Monday, March 12, 2007

Savior or just another sensationalist?

As many of you know, (or have figured out by now) I'm pretty liberal. In fact, I'm about as liberal as they come: Pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control, pro-universal health care, pro-environmental responsibility, anti-war, anti-Bush (and anti-pretty much everything his administration stands for), anti-American job outsourcing; Daily Show/Colbert Enthusiast... You name it. Oh, but Michael Moore? Ehhh... I'll pass.

I just don't trust Michael Moore. I've seen Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine and I wholeheartedly believe in his causes... But I think in part he's doing the liberals a disservice by manipulating facts, feeding half truths, and using the same confrontational exploitation tactics that are employed by the assholes on the right.

I think Mr. Salted said it best, as we were watching Bowling for Columbine, (and I'm paraphrasing here, because it's been a few years) when Moore wheeled the poor shooting victim into the K-Mart headquarters and snotted something along the lines of, I told this boy he could talk with the President of Kmart, "Well, you shouldn't have told him that, asshole!" I mean, not to defend anyone in Moore's cross hairs, because I'm sure to some extent they're all guilty in one way or another... But showing up unannounced with a camera crew and a documentary filmmaker known for manipulating facts? No shit most people aren't going to be happy to submit to an impromptu interview. That's hardly an admission of guilt, and I don't appreciate it being shoved down my throat otherwise.

So when I heard of an upcoming documentary, aptly titled Manufacturing Dissent, which turns the cameras on the man himself... Well, I was intrigued, to say the least. I already know what you're thinking, it's a load of right-wing propaganda, naturally. Wrong! Husband and wife filmmaking team Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine set out to make a documentary celebrating Moore, but what they found was that Moore himself is not exactly fond of being on the business end of impromptu interviews, (or even scheduled ones, for that matter.) After 4 months of unsuccessfully trying to track Moore down, they began to delve deeper into his history and methods; ultimately questioning his tactics.

Source.

I don't think Michael Moore is a huge phoney, and I honestly wouldn't want to see him unmasked as such. I do think he's done a lot of good by exposing the more unsavory facts and practices of the Bush Administration to a wider audience, via Fahrenheit 9/11. But I do think it would be nice to see him practice a little more responsibility in his films. Let's face it Michael, the Bush Administration has done a cherry job of fucking things up on their own. You don't need to sensationalize it. Put the facts on a plate and let the viewer decide who to believe. I think you'll find, (should you give them a choice) they just may surprise you.

6 comments:

Chris said...

I'm right there with you on Moore. He's not nearly as bad as many of the deluded, lying lunatics on the right with whom he's unfairly equated ("See, the left does it too!"), and who often receive more favorable media coverage, but I do find him to be a disingenuous, sanctimonious hypocrite. Bowling for Columbine was probably the nadir (/nader); a loathsome, ill-conceived mess, from his absurd speculation about Clinton's bombing of Sudan being a worse influence on Dylan Kiebold than Marilyn Manson to his pathetic grandstanding during the Heston interview. Another thing: I asume the guy's a millionare, enough w/ the fake, blue collar slob wardrobe. Kevin Smith does that too, like they should get points for wearing a baseball hat and/or shorts to award shows.

Dan Carlson said...

Yeah, Michael Moore is kinda killing the party. You want a good documentary on the war, see Why We Fight.

sme said...

You should check out "Micheal Moore Hates America" Here is the Netflix description....

"The tables are turned on revolutionary filmmaker Michael Moore in this documentary by Michael Wilson, who believes that America isn't as polarized and troubled as Moore makes out to be in his movies. Taking a page from the legend himself, Wilson tries to track down Moore for an interview, employing techniques the cineaste has employed himself. Does Wilson manage to accomplish his goal and reach the elusive Moore?"

It's pretty interesting. I was in awe of MM after watching Roger and Me years ago, but have become more and more disenchanted with him with each film he's made.

aejr said...

Roger and Me is very moving, especially coming from a town like Phoenixville. I think the guy started in a good place, but went off his rocker in the process. I think few people take him as seriously as he takes himself. Amen to your blog. Beautifully composed and mastering what Moore could never manage to muster in such a heartfelt way: the facts!

litelysalted said...

sme-I've heard of Michael Moore Hates America, but I had assumed it to be of the forementioned "right-wing propaganda" lot. I'm usually a little wary of anything that includes the phrase "Hates America" unless it's being used ironically. Not to rule the other film out, but the thing that interests me so much about Manufacturing Dissent is that it comes from a place of neutrality, and wasn't simply conceived as a "slam piece."

aejr- Thank you! When I saw Roger and Me in college, (thanks to a Harley driving sociology prof) I was transfixed. It wasn't until later, seeing how far he would go with his stunts and sensationalism, did I begin to question what I had seen. Shame...

sme said...

I watched Michael Moore Hates America a while ago, so I don't remember it very well, but from what I remember I don't think that it was started as a slam piece. Maybe it was? I don't remember. I still think it's worth checking out, considering that I can't stand Republican bullshit and I wouldn't have liked the movie if it had that in it. And I did like the movie.
I think what really interested me in MM Hates America was that the documentarian who made it actually MADE a DOCUMENTARY, which is something that Micheal Moore says he does, but with lots of clever editing, does NOT.