Tag Archives: movies

40 years ago today

By filmmaker Michael Moore

Friends,

I wrote a short story about something that happened on this day, 40 years ago. It’s in ‘Here Comes Trouble.’ I thought you might like to read it. Here it is.

There is much ahead for us in the next few months — and after Wisconsin, I’m assuming no one is taking anything for granted. Please go to my website daily for updates, strategy and ideas. And please follow me on Twitter, where I post the most stuff these days, every day.

Be well. And enjoy the story.

Nothing is for nothing

By Jack Hoffman

The first time, and only time, I went to a basketball game at the new Boston Garden- excuse me, Bank North Center – it was a complete culture shock. On every empty space of the venue was an ad for, you name it. But what impressed me the most was this massive electronic scoreboard high above the rafters covered with more ads than information about the game that was being played. The ads were so prominent I wasn’t sure if McDonalds was playing Dunkin Donuts!

Watch a baseball game, hockey or basketball game – you name it. On every pitch everywhere the puck is and wrapped around the scorers’ table an ad flashes for, once again, you name the product.

The Patriots have even scrimmaged with Reebok plastered on their practice shirts. How about those drivers who continuously drive around a circle at speeds up to 200 mph in a car painted with one of your famous consumer products and an advertiser who spends literally millions of dollars to see their name stitched on the drivers’ clothing. We are so influenced by consumer imagery we just about forget what we are paying hundreds of dollars to watch – a sporting event.

Advertising, or shall we say image making, has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. Check out Go Daddy a subscription service for going online. Their product is being sold by 6-foot-tall blonds with cleavage that could be easily attributed to the local plastic surgeon.

Beer commercials that play on the boys’ libido with once again blonds on a beach with pronounced cleavage. How about the Cadillac that can go 190 mph without the wipers being blown away? Wait a minute! How many cars are traveling at 190 MPH?

Advertisers, networks and all the rest that sell lots of this crap have gotten so bad they have bastardized the actual event, the movie we want to watch, the news we try to absorb and more. Oh, let’s not forget Janet Jackson’s nipples. I still want to meet someone who actually saw that nipple. And you still think that was a wardrobe challenge? If some of these advertises are playing on your libido I suggest tuning into HBO after 10 PM.

A local news show that can’t wait to see some victim crying and hear the buxom newscaster ask just how do you feel? See how many blonds will Fox “News” use? Well, wait until 6:24 p.m. and if you like watching commercials they run 4 minutes straight of your favorite products. I timed a 4-minute segment and 75% of the commercials were for cars. So much driving on a test track I can’t remember one car advertiser from another.

Image is so important to some advertisers that Staples bought the naming rights to the new sports center in LA for $100 million for 15 years. Is it really worth it?

Now we go to a movie and arrive just in time to be greeted by a slew of commercials and coming attractions that consume 15 to 18 minutes of get ‘em up aliens and some more stupid animations. This is not a kiddy audience or a kiddy movie we paid 10 bucks to see.

Just a friendly tip: arrive 15 minutes after the scheduled start time.
Isn’t it interesting that the best news network or the most informative programs are the ones on PBS and on the radio at NPR? Problem is so much private funding is needed to keep these gems on the air/airwaves we are now being bombarded with “pledge week” that once lasted a week to the now almost once every month.

Would I rather pay $40 per month and watch all the movies I want or an extra $15 per month to watch important sporting events? I joked when Disney 10 years ago paid $1 billion for ESPN. I asked: How much fly fishing can we watch? Well, in any case I wish I could pay a couple of bucks extra to watch a pawn shop show or some dangerous occupation like catching crabs in snow storms without being interrupted by an ad for some other action show.

The question is: Will we the audience be willing to pay extra money to be entertained without being pitched some product/service we don’t really need?

A note to all high school students

From Michael Moore

Dear High School Students:

How inspired are you by the thousands of students from Wisconsin high schools who began walking out of class four days ago and have now occupied the State Capitol building and its grounds in Madison, demanding that the governor stop his assault on teachers and other government workers? I have to say it’s one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in years.

We are, right now, living in an amazing moment of history. And this moment has happened because the youth around the world have decided they’ve had enough. Young people are in revolt — and it’s about time.

You, the students and young adults, from Cairo, Egypt to Madison, Wisconsin, are now rising up, taking to the streets, organizing, protesting and refusing to move until your voices are heard. Effing amazing!! It has scared the pants off those in power, the adults who were so convinced they had done a heckuva job trying to dumb you down and distract you with useless nonsense so that you’d end up feeling powerless, just another cog in the wheel, another brick in the wall. You’ve been fed a lot of propaganda about “how the system works” and so many lies about what took place in history that I’m amazed you’ve been able to sort through all the bs and see the truth for what it is. Continue reading A note to all high school students

The movies that made me what I am today

By Steve Sandberg

I run Cinema 320 at Clark University. This job sort of makes me one of the cultural gatekeepers of Worcester. And I guard my gate very scrupulously. Over the last 27 years, Cinema 320 has brought a galaxy of award-winning films to the city. We’ve presented a pageant of great statements on the human condition – the life work of cinematic giants like Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa. It’s been quite a record. From it, you might naturally assume that when yet another night at Cinema 320 is done, I go home and unwind with some other work of immortal cinematic art. Well, not necessarily. Actually, I like to sleep with a 50-foot woman.

But I’m not particular. If she’s got another date, I’ll make do with an amazing colossal man. Just how colossal is he? Don’t ask.

I swing all sorts of ways. You might even find me decadently commingling with many species decidedly more exotic than the human… giant tarantulas, ants the size of fire engines, killer shrews, flying brains, even a Thing or a Beast or an It! or two. These are the monster movies of my adolescence, the vivid horrors that kept me awake as a kid, shivering with delicious unease, deep into the darkness of the hottest Friday and Saturday summer nights; and now, in my middle age, they’re the old friends that lead me off into a peaceful sleep.

The irony is that Cinema 320’s clock was set ticking decades ago not by the high culture of the Cannes Film Festival, but the lowbrow junk of Fantasmic Features and Chiller Theatre; and none of the great movies the theater has brought to Worcester would have appeared here without their influence. It was while playing around in this trash heap as a boy that I decided movies were where I wanted to live. Continue reading The movies that made me what I am today

Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ on T.V. Tonight!

Thursday, July 16

The Movie Channel, this evening, will be airing the Oscar-nominated documentary, “Sicko,” Michael Moore’s film about a villain known as the health insurance industry. With the debate raging in Washington, D.C. — Republicans trying to scuttle it, the President trying to hang on to his public option, and nearly a hundred members of Congress pushing for a single-payer system — showing “Sicko” tonight is very timely. Mike lays out all the facts and the arguments as to why the private insurance companies are never going to side with what’s best for the American people.

“Sicko” airs on The Movie Channel tonight at 8:00 PM. It’s also scheduled to air on The Movie Channel on July 27th at 4:05 PM and on TMC Xtra on August 2nd at 10:45 PM and August 5th at 2:15 AM and 7:30 AM.

We are in a critical time regarding which direction the health care debate is going to go. Make your voice heard. And be armed with the facts. Watch “Sicko” again!

Thanks.