The Yes Men Fix the World and Emily Gets Drunk

Hidey ho neighbourino’s (copyright Flanders*)

Over the last 2 weeks, I have been working on the free jazz series and learning how to make films good and do other things good too. In I tried syncing sequences on Final Cut Pro and felt like a total tourettes person because I’d go forward a frame, back a frame, forward 2 seconds, back 3 seconds – and I still couldn’t get it. I was like *twitch* *twitch*, wanting to self-combust.

We screened the film The Yes Men Fix the World on October 6th, which is essentially about two political activists who pull pranks to highlight how corporate greed is destroying the planet. It centers around the idiocy of giving the market more power than any other institution to run our society.

In the film, Andy and Mike create fake websites similar to ones of their corporate nemeses and then accept invitations to appear at conferences and TV shows. They then attend these events and pull of stunts giving the audiences a wake up call to the dangers of letting the market get away with corporate crime. However, most of the time, the audience takes them quite literally and aren’t even aware that they are being taken for a ride, which is even more hilarious – but at the same time, it kind of defeats the purpose of what the Yes Men are doing, which is to get their message through to these people!

The Yes Men remind me of an Australian TV show, The Chaser’s War on Everything which is about a group of 5 guys who do the same thing – pulling stunts to emphasize social and political issues. One of their most controversial pranks was at the 2007 Apec Leaders Summit in Sydney where they drove straight into the Apec restricted zone in a fake Canadian Motorcade and security didn’t even question them until one of the guys stepped out of the car dressed as Osama Bin Laden. The stunt proved that the Apec security was all just ‘for show’ and anyone could get in – even Osama Bin Laden – if they tried.

The Yes Men film is different to Michael Moore films because they’re funnier in portraying their points, and they’re not as patronizing to the viewer as Moore sometimes is with his ‘don’t you feel like an idiot for not knowing this’ vibe.

Igor Vamos, who plays Mike Bonanno in the film, is actually a media arts professor at RPI so he was there for the screening. He spoke to everyone afterwards and answered questions. One of the points he mentioned was how young people should be really peeved at authorities who don’t do anything about climate change – because it means they’ll be the ones faced with it in the future.

I guess the main difference between USA and Australia with regard to climate change is that we feel the effects of it a bit earlier than the US does. For instance, we’re in a stage of drought at the moment, which doesn’t mean that there’s tumble weed rolling past us and we’re sitting in a cactus filled desert, but it means that our water reserves are almost dried up. We have two minute shower timers and a water police force that roams around catching water wasting bandits.

After Igor spoke at the screening, he handed out the Yes Men-modified New York Times from the film and the New York Post that they created afterward. I got mine signed and even got a photo with him.

I definitely recommend seeing the movie. Not only is it a complete crack up but it will make you want to get off your ass and do something – maybe even purchase your own ‘survivaball’ and roll around the city causing up a stir.

On Thursday, we had our fourth Kiss My Edit Lab where Branda read out more of In the Blink of an Eye about how editing really is just ‘editing out the bad bits’ – but the ‘bad bits’ involve so many elements – ..

We then looked at the documentary Jay’s been working on and gave him constructive criticism before going off to work on our own projects. Branda gave me the assignment of making my own quick film every week where I document Sanctuary life. The aim is to now make them Spielberg-ish in anyway, but to just churn out as many as possible.

Alas, that is my mission for this week.

I aged on Saturday as it was my 21st birthday – or should I say beer-thday. It means I finally get to do the things I’ve been able to do in Australia for 3 years (because the drinking age is 18). Chris brought in a beautiful birthday cake from this Italian-American cake store, and Branda, Chris and Andrew sang me ‘happy birthday’. Brande even bought me some cute winter accessories, which is great because I’m totes unprepared for the NY winter! The eskimozation of Emily.

I’ve just endured a crazy weekend of partying where I’ve completely OD’d on beer/probably developed a beer gut (which is very ‘Aussie’ of me actually). I now feel like a massive corpse that just wants to hibernate away from the world to catch up on zzz’s.

I’ll de-hermitize at the Workers Republic screening this Saturday though, so you should definitely come alongeth.

That is all.

Adios amigos 🙂

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