Mark Achbar

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The Corporation Review


OK
There was a popular bumper sticker last year that read: If you aren't completely appalled then you haven't been paying attention. It was most commonly seen on vehicles that also had a Kerry/Edwards sticker or the one with a simple illustration of falling bombs that read "Bush Family Values." The same sentiment could very well apply to big business -- corporations. And indeed the new documentary The Corporation wants you to make that link. The Corporation is a documentary about corporate law. Sounds boring, but not when you have talking heads like Michael Moore and Milton Friedman. It's a polemic film, biased but cutting. Think Fahrenheit 9/11 meets Wall Street.

Few words have the baggage that the word corporate does. It's gone from the economic textbooks, dry and undistinguished, to a near anathema curse. No one, whatever their profession, likes to say they are "corporate." And yet the majority of workers in the United States work for corporations. These days you're most likely to hear the word corporate bandied about as a rallying cry. It's leveled at artists who "sell out," or go "corporate." Thrown like pies at politicians with "corporate" interests. Corporate goons are the lynchpins of countless cuckold and old boy jokes. And yet corporations are stronger now than ever, driven by favorable political winds, fed by a steady stream of willing workers, and nestled deep and safe inside the American psyche.

Continue reading: The Corporation Review

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media Review


Very Good
Noam Chomsky, toward the beginning of Manufacturing Consent, tells someone that he can't imagine why an audience would want to watch him talk for an hour. Heh, I wish! Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick give us nearly three full hours of Noam Noam Noam, largely interviews conducted directly with the famed linguist/political meddler, and outtakes from public interviews he gave throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the result of following him around the world. Unfortunately, putting Chomsky on a pulpit for three hours isn't really the best way to get his message across (a deep and thorough indictment of politics, the media, and corporate leadership). A little more context and some judicious editing could have given the film longer legs.
Mark Achbar

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