The professional left reviews Inequality for All

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 12:05 pm by George Smith

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation, a magazine I once (long ago) subscribed to and now never read, celebrity-slumming in the WaPost:


That’s how one reviewer describes the experience of watching Harvey Weinstein’s latest film. Only the movie in question isn’t “Erased,??? Weinstein’s pulse-pounding thriller about an ex-CIA agent on the run. Nor is it “Only God Forgives,??? in which Ryan Gosling finds himself caught up in a gritty underground world of Thai drug smuggling, prostitution, rape, and murder.

The movie is, in fact, a documentary, but one more disturbing than international criminal conspiracies and more devastating than any “Sharknado.??? It’s about income inequality.

So glib, so clever. “More devastating than Sharknado,” one of SyFy Channel’s relentlessly bad Saturday night movies turned into a micro-cultural fad by those who never watch them, something made for less money than vanden Heuvel is paid in a year.

Robert Reich, reviewing his own movie, by way of syndication to the Kansas City Star:

As I emphasize in “Inequality for All??? — a new film out this week in which I explain the savage inequalities and insecurities now undermining our economy and democracy — we can make the economy work for us rather than for only a few at the top.

From the San Francisco Weekly:

Last year, Variety named San Francisco-based movie producer Jen Chaiken, along with her L.A.-based 72 Productions partner Sebastian Dungan, among the new “10 Producers to Watch.” This year, therefore, we’ve been watching Chaiken — or her films, anyway, which most recently include a pair of Sundance prizewinners: Jill Soloway’s comedy-drama Afternoon Delight, now playing, and Jake Kornbluth’s documentary Inequality for All, featuring former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, opening locally on September 27th.

But sometimes watching isn’t enough, so we talked to her too …

[SF Weekly]: American wealth disparity seems like, uh, a difficult subject.

Yes, it can be daunting to an audience, but let me tell you, as filmmakers, it was a hard movie to make, and part of why it was so hard is that we wanted to make it accessible. And so we wanted to take this mammoth topic and distill it so you can understand it, and you can enjoy yourself. After Sundance, somebody said something very pleasing to me: “I laughed a lot. And I cried. In a movie about the economy! I don’t know how you did that.” I said, “You have just made my year.”

[SF Weekly]: Is that the secret of the Reich-Kornbluth combo?

Oh yeah. Humor was a big talking point for us. Bob is very charismatic, and funny. So as the person who’s going to guide you through this issue, he’s great. And Jake doesn’t come from documentaries, he comes from comedies …

Inequality for All was hard for the well-off to make (it includes as one multi-millionaire, Nick Hanauer, who has spent the last couple of years on the lecture circuit of the pro left), so “humor was a big talking point,” because nothing so satisfies as famous names talking about how we the people can fix inequality — with jokes mixed in so it’s not such a downer.

The script about laughing and humor, repeated from the promotional materials, in the Detroit Free Press:

“Oh, I’m much funnier than Al Gore,??? says the former Clinton administration secretary of labor [in reference to a comparison with “An Inconvenient Truth”], who brings a sense of humor to the movie as well as a willingness to be personally revealing …

There’s a lot of information to digest. Yet for a movie that dwells often in the land of charts and graphs, director Jacob Kornbluth and Reich were committed to keeping things lively.

“We intended it to be entertaining. We didn’t want it to be in any way dry or didactic. People who have seen the screenings, many of them have told me that they’ve laughed and they’ve cried,??? says Reich during a phone interview a day after his appearance with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.???

“Inequality for All??? took home a special jury award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and has been praised by movie critics …

Kickstarter crowd-funding was allegedly used to give us Reich’s movie.

The only way I’ll see it is if someone else buys a ticket when it comes to Pasadena. And then I’ll review it.

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