Friday, June 25

Michael Moore

Go see FARENHEIT 9/11.

Then make all your families see it. And your friends. And their families and THEIR friends . . .




It is the civic goddamn duty of every resident of the United States of America to see this film.



You'll hear people say that Michael Moore hates America. That's a motherfucking lie, and it will be told by the same motherfucking liars who sold you Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Michael Moore LOVES America. He just hates President Bush (and all those neocon shitbags who work his strings), which ain't the same thing at all.

A.O. Scott, in his review of the film in the New York Times, calls Michael Moore "a credit to the Republic." And that is by God true, but it doesn't go far enough. I attended the very first showing of this film, at 1:25 PM on a Friday afternoon, and the theater was standing room only -- and at the end, the place burst into spontaneous applause that turned into a standing ovation.

That gives me hope for my country.

On the night when that smug scumbag in the Oval Office smirked his way through the announcement that the United States had invaded Iraq, I turned to my wife and told her that for the first time in my life, I was ashamed to be an American. Not long after the "end of major combat operations," Turner Classic Movies showed YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, the classic Cagney biopic of George M. Cohan, and I tell you without shame that when they played "Over There," I burst into tears.

I was grieving for my country -- for the idea of America. For the America of the Declaration of Independence. The America of the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's Second Inaugural, the Bill of Rights and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Shit, I was even grieving for the America of "The Boys of Pont du Hoc."

Michael Moore is changing all that.

Michael Moore makes me proud to be an American again.

It is the greatest goddamn privilege imaginable to live in a country where a man can make a film like this, and not be executed by the government on whom he inflicts a two-hour hatchet job. (Well, at least, he hasn't been executed SO FAR . . . though the odds of him having a "fatal accident" in the next year or so have increased by several orders of magnitude.)

Is FARENHEIT 9/11 fair and balanced?

-- Erm, not so much.

Is FARENHEIT 9/11 a journalistic documentary, intent on portraying and preserving a moment in history?

-- Ye . . . well, no.

Is FARENHEIT 9/11 a rhetorical sixteen-inch cannon loaded with grapeshot, aimed at the Bush Administration?

-- Basically, yes.

Michael Moore is a very angry man. And he is a very gifted filmmaker. And, of course, when your basic premise is that our current Administration is a pack of venal thugs who hate everything about this country except how much money their friends can squeeze out of it, the movie pretty much writes itself.

He is so serious about this that the film is very short on laughs, and very short on his trademark ambush stunts. Mostly, it's made up of images that are public record -- he lets Mr. Bush speak for himself, which is the cruellest thing you can do to that fucking brain-damaged fratboy.

And the most extended interview in the film is with a woman from his home town, Mrs. Lila Lipscomb, and he just shuts up and lets her talk, because any comment would only be an insult. This is a deeply patriotic woman, whose fundamental goodness and unbearable grief make her almost impossible to watch.

I can only hope that every one of those soulless Bushdroids who will stand up to denounce this film has to go face to face with Mrs Lipscomb, and explain to HER why they think people shouldn't see it.



That's my take. Yours might be different. Which is okay. Even if you walk out of the film still convinced that Dubya is the greatest President since Washington, that's okay.

See it, that's all.

See it.



20 comments:

HAWKi102 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HAWKi102 said...

http://slate.msn.com/id/2102723/

accidentally hit the delete button, but here it is again.

Cora said...

I haven't seen Fahrenheit 911 yet, so I can't comment on the film. But could I just say that I think that this Christopher Hitchens guy is an ass. From what I've gleaned, he used to be a left-winger before he saw the right - err, light. Which is okay, everybody has got the right to change his opinion. But constantly pissing on the people still holding the same opinions that Mr Hitches has rejected, that's not okay at all.

MWS said...

Christopher Hitchens is entitled to his opinion. See the film.


A primary tool of propaganda is to poison the mind of the viewer against opposing viewpoints. See the film, read Hitchens' essay, then decide who is shooting for the truth, and who is engaging in cynical propaganda.

Again, whatever you decide, that's okay.

Joe Crow said...

Hey, is the MPAA still fucking him with an R rating? I've got some ethical differences with Comrade Moore, but that doesn't mean the man's not right about some stuff. This stuff, he's damn right about.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the news fades quickly from the minds of the public. Miramax tried to block distribution of this film before Cannes. I hope their stockholders ream them for it.

It was really cool to see the news crews surrounding the theater with the marquee saying they weren't enforcing the R-rating. How can the movie be R-rated when most of those images were on the news?

And I'm not sure this movie will make me proud to be an American again. It will probably take something close to the 4 years for the ingrained shame to be scoured away. It is a start though.

MWS said...

It's not the movie itself. It's that he could make it, and we can watch it, and there's no gunfire or tanks involved.

HAWKi102 said...

So Mr. Stover are you more pleased with what is in the movie itself or that someone can make it without being killed?

MWS said...

I thought I made that clear. Of the two, it's that he could make it and we can watch it.

Democracy is a wonderful thing.

But I found the movie itself pretty damned entertaining, too. Like I said above, it's not journalism, it's a rhetorical firebomb.

Me loves the pretty, pretty flames . . .

HAWKi102 said...

I like fire.

Anonymous said...

Hey all,

I hope to see the film ASAP. I greatly enjoyed both Bowling for Columbine & Roger and Me. I also like his website. Check it out: www.michaelmoore.com

A note about the theater owner in Oakland who is not enforcing the R rating. I am from Oakland. That man is extremely cool. He has been posting things like that on the theater marquee for years, frequently aimed at Bush's policies.

By the way, Matt, did you see anything in the movie that required an R rating? That is, anything that was not already shown in the Sept. 11th news coverage? Or worse than the violence in the average P-13 slasher or shoot-em-up? Just wondering....

- FirstCity -

Anonymous said...

I saw it, I really enjoyed it.

*quote* By the way, Matt, did you see anything in the movie that required an R rating? That is, anything that was not already shown in the Sept. 11th news coverage? Or worse than the violence in the average P-13 slasher or shoot-em-up? Just wondering....*/quote*

All that I saw was if broke the restrictions on swearing. Said fuck too much.

MWS said...

Well, y'know, a lot of the news footage these days could use an R rating, too. There are some EXTREMELY graphic images of what happens to a human body -- often, in this film, a young child's body -- when it is put in range of modern munitions.

Anonymous said...

"I can only hope that every one of those soulless Bushdroids who will stand up to denounce this film has to go face to face with Mrs Lipscomb, and explain to HER why they think people shouldn't see it."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

--Mahesh

Luke said...

Good post, Matt. Pretty much what I think a Moore's films. I think it's best to view him as a film maker rather than a documentary film maker.

Luke said...

BTW, Hitchens is weird one. I think the best description if you want to pigeonhole is ideology would be "Tory anarchist". His CULTURE OF NARCISISM interesting but I'd worry if I found myself agreeing with him in any substantive way.

Anonymous said...

Just wait'll Control Room hits screens in a big way - if it does that at all.

Incidentally, F 9/11 is a splendid documentary. It should be a testament to North America that it got made without requiring Moore's execution by the government or the military.

Just a thought.

Shevchyk

Anonymous said...

There is another book you may be interested in reading. It is titled Full Spectrum Disorder. The author was a member of special forces for 20 years or so and fought in every single war this country has engaged in. He has a very interesting take on what is going on that is worth looking at.

Anonymous said...

I will see this movie on 50 cent tuesday here in my local dollar theater for the following simple reason:

I can not justify spending full price to support one man's one sided propaganda for his political (and in many general, random circumstances, personal) views...be them democratic or republican or green party...

I'm sure it's an interesting and though provoking film...I just can't support something so one-sided. And what's 50 cents? How much of that money will he see? Maybe 1 cent of it? I can live with that.

Published anon because I don't feel like registering an account.

Anonymous said...

"I can not justify spending full price to support one man's one sided propaganda."

I didn't know opinions were propaganda. In that case, we should all shut up.


Shevchyk