"When HR goes too far" is the tagline for The Method, for example. In this Spanish production, seven applicants for an executive position must prove their ruthlessness in a high-tech pseudo-game. In the music industry exposé Before the Music Dies, interviewee Branford Marsalis says "Today, Ray Charles would not get a shot. Today Stevie Wonder would not get a shot." Why not? "They're blind." According to Marsalis, that alone would nix major-label attention. But the doc offers laughs via a guy interviewing Ashlee Simpson fans, asking whether they feel the singer inspires them to "do anything." The tactic is an unfair low blow (they're teenagers, for starters), but the film points to a larger truth: Political music wouldn't sell enough to satisfy the large companies in control of the airwaves, so these girls won't ever hear it. The result is mean and funny.
Thu., Oct. 18, 7 p.m., 2007