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Fahrenheit 9/11 [Jun. 30th, 2004|10:29 pm]
한국 사람이 아니다
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Since SpiderMan 2 opened today, I figured it would be a brilliant time to finally see Fahrenheit 9/11.

I don't think it would be outrageous to say this film should be mandated required viewing for all Americans. Especially voters. Because...wow. If you thought GW was a dumb monkey before...well, Michael Moore will leave no doubt that the man hasn't a clue much of the time. It's almost scary, the film footage of what GW was doing at 9am on Sept.11.

Granted, Michael Moore is rather sandpapery, and not the 600 grit either. He's added a whole new dimension to the word "abrasive." and yes, he does massage some facts, he does make a few "Paul is Dead" connections, and he does edit in a few soundbites that are not entirely in context. He uses music and amusing film clips (such as the opening credits for Bonanza). He strings together many scenes, one after the other, so that the viewer barely has time to react to a picture of a legless soldier before we're whisked back to Flint, MI to see devestation nearly as bad aas that in Iraq. But in a world where the medium is more the message than ever before, Moore has hit upon just about the only way to get through to people, especially the generations who grew up with Sesame Street and MTV...who would go see a documentary if it were still made like those 16mm films we were subjected to in school?

And Michael himself is more restrained and subdued than I've ever seen him. He does still pull a few of his patented stunts (asking congressmen to get their kids to enlist, reading the Patriot Act through an ice cream van's loudspeaker on Capitol Hill), but nowhere near as many as were in Bowling for Columbine. He's still angry, but it's a more focused fury, and he attacks the President with the precision of a big brother teasing his little sister. We see GW bluffing his way out of a question he can't answer. We see him golf, fish, and basically just goof off. We see him defer to his father as though dad was a Chinese Emperor and GW the ill-favoured second son. And then he shows us a convoluted maze of "coincidental" connections that just make you wonder how anyone ever voted for Bush.

Moore also shows us US troops in Iraq, a mother whose son was killed, independent media sources questioning the President's motives. And then he does one of the most brilliant, most daring things I've seen in a film: for several minutes, the screen is black and we hear the sounds on the streets of Lower Manhattan the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Just the sounds. Then, the sound is muted, music comes up and we see the sights...it's incredible.

But my favourite moment in the film is where Moore shows us Bush looking all official, with the theme song from The Greatest American Hero in the background:
Look at what's happened to me,
I can't believe it myself.
Suddenly I'm up on top of the world,
It should've been somebody else.

That got the single biggest reaction in the theatre I was in...people applauded! (And how sad am I? I have that song on a 45.)

On my way home I called my dad; he would love this movie, the Oregon state troopers, the witty sarcasm, and the whole ridiculousness of everything. I told him he needed to see it, and he said, "We're actually on our way out. We're seeing it at 7."

Acorns never do fall too far from their trees...

Oh, and to prove cats are democratic creatures...they hate Bush, too.

(Today is June 30; half the year is gone. And, by an interesting coincidence...this was movie #50 for the year!)

[User Picture]From: talonvaki
2004-07-01 10:47 pm (UTC)
Ahso...I was just trying to see where he fabricated facts in this film; maybe after the castigation he's gotten for the earlier films, he's toned it down. I could see obvious misquoting and such...but everything seemed like stuff anyone could find out if they looked for it. Of course, I'm more a movie reviewer than a politcal pundit.

And aye to your other points; seems we agree on basic concept, but vary in detail and degree.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm in Massachusetts. We have more electoral votes than Kansas...and you know they're gonna go Dem...hell, I think Gore got 85% of the vote here...
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[User Picture]From: keethrax
2004-07-02 02:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not saying he fabricated anythign in this film. Just that wiht a history of doing so, if I see/hear somehting in this film that I didn't *already* know. Then I have no good way of believing it as new information. Obvioulsy with the caveat that the harder it would be too create/fake in the first place the less I'll question it.

In other words if you do learn anything new from this movie, its difficult/impossible to trust it without further verification due to the source. And if you *don't* learn anything new, then it wasn't worht the price of admission.

As I see it, people blindly buying into anything Moore says are as stupid as those buying into the lies spouted by the administration. He may very well be telling the truth this time, but I am not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he works a bit harder to earn it. It's the stuff that seems so easy to verify that often becomes the problem. It seems so obvious that nobody who basically agrees with him bothers to check, and we are so prepared to ignore anything from the other side that even if they correctly point out he's lying very few poeple who believed Moore will buy it due to their history of lying too.

The elcotoral thing mainly pisses me off because I just moved to KS from MI. One of the states votes *do* count in. And because of the wonkiness associated with the whole system, if you're in a so called swing state your vote counts for significanlty more than otherwise. So my vote has gone from darn valuable to next to worthless by so moving. On the plus side it measn not having to hear political ads *at all*. Nobody campaings in KS because everybody know which way it will vote. The only KS campainging was done at teh Brown vs. Board of Education site, and that wasn't actually aimed at KS.
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[User Picture]From: talonvaki
2004-07-02 01:50 pm (UTC)
See, now...in this, I learned some things. Which isn't surprising, because in some ways, I'm terribly provincial and existential; if a thing doesn't affect me or I can't affect it, I don't pay attention to it until I can. Added to the disenfranchisement I've felt since Nov. 2000 (all those years of being told that I "can make a difference! Every vote counts" only to learn, hey...my vote's not worth anything), and well...I'm rather a dilettante when it comes to politics. Like a water-strider, I only skim the surface...

Oh, and I added you...
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[User Picture]From: keethrax
2004-07-03 01:34 am (UTC)
And therein lies the problem I already have with this film (before even seeing it). I am sure I will "learn" something from it, but considering the source can't be trusted have I really learnt anythign at all? Other than what Moore wants me to believe (which may or may not reflect reality).

I think that many of the antibush crowd (of which I an defeinitely one) are willing to ignore the unreliability of the messenger because they agree with the message. And that is where I have problems with this movie right off the bat. Anything learned by watching it is automatically suspect due to the source, but far too many people won't question it because it agrees with what the believe or want to believe about Bush.
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[User Picture]From: talonvaki
2004-07-03 03:48 am (UTC)
I don't know. While I agree that Moore's view is definitely slanted and biased...the "facts" he presents appear to be things that anyone can find out. He's just put them into an easily accessible form. Kinda like Reader's Digest, only without all that downhome "wit."
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