Thursday, June 03, 2004

Fahrenheit 911 - The Power of Polemics Michael Moore's new film obtained a distribution deal through the Weinstein Brothers and others, not surprising given the financial success of Moore's other films in comparison to other documentary makers. The Trailer is here. Moore makes money, the thought that somehow a film by him that promised to be as controversial as Fahrenheit 911 would not get a deal is laughable. Of course, not as laughable as Disney dumping a sure money-maker at a time they could use one. Bush-Apologists, naturally, are apoplectic. Like Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine they will try their best to avoid seeing the film while parsing what nit-picks they can to say its dishonest and no "right-thinking" person should further line Moore's ample pockets. Again, all while NOT seeing the film. Anybody that avidly reads the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page for their talking points is generally troubled by reality. There there is also the rolling cognitive dissonance required of a supporter of the Bush Administration. These leave a critic in a pretty weakened position when it comes to condemning someone for playing loose with the facts. To criticize a work without seeing it is wilfull ignorance, but of course, as is described above, these folks are well qualified as wilfull ignorance is a way of life for many Bush Supporters (the countries a quarter mentally ill - hence, we know the size of Bush's actual base). It's true I mock the WSJ Editorial Page, and its dimmest bulb Peggy Nooners (and calling someone the dimmest light at the WSJ Editorial page is really saying something, its damning amidst general damnation). I also mock the folks at the Corner, Sully the Simpleton, Ann "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Chimperor" Coulter. But I take the pains, and that is an understatement, to read them bofore the scorn pours forth. And unlike Instapundit I read the whole goddamned awful column, not the first sentence or the headline. Moore's work is certainly not classic documentary style. Earl Morris or Ken Burns are the best, and best known, of the practitioners of that art. Perhaps two of the best ever. Moore is not particularly interested in making "The Sorrow and the Pity" (which I highly recommend), nor "The Fog of War". Moore is making a video editorial, a polemic. There's no hiding the slant, and in doing so, Moore is more intellectually honest than all the individuals I listed two paragraphs above. He is able to do so in an entertaining way. Humor has always been the best manner of skewering the powerful, and Moore is able to use it effectively. Even polemics are supported by the underlying evidence -- one may disagree with the interpretation, but the images and details are either going to support themselves or not. Where the slant and the facts intermesh that is the portion that a discerning individual has to actually view to adequately criticize. The evidence of Moore's talent in using his slant meshed with evidence, is in his win at Cannes. Like it or not, there is a seething anger overseas that is completely the responsibility of the Bush Administration (yes, it takes two to Tango, but when the Chimp wants to Dance to his own tune, don't expect the usual dance partners to go along with the strutting). That anger was reflected at Cannes, and is in ample supply in this country. Moore is brilliant in forging it together based on his past work, and apparently is even more successful this time -- though I have to see it first to really say so. As linked before, the trailer is here, view it and look at the image that Moore gives you of the Chimperor at the end of it, and tell me that the image, though completely non-violent, isn't disturbing as evidence. You'll know what I mean when you see it.
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