Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Michael Moore


Capitalism is an evil. So declares Michael Moore at the end of his latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story (2009), effectively negating its title. Even after having come to terms with the fact that Moore, as a filmmaker, is incorrigible, that he will use his images to multiply the effect of his voiceover and that he will carry on with his self-pitying, self-congratulatory brand of showmanship and provocation, Capitalism: A Love Story turned out to be a large disappoint for me (For the record, I do think that he had a strike with Bowling for Columbine (2002) and the temperature did soar with Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)). Two facets of this work prove to be the prime nails in its coffin. First of them is Moore’s largely reductive analysis of capitalism. His treatment of religion as a force that is corrupted by capitalism, instead of one that perpetrates it, betrays naïveté, at best, and hypocrisy, at worst. Perhaps, conceiving the project as a mini-series would have helped Moore build a more detailed analysis of the various elements at work. The second: Moore’s temptation for moral simplification. Moore treats all the corporations as a single, monolithic entity driven by profit motive. Instead of illustrating the flaws in the logic of the system, he comfortably resolves its participants into good and evil. Although there may be some truth to that, it is only expected of a film that works on a human level, as Moore’s film most definitely does, to explore the human dimension of both sides and discover where exactly we are going wrong. However, Moore’s film has a lot going for it, especially in the later passages which exude much welcome optimism. Unlike his antiestablishmentarian ancestor Stanley Kubrick (whose Spartacus (1960) is echoed in the opening sequence), Moore is not a cynic by any measure. Fittingly, he tells us: “I refuse to live in a country like this. And I’m not leaving.”

Mouse Heaven (2004)
Kenneth Anger
11 Min.


I don’t think there’ll be anyone who would not be disarmed by Kenneth Anger’s Mouse Heaven (2004), unless that person is allergic to the world’s most famous mouse – Mortimer aka Mickey. We can never have enough of Mickey Mouse, can we? And that is exactly what Anger in underscoring in this fabulous little short. Mouse Heaven begins with a shot of creepy lab rats (in negative, to make it worse) followed by a drawing of Mickey on paper. We are then shown shots of an animated Mickey mouse, then two of them, then a few of them and, soon, then an army of them. And before you know it, Mickey Mouse is on your underwear. Anger floods the screen with all types of Mickey Mouse merchandise – food items, clothes, toys, and tattoos, Mickey in clay, Mickey in metal and even a Mickey in diamond. Although many modern filmmakers have adopted a similar style, Mouse Heaven, clearly, is an auteur’s work. When such quirky songs like “I’m your puppet” and “If I had a million dollars” play on the soundtrack while the visuals give you hundreds of Mickeys dancing and singing, you know it is Anger at the cutting table. Unlike many of his earlier films, which used barely comprehensible imagery, Anger presents us with neat and instantly lovable visuals to show us what our fetishes have brought us to. Thematically close to the director’s unfinished film Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965) but based on a zeitgeist of this age, Mouse Heaven is Anger at his sarcastic peak as he takes a massive jab at this exploitative economy of ours, whose free agents are just waiting to stuff the next cute thing.

Hey, who flicked my Spongebob coffee mug?