From Food, Inc. to The Age of Stupid, we’ve rounded up 10 great documentaries that make powerful, life-changing statements about social, environmental, and economic… Read More
The Yes Men
Danish filmmaker and journalist Mads Brügger boasts a first name that seems worthy of his work, which he has dubbed “performative journalism.” He went undercover as a European Ambassador in the war-torn Central African Republic (CAR), armed with hidden cameras and credentials obtained on the black market. There, he brokered deals with corrupt blood diamond kingpins, leisurely traded diplomatic titles, and exposed a litany of murder, bribery, and bureaucrats from hell. The Ambassador balances a dark absurdity with terrifying revelations of exploitation, shocking fraudulence, and greed. The film opens in New York today, and we thought this would be a good time to explore some of cinema’s most controversial figures (mainly directors) — several of which Brügger has been compared to. The Huffington Post called him the “most provocative filmmaker in the world.” See if you agree after viewing our gallery after the jump. … Read More
Political pranksters The Yes Men want to be the people’s media. They also want you to contribute to their new Kickstarter campaign for the creation of their own media outlet. First on the agenda is the Occupy Wall Street Journal. It’s a newspaper for you, the people, that will delve into the ideas behind the Wall Street protests — a reaction to the banks creating and profiting off the economic crisis. The project offers to explain ” … the issues involved and how the general assembly process operates at Liberty Plaza. It will also offer resources and ways to join. The emphasis will be on quality content, design, photography and artwork that uses incisive humor to make it a lively read.” They won’t be making any personal profit off of the journal, but need your help to reach their $12,000 intended goal. Check out an interview that Michael Hayne recently conducted with The Yes Men about the Wall Street events after the jump. … Read More
We live a corporate world, and the evidence flashes in front of our eyes 5,000 times a day. Though there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this kind of business, and it can be used to further laudable common goals, our current corporatism, and the laws that enable it, have had disastrous results for our economy, government, environment, and bodies. The relaxing of anti-trust laws and the establishment of corporate personhood are largely responsible for the domination of our society by these inhuman giants. Thankfully, this trend in its many facets is well documented. A significant percentage of popular documentary films take big business as their subject matter, as do many popular nonfiction books, television shows and radio programs. These works are crucial in educating us and providing a view of the forest that can be hard to see from within our consumerist trees. We’ve rounded up a few of the most important and well done documentaries about our corporate society. They range from satirical to heartbreaking, but at their core they are all deadly serious. … Read More
The Yes Men, lovers of large-scale shenanigans that take down the man (and whose hilarious film we told you about back in October), have just pulled a stunt at Copenhagen COP 15, and our friends at Babelgum kindly passed along the video. According to the Yes Men’s website, the purpose was “to highlight the most powerful nations’ obstruction of meaningful progress in Copenhagen, to push for just climate debt reparations, and to call out Canada in particular for its terrible climate policy.” Perhaps these clips — in which the “Canadian delegation” publicly commits to bold emission reduction targets and tens of billions in new aid to help African nations — will end up in their next… Read More
The GOOD 100 is a compendium of people, ideas, and programs changing our planet for the better.
Put together by GOOD magazine, the online version of the list has added five innovative subjects each day in October, hitting the full 100 today. With picks ranging from a small Australian town’s bottled-water boycott to a teacher-salary initiative started by the leaders of 826, the savvy editors have compiled dozens of sources of inspiration, culled from an array of entries and their own archive. … Read More
The Yes Men’s new documentary chronicles the subversive duo’s elaborate, politically progressive hoaxes.
Using cheap suits, aliases, and “straight” talk, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno impersonate spokesmen from massive corporations and government agencies that promote bottom lines over human life. In front of unsuspecting audiences, they enact conscience-raising pranks, such as selling preposterous, Halliburton-approved “Survivaballs” to protect the rich from climate change, or promising — on the behalf of Dow Chemical and before 300 million BBC viewers — $12 billion in restitution for a decades-old disaster in Bhopal, India. … Read More
Remember that stunt the Yes Men performed last November when they put out a fake edition of the New York Times? Well, earlier today they released a “special edition” of the New York Post, filling it with factual stories that are all about climate change. According to Gawker, it’s part of the hype leading up to tonight’s premiere of The Age of Stupid. They’re take: “So while the Fake NYT was about ending the Iraq War, the Fake NYP is all about global warming. It’s much too earnest to really capture the full comedic potential of the setup, but you have to at least admire the ambition.” Spots where volunteers should be handing out copies, along with some video after the… Read More
The Yes Men are an acclaimed group of ‘culture jammers,’ or people who stick it to the man through elaborate hoaxes that fool the media, onlookers, and the involved organizations. If you recall, they are responsible for the circulation of the fake New York Times paper that announced the end of the Iraq War back in November of last year. Today, the jammers have released an open-call for potential volunteers to aid in their next socially conscious, ” large-scale… Read More
Next week, three-day media-action and radical-entertainment festival The Influencers returns to Barcelona’s Center of Contemporary Culture for its fifth edition. Touted as “a talk show that can’t be seen on TV,” the event is dedicated to guerilla communication, culture jamming, media interventions, and, of course, art.
Since 2004, The Influencers has presented a pack of renegade projects, archived on its website with statements, videos, and links to the artists’ sites. Anti-consumerist preacher Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping was a first-year highlight; prankster group the Yes Men and social-activist magazine Adbusters were 2005 standouts; cultural remixer Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, and DIY merchandisers/musicians Chicks on Speed took part in the 2006 lineup; and video gamer Brody Condon and social agitators Laibach participated in last year’s mix. … Read More