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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

First off, setting aside Michael Moore's politics for a minute, production-wise, this is technically and creatively a great movie.  The editing, the soundtrack, the sheer amount of work involved in producing this movie, Moore did a brilliant job.  I was equally amused and disturbed.  The man is obnoxious, confrontational, and very funny.  His sequence on September 11 was perfect:  Devastatingly simple and just plain devastating.  Think he'll win any awards this year?  I don't know, he's pissed off a lot of people this time around, but if he does, I can't wait to hear that acceptance speech.
I had to go back and reread Christopher Hitchens critique.  After seeing the movie, he sounds awfully shrill.  He seemed most irritated by Moore wanting to have it both ways on many of his arguments.  Moore does take both sides of some arguments, for example, that we sent too few troops in/we shouldn't have any troops there, but I can see that.  We don't need to be in Iraq, but if they insist on sending troops, for everyone's sake, do it right, with adequate support and minimize the destruction.  His main point, that Bush and his big business buddies are manipulating the situation for their own benefit, sticks, and demonstrates quite graphically the absurdity and horror of the situation.
Some points didn't seem very clear to me, particularly regarding the dynamics of the relationship between the Saudis and Iraqis and Taliban and oil company execs, but I admit to losing my focus on the narrative several times as I pondered the technicalities of the production, not due to any fault of the director, but because that's what I do.  I had to watch Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo a few times each before I could get beyond the quality of the animation.  This is another one I'll have to watch again, when it's out on video.
It's pure propaganda, but it's very well done.   See for yourself.
What was really interesting was the audience.  Surprisingly, for a Friday night with I, Robot showing in four theaters and Spiderman in three, this one theater was packed with young people.  I figured there'd be a few baby boomers and a bunch of empty seats, but I am happy to say, I was wrong.  Granted, these were not exactly a bunch of critical thinkers, as gleaned from some of their responses, but at least they were showing an interest in current events.  It's been a long time since I've seen a movie end with spontaneous applause.
Q - What's ignorance and apathy?
A - I don't know and I don't care. 

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