[Marxism] Bubble

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Feb 4 11:14:43 MST 2007

In September 2005, Stephen Soderbergh’s “Bubble” 
premiered simultaneously in theaters, and on DVD 
and cable. I didn’t pay much attention to the 
film at the time except to take notice that much 
of the action takes place in a doll factory. 
Soderbergh is well-known for glitzy 
entertainments like “Oceans 11? but he has also 
made some important films such as “Good Night and 
Good Luck” that dramatized the confrontation 
between Edward R. Murrow and Joe McCarthy, which 
was understood as a critique of how the media 
failed to challenge Bush’s war in Iraq. Even when 
he has been less than successful with films such 
as “Syriana”, you have to give him credit for 
tackling big issues. I imagine that something 
like “Oceans 11? constitutes his “day job” and 
most of his passion is directed toward offbeat works such as “Bubble”.

It is also worth mentioning that “Bubble” was 
produced by HDNET, the cable TV company run by 
Mark Cuban, who also owns the Dallas Mavericks. 
Before HDNET got into the production business, 
Cuban co-produced “Good Night and Good Luck.” 
Clearly he has an interest in how news is 
produced. Besides “Bubble,” HDNET was responsible 
for “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” and 
“The War Within”, which was about the planning of 
a terrorist attack in New York by a Pakistani. 
“The War Within” generated a lot of controversy 
because it was deemed far too sympathetic to the main character.

I finally got around to watching “Bubble” last 
night, courtesy of a screener from Magnolia, a 
distribution company for edgy, independent films. 
Although it has problems, it is certainly worth 
renting. It is one of the few movies–and perhaps 
the only one–that I have ever seen about the 
working poor in the USA and specifically white 
workers. It is an unsparing look at factory 
workers whose wages are just above the minimum 
wage, can’t afford automobiles, shop at Walmart 
and eat McDonalds. As part of his commitment to 
authenticity, Soderbergh filmed on location in 
southern Ohio and at the Lee Middleton Original 
Dolls factory in Belpre. This is a typical 
non-unionized small shop that workers are 
increasingly forced to seek out nowadays as big 
steel, auto and mining jobs disappear.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2007/02/04/bubble/

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