In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb large ouygaatyh4jzithj6fi3uyf31ri

Wonder

You’ll shed a tear or two—especially if you’re a parent—and they’ll be totally earned.

Thumb mv5bztg3yteznjytzty2ns00yjnmltlhnjutzti2m2e5ndi4m2njxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymzi3mdezmzm . v1 sy1000 cr0 0 675 1000 al

Mudbound

The film invites us to observe its characters, to hear their inner voices, to see what they see and to challenge our own preconceived notions…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Journal Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

The Yes Men Fix the World

The Yes Men Fix the World Movie Review
  |  

Consider the "SurvivaBall." This is a fake survival suit, built by the Yes Men but presented as a new product from Halliburton. This is an inflated padded globe completely containing a human body, and round as a beach ball. Obviously, if you fell over, you'd have no way to stop yourself from rolling, or be able to stand up on your own. There's a closable face opening, air filters, little extendable gloves and a port that, unless I miss my guess, is intended for extra-suit urination. It comes with the big red Halliburton trademark.

Advertisement

In the post-9/11 paranoia, the Yes Men seriously pitch this invention at a conference for the security industry. Study the faces in the audience. No one is laughing. People look bored or perhaps mildly curious. There isn't a look of incredulity in the room. The few questions are desultory. Not a single security "expert" seems to suspect a hoax.

Experts in the news business are no more suspicious. The Yes Men faked a BBC interview during which a "spokesman for Dow Chemical" announced a multibillion-dollar payment to the victims of a notorious 1985 explosion at a Union Carbide insecticide factory in Bhopal, India, that killed 8,000, injured many more and spread poisons that cause birth defects to this day.

Think of that. Twice as many dead as on 9/11, we know exactly who did it and Dow (which absorbed Union Carbide) has never paid a dime of reparation. At the news it was finally settling the suit, Dow Chemical's stock price plunged on Wall Street: Things like this could cost money. The Yes Men were unmasked as the hoaxers.

They were also behind a stunt that made the news recently: staging a phony press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, announcing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was reversing its stand on global warming. Some news organizations double-checked this, but not Fox News, which repeated the story all day.

Another hoax, inspiring the question: Why does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce resist the theory of global warming? What is the USCC, anyway? Is it supported by the dues of countless merchants on Main Street, or is it a front financed by energy companies? Only a month ago, Exelon, the largest U.S. electric utility, announced it would no longer pay dues to support the USCC right-wing agenda.

The Yes Men are represented in this documentary by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonnano. You may have seen them on TV -- as themselves, or as "corporate spokesmen." It's remarkable no one recognizes them. They don't wear beards or dark glasses. They are disguised, in fact, in a way that makes them above suspicion: Why, they look and talk exactly like middle-aged white men in conservative business suits.

Advertisement

The film is entertaining in its own right, and thought-provoking. Why don't more people quickly see through their hoaxes? A photo of Bichlbaum and Bonnano with the SurvivaBall appears with this review. Would you believe in such a product? As head of security for your corporation, would you invest in it? It is surprising we don't look outside and see, coming down the street, a parade of emperors without any clothes.

Yes Man” Mike Bonanno will appear live at the Music Box Theater theater on Friday, October 30th at the 7:10pm and 9:20pm shows.

Popular Blog Posts

Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies

Stop watching movies made by assholes. It'll be OK.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Tears of a Machine: The Humanity of Luv in "Blade Runner 2049"

No character in “Blade Runner 2049” is more relatably human than Luv.

“Call of Duty” and “Wolfenstein” Redefine the Modern WWII Game

A review of two of the biggest games of 2017, a pair that use World War II in very different ways.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus