Michael Moore's new film, Capitalism: A Love Story, premiered Monday, and, as might be expected, fans and critics of the portly provocateur had plenty to say. (Including those who had not yet seen the film.) Moore's film is a stridently anti-capitalist documentary about the economic crisis. Opinions split, and were not limited to the film itself. From the premiere's location (the Lincoln Center) to the swanky afterparty (an orgy of capitalist excess) bloggers found plenty to opine about. Some of the more notable reactions to the armored trucks, bathing beauties, and megaphone journalism that were on hand:
- Good Movie, Weird Afterparty "Say what you like about Michael Moore," wrote Mediaite's Rachel Sklar, "but you'd have to have a heart made of ice-cold stone not to be moved, enraged, and galvanized by his latest film." She found the afterparty, with "a hot tub, complete with young lovelies lounging steamily therein" jarring, however: "[A]fter a movie like that, decrying ... hedonistic, excessive luxury--well, it felt pretty weird."
- Talk About Biting the Hand that Feeds You "Putting aside,that Lincoln Center is a testament to Wall Street's turning donations into billboards," commented the Wall Street Journal's Michael Corkery about the premiere, "this temple of the arts also shows how capitalism is at the core of the highest levels of the NYC culture scene from which Moore draws many followers and much acclaim."
- Interesting Choice of Venue New York Magazine's Jessica Pressler hadn't seen the movie, but said she "would love ... to approach Michael Moore at his bedside while he is sleeping and yell at him through a megaphone." Echoing Corkery's comments, she latched on to New York Times Dealbook coverage of a family whom Citi had evicted from its home watching the movie from the "Citi Balcony" of the Lincoln Center.
- 'Watch the Movie. Demand Regulations.' The contributors to the Huffington Post heartily approved. "Yes, this big-hearted guy is up to the old shenanigans," wrote Regina Weinreich, "only this time the ironies cut even closer to the bone." Beau Friedlander liked the shenanigans, but was more deeply moved by Moore's declaration, "I refuse to live in a country like this ... and I'm not leaving"
- Moore Is 'Recycling Old Gags' Joe Weisenthal hadn't seen the movie either, but wrote that "our guess is that it's brilliantly done propaganda on behalf of an untenable, ridiculous position. Just a guess." In a separate post, he responded to others' reviews of the film: "Driving an armored truck up to Goldman Sachs? Seriously?" Edward Champion, on his blog Reluctant Habits, appeared to agree:
It seems to me that, if you’re rolling out the howitzers with the intent to destroy an ideology, you should probably blow the shit out of everything. But Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, feels passe and diffident, despite the fact that it has gone out of its way to include footage from only a few weeks ago.
- Was There a Point To This? New York Times critic Manohla Dargis didn't approve of Moore's harassing "working people just trying to do their jobs" and thought him "on far firmer ethical ground when he doesn’t use other human beings as props." The interviews with "people who have been abused by the greed of their employers" was convincing, but she wondered, "In the end, what is to be done? After watching Capitalism, it beats me."