Floored Movie Review: Candid Camera Capitalism

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While investment economics is pretty much mind boggling even in movies attempting to make sense of that complicated enigma, Floored serves up stock culture at its most hardcore and ruthless in the raw, if not exactly market math for dummies. A penetrating look into the brutal when not bizarre world of the Chicago stock trading floor known as ‘The Pit,’ Floored is a kind of horror documentary hybrid, descending into that secretive world steeped in money lust, booze, drugs and high end sex on demand.

Director James Allen Smith happened to gain unusual access to those compulsive trading floor players, as a web designer during that investment culture’s radical switch recently from-in-your-face stock transactions to the more impersonal hi-tech digital deals. And within that bastion of naked claustrophobic capitalism, traders are caught on camera screaming, shoving, spitting in each others’ faces, and reportedly even stabbing one another with pens and biting a rival’s nose.

As Smith navigates that competitive buy and sell money game known as investment capitalism, he also uncovers like an avid psychological profiler, the reigning colorful and frequently scary personalities that inhabit The Pit. They range within that mostly macho realm from a hard luck loser playing golf in the snow, drunks and decadent party animals, to one who actually runs off to Africa periodically to shoot animals. And then lines his luxuriant McMansion with the stuffed cadavers of scores of slaughtered wildlife creatures. But what they all have in common is money mania, and designer cigars dangling from their nonstop motormouths.

A must-see about greed, material obsession, perpetually unfulfilled lust for loot, shoving matches, and suicide. And where old traders go when their time is up, and the dreaded ‘Box’ known as the digital computer age moves in and takes over. Not to mention what Darwin might have had to say, if he lived to see this movie.

TraderFilm

Unrated

3 1/2 stars

Floored will also be available on Mobile Phones, Online, and via Legal Progressive Download. Babelgum will distribute the film worldwide as an eight-part series, online and on the Babelgum mobile platforms. A new segment will be available daily for eight days. Also, UbicMedia will release the full-length film internationally as a hi-definition P2P and legal progressive download. Visit FlooredMovie.com for more details.

The “Floored” 2-Disc Combo Pack DVD Features more than 10 minutes of raw, unedited footage from the Chicago trading floors. A special commentary track by Jon Najarian, Pete Najarian & Rick Santelli is very interesting. Another track has commentary by the director and editor. There are deleted scenes and an alternate ending, plus Floored at NASDAQ, a Photomontage of the floor, and live pit commentary of the “Flash Crash” by Ben Lichtenstein.

There is also a BLU-ray Extra – a Special 1080p HD transfer of the film that is optimized for HD televisions.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.