In Jonathan Swift's classic "A Modest Proposal" (circa 1729), the narrator suggests that the Irish sell their poor children as food for the rich. "A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food," Swift writes. It was an absurd solution to the crippling trade regulations set by the British at the time.
Blending this Swiftian satire with a touch of Michael Moore's showmanship, The Yes Men Fix the World is an over-the-top indictment of corporate America, from Katrina profiteering to the fictional (and well-received) "Acceptable Risk Project," which allows an ends/means look at whether the human toll of a business enterprise is worth the potential profit. By setting up fake websites, filmmakers Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum pass themselves off as representatives of big companies that "we don't like." Posing as everything from a spokesman for Dow Chemical to representatives of Halliburton and Exxon, Yes Men exposes corporate greed through dry political theater staged everywhere from the BBC to high-level corporate conferences and media events.
Yes Men opens today at Starz FilmCenter, in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus, along with Adventures of Power, a fictional comedy about a mine worker named Power with an insatiable love of "air drumming. Power's air-drumming skills hes too poor to own a drum set take him on a journey from his small mining town to the national air-drumming competition in Newark, New Jersey. Meanwhile, his pro-Union father organizes a strike at the plant owned by Dick Houston, who's country-singer son, Dallas, is also a closet air drummer. Lampooning films where the hero needs to win a big event for the greater good, Power and Houston square off in a typical and hilarious David v. Goliath air-drum battle.
Yes Men plays today at 5 and 7:15 p.m.; Adventures of Power plays at 4:45 and 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $6 to $9.50. For more information, call 303-595-3456 or go to www.denverfilm.org.
Nov. 25-Dec. 3, 2009