all the interviews with his friends and co-workers that represent both sides of the Michael Moore coin. He is revered for what he has set out to accomplish, but seems mostly reviled for his obsession with his own celebrity and what can only be described as hypocrisy (he presents himself as an everyman with his blue collar clothes and baseball caps, but he lives the lavish lifestyle of a Hollywood millionaire.)
Enjoy the Dayquil! (It is not necessary to take the stuff in order to enjoy these films…but I highly recommend it.)