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Bowling for Columbine
May 24, 2002 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Bowling for Columbine Michael Moore, the visionary documentary maker, has the big hit at Cannes this year with Bowling for Columbine. Ostensibly a film about guns and violence in America
posted by Niahmas (22 comments total)

 
Visionary. Hah. Moore is so opinionated, he can hardly be called a documetarian. Documentaries are films about an event, the best of which are created with the subject being the central personality. Moore's preachy films center around him and his opinion of the situation. I agree with Moore about many things, but I would never insult documentary filmmakers by saying he was one.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:31 PM on May 24, 2002


I like this article from the Guardian a little better.

"But the denouement comes when Moore confronts the vice president of the National Rifle Association, Hollywood star Charlton Heston, over his defence of the second amendment to the US constitution that allows Americans to bear arms. He attacks Heston for taking part in NRA rallies backing gun ownership near schools in Columbine and Flint, Michigan, where children had also recently been shot dead.

Why, he asks, do so many Americans kill each other with guns and why do so many of them feel they need to be armed? "We have a history of violence," replies Heston, "perhaps more than most other countries." When Moore retorts that Germany and Britain have violent histories, too, but currently a relatively tiny number of gun-related killings, Heston walks out. "


I'll see it when it come into release in the states. Anyone have any info on a date for that?
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:32 PM on May 24, 2002


Aye. I'd be interested in seeing the film, but I wouldn't go so far as to call Moore any kind of visionary.
posted by tomorama at 12:47 PM on May 24, 2002


Hello 15 minutes....
posted by geist at 1:49 PM on May 24, 2002


if by 15 minutes you mean almost 15 years (Roger and me 1989)..
posted by dig_duggler at 3:20 PM on May 24, 2002


Documentaries are films about an event...

They are? Wow. I never thought of pigeonholing them quite that way. When I think of my favorite documentaries (The Cruise, Time Indefinite, Vernon Florida, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, the soon to be released Flyerman...) they're all about people. Weird.
posted by dobbs at 5:20 PM on May 24, 2002


Loooked at that after I posted it and realized it's not how I meant to put it. What I meant is that documentaries are supposed to take an impartial view of reality, which Moore's never do.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:01 PM on May 24, 2002


What I meant is that documentaries are supposed to take an impartial view of reality, which Moore's never do.

Unless of course, there really is a "culture of violence" he is seeking to document. There is an absurdity to each and every project he takes on. But when push comes to shove, the absurdity is not his, but the subject he exposes. Michael Moore is an invaluable one of a kind. Not perfect, but definitely one of a kind.
posted by crasspastor at 6:44 PM on May 24, 2002


What I meant is that documentaries are supposed to take an impartial view of reality

Which is also wrong.

The father of documentary film, John Grierson, believed that documentary film was impossible without a strongly held point of view, and that the purpose of documentary film was to point out iniquities in life for the purpose of raising peoples' awareness and getting them changed.

Opinion has been part of the documentary tradition since its birth.
posted by geneablogy at 7:05 PM on May 24, 2002


Hear, hear. No one can take an "impartial" or "unbiased" view of anything. Some storytellers -- documentarians, journalists, what-have-you -- strive to be fair and put aside their inherent biases, see past them, and/or add contradictory views. Some don't. Wonderful documentaries can be made by taking either approach.

I can think of some great documentaries that didn't particularly take stands on issues: "Gates of Heaven"; "A Great Day in Harlem"; "Hands on a Hard Body." I can also think of some that did: "Harvest of Shame"; "Roger and Me"; "Harlan County, USA." They're all great movies, and they all succeed because of the compelling stories that they tell and the way in which they tell them. The presence or absence of an editorial slant doesn't affect this at all.
posted by Vidiot at 9:47 PM on May 24, 2002


I think what the Moore critic probably meant to say was, "I don't like Moore's politics, so I'll attack his aesthetic."
posted by mecran01 at 4:28 AM on May 25, 2002


"documentaries are supposed to take an impartial view of reality, which Moore's never do."

re-watch 'roger and me'. moore uses irony like few others can. come live in Flint and then tell me what impartial is.
posted by clavdivs at 7:59 AM on May 25, 2002


Screw Michael Moore. His schtick was funny in Roger and Me, but he's hardly the everyday working man he presents himself to be. I'm more excited about Nick Broomfield, what with Biggie and Tupac on the way (which will hopefully be more Heidi Fleiss than Kurt & Courtney).

And the day that documentaries become completely impartial is the day in which audiences will be required to sit in their seats and watch 300 hours of unedited footage. It hasn't happened since the day Robert Flaherty decided to edit his footage.
posted by ed at 9:54 AM on May 25, 2002


The problem with Michael Moore isn't that he takes a very clear - even zealous - position in his work, it is that his utter disregard for telling the truth cripples his credibility.
posted by John Smallberries at 12:11 PM on May 25, 2002


Just as Moore takes on guns, Nick Broomfield's back, dealing with the deaths of Tupac and Biggie. It's ego-driven documentary season, obviously. Not that this doesn't make either entertaining viewing.
posted by riviera at 12:19 PM on May 25, 2002


"His schtick was funny in Roger and Me, but he's hardly the everyday working man he presents himself to be"

42 on that.
call me hokey but i love the ken burns stuff.
posted by clavdivs at 1:01 PM on May 25, 2002


Ostensibly a film about guns and violence in America

Ostensibly? What do think it's really about? Bowling?
posted by owen at 11:29 AM on May 26, 2002


Ostensibly? What do think it's really about? Bowling?

No, silly. All Michael Moore films are actually about Michael Moore.
posted by kindall at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2002


Just heard that Bowling for Columbine won a very prestigious award at Cannes... not the Palme d'Or, but one given only every five years at Cannes where the committee can spotlight a particular film. There was a lot of talk amongst reviewers of Bowling for Columbine being the best of the films this year at Cannes, but I guess we'll have to wait a while to verify this.

Frankly, I'm kind of surprised at the level of anti-Moore feelings out there. Yes, he obviously has a particular political viewpoint, but everyone knows where he's coming from... by going out and seeking the story where the story is, his films are a good deal more interesting and far more genuine than the barrage of talking heads out there who use the format of their talkshows to ambush their guests.

Yes, what he does is political, but the point is, he is capable of doing it humorously, entertainingly, movingly, and just plain well. Would people buy tickets to see a Bill O'Reilly movie? I doubt it...
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:52 PM on May 27, 2002


Would people buy tickets to see a Bill O'Reilly movie? I doubt it...

Would people watch a Michael Moore TV show? I think we already know the answer to that one.
posted by ljromanoff at 7:46 AM on May 28, 2002


TV Nation had a lot of viewers in the 18-30 range... and it was on a major network, which is something that O'Reilly would never be hired to work on, fortunately. The Awful Truth does very well on Bravo, from what I hear... although I would argue that it's the wrong network and wrong time slot for Moore.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:29 PM on June 3, 2002


TV Nation had a lot of viewers in the 18-30 range... and it was on a major network

Not for long.

which is something that O'Reilly would never be hired to work on, fortunately.

Pure conjecture on your part.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:07 AM on June 4, 2002


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