Thursday night’s feature, “Do As I Say,” was preceded by two short films funded by the Institute for Humane Studies, one of AFR’s sponsors. The first, “Monica’s Oar,” is practically the definition of “terrible student film.” Talky, poorly framed, philosophical without getting to any discernible point: “Monica’s Oar” was like an Ayn Rand book brought to life, minus the plot. The second, “Changing Speeds,” was far better. A cute take on the traditional boy-meets-girl story, the short was dialogue-free and a great change of pace from the first short.
“Do As I Say” is a humorous documentary about the hypocrisy of the liberal jet-set. Based on the book of the same name by Peter Schweitzer, Nick Tucker’s documentary constantly drew laughs from the audience. Where else will you find out about Noam Chomsky’s Pentagon contracts, or Michael Moore’s extensive stock portfolio?
Divided into several distinct segments, Mr. Tucker’s documentary drags at times; he might consider trimming a few minutes out of every section and using them to craft an entirely new one. The pace is helped by intercutting each expose with performances by a comedian portraying a stereotypical limousine liberal, the type of guy who argues for “carbon offsets” while jetting around the country in a private airplane.
Stylistically, “Do As I Say” is like a lower budget version of a Michael Moore documentary; a few ambush interviews are spliced in with cute graphics and a clever voiceover narration. It makes for easy watching, though it may cost the film a little bit of intellectual heft.