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Szyjakowski

iraq or bust

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Bradburry still wants his title back

 

 

It wouldn't be so bad if he would class himself as an entertainer (e.g. Limbaugh), but he fancies himself a documentarian - perhaps closer to Jayson Blair?

 

Even Slate doesn't like Moore

 

"Here we glimpse a possible fusion between the turgid routines of MoveOn.org and the filmic standards, if not exactly the filmic skills, of Sergei Eisenstein or Leni Riefenstahl." - ouch.

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Moore makes what could be considered a melding of documentary and propoganda. You might consider him a 'propodocumentarian' or a 'docugandist'.

 

Moore does not make pure documentaries. Don't fool yourself thinking he does. Once you come to grips with this, you can then realize that what he is presenting is not truth but a spin on the truth. Only God knows the truth. Because, after all, the court of public opinion is not concerned with pure truth (logic) but emotion--how the truth thus presented affects them.

 

If you're one who already hates the Bush Administration (are a left-wing democrat), what Moore says in F911 will resonate with you. If you are one who likes the Bush Administration (are a right-wing republican), you will think F911 bunk. Your preconceived notions going into the movie will shape your opinion of it coming out.

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I don't think anyone posting here has seen his 9/11 movie yet.(I haven't)but from the trailers, he's spot on the money. There were members of the Bin Laden family and others allowed to leave the country after 9/11, and the war in Iraq begun with contrived reasons. Michael Moore seeks to expose the failings of the Bush administration.

 

What is objective in in the world nowadays? Fox News? The Nation magazine? Al Jazeera television? Every viewpoint has a perspective.

 

All you pro war, blind patriots are great blue bloods but unable to look at the scandalous elements of the Iraq war. Michael Moore may touch on some of this in his movie. I'm going to go see it. How bad can it be? It won the top prize at Cannes this year. First documentary to win Palm D'Or since Jaques Cousteau's undersea movie from the sixties.

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"First documentary to win Palm D'Or since Jaques Cousteau's undersea movie from the sixties."

 

It is NOT a documentary. Know this. Understand this. Then go see the movie.

 

You say Moore is spot on based on the trailers. But why do you say this? What is your basis for this? It is because it jives with what you already believe or think you know. Just as a right-winger would say Moore is way off the mark with the trailer, so too you would say he is spot on. You want it to be true, and therefore it IS true for you. And so it goes and so it goes.

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without going into all the specifics, because I don't have clippings from the days after 9/11, dozens of Saudi nationals were allowed to leave America when the country was still under no fly rules.

 

Also, our government has been recently disclosing that there were no ties between Al Quaeda and Iraq.

 

Is that cogent and realistic enough? Or should these be dismissed because they don't fit YOUR version of reality?

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"Or should these be dismissed because they don't fit YOUR version of reality?"

 

You answered my questions exactly as I would expect anyone to answer them, which is essentially that you do not know for sure what the real truth is. None of us do. I'm not saying Moore is incorrect; I'm not saying he is correct. Every left-winger just wants him to say what they already believe. Every right-winger already expects it's all bullshit.

 

It's equivalent to how it is desired (by the judge and justice in general, not by the lawyers for either side) that jurors not have any preconceived notions about a trial's subject for fear they will not be able to weigh the facts objectively. Our preconceived notions about Moore and/or Bush's policies concerning 9/11 have already tainted us. It is hard to be objective...and not be a stoic bore.

 

It's hard. I'm tired. It's old. Blah blah. smile.gif

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"First documentary to win Palm D'Or since Jaques Cousteau's undersea movie from the sixties."

 

It is NOT a documentary. Know this. Understand this. Then go see the movie.

Klenke-

Reifensthal's "Olympia" and "Triumph of the Will" are both considered documentaries. Triumph of the Will even won a grand prize. Documentary's shouldn't ever be considered strict fact presentation.

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Webster's:

documentary: of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature; broadly: FACTUAL, OBJECTIVE <a ~ film of the war.> Key word: Objective.

 

propaganda: 2. the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. 3. ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also: a public action having such an effect.

 

You decide which you think Moore's film is. Like I've said before, he makes a meld of documentary and propaganda. I say this because he is not strictly objective in his methodology or his reasoning. The moment he stops being strictly objective is the moment he is no longer making a pure documentary.

 

I have seen "Triumph of the Will" but not "Olympia" (thanks for the reminder on the latter). Both are propaganda films. Any propaganda film looks like a documentary--especially for historians many years later. TofW was definitely propaganda in Riefenstahl's intent. She was employed specifically by Hitler to make the film. Probably the same is true for Olympia. They came out within a year of each other (1935 and 1936).

 

Roger Ebert is right but wrong. He is applying a broad definition to any film that is not your standard plot driven vehicle like 85% of films that get made for the general populace. It is unfortunate that propaganda films have to be placed within the documentary genre for purposes of cataloging, recognition, and awards, but that is as it is. Plus, I'm pretty sure Ebert is a liberal (this is standard for most people of artistic professions, of which the film industry fits). If he's liberal, then he'll be more apt to take the film as TRUTH, and therefore OBJECTIVE, and therefore, a DOCUMENTARY.

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And yet even Ebert understands himself and the point--the same point I'm trying to make in response to Beck:

Quoted from last paragraph of Stonehead's link:

I agree with Moore that the presidency of George W. Bush has been a disaster for America. In writing that, I expect to get the usual complaints that movie critics should keep their political opinions to themselves. But opinions are my stock in trade, and is it not more honest to declare my politics than to conceal them? I agree with Moore, and because I do, I hope "Fahrenheit 9/11" proves to be as accurate as it seems.

 

Ebert's political views have already tainted him. He will assume the "facts" Moore presents are real or straight ahead of time and go from there. He is not taking the skeptical approach because he already believes as Moore does and therefore will initially take his side. Ebert cannot be an objective juror. Can any of us? Maybe some Amish person who knows nothing of the exterior world outside of his/her village.

 

Interesting thought: do Amish people have to pull jury duty?

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I have seen "Triumph of the Will" but not "Olympia" (thanks for the reminder on the latter). Both are propaganda films. Any propaganda film looks like a documentary--especially for historians many years later. TofW was definitely propaganda in Riefenstahl's intent. She was employed specifically by Hitler to make the film. Probably the same is true for Olympia. They came out within a year of each other (1935 and 1936).

I think the line between propaganda and documentary is small, and nowadays, people seem to prefer propaganda to documentary (Rush, O'Crappy, Franken vs. mcneill).

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It is unfortunate that propaganda films have to be placed within the documentary genre for purposes of cataloging,

 

the distinction is ludicrous, most if not all documentary movies take a point of view. there are no docu-movies worth watching that do not portray politics, economy, warfare, etc .. from a position of bias (i'll wait for a few counter examples). from the capra movies about the 2nd world war ("why we fight") to the "fog of war" (the recent oscar winner), they are all propaganda.

 

you should know better and at least, give the movie a chance since you haven't seen it yet. you may learn something.

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Ah, j_b, it's about time you showed up.

Yes, you are right and Ebert says as much in the article (Stonehead's link).

When the movie industry started 90+ years ago there was no sense of awards and genres were just then being created. The first Academy Awards for documentaries were given in 1941. What was the definition of a documentary back then? Has it changed from now to then? If an Academy Award for Best Propaganda Film had been created at some time back then, then we may indeed have a distinction between documentary and propaganda.

 

My contention--and it is merely my contention (you can agree or disagree)--is that there is a difference between an objective film and a subjective film. Moore's films are the latter, this we can all agree on. An objective film ought to have its own name and the name I am giving it is documentary.

 

Over the course of years, objectivity has lost out to subjectivity mostly because, without the emotional appeal of the latter, the former results in ennui to those who watch. I'll be the first to admit Ken Burns documentaries bore the shit right out of my bowels.

 

BTW, I do plan on seeing F911. I've said before I liked Roger and Me but I don't remember why (it's been many years); I was yes & no on BforColumbine; we'll see on F911. However, I always start off skeptical first. I don't assume anything ahead of time. This is merely my way of trying to maintain objectivity. This skepticism would be just important to me if I was watching an NRA propaganda film.

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I believe the Amish are exempt from jury duty.

 

"The Panama Deception" was a documentary that won the Academy Award when it was released. Before winning an Acadamy Award, it was blocked from release in the courts for nearly 10 years by the US government as 'anti government' propaganda.

 

Interesting what happens to documentary movies that are critical of our government, yet still win prizes at prestigous juried film competitions.

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If we accept the notion that all individuals are free to construct their own "truths" that are equally valid, then we have descended into the realm in which there is no means of distinguishing between the claim that, say, the genocide in Rwanda never happened and the claim that it did. "Hey - everyone has there biases, what make yours any more likely to lead you to the truth than the next guys?" "Why are people so upset about a film that claims the genocide never happened?"

 

An extreme example, to be sure, but when the standard of reasoning that my evil homonym applies to films prevails, there is nothing - apparently - that will enable or entitle the viewer to refute the claims made in such a film. In the absence of some unattainable, Platonic standard of absolute truth any falsehood contained in "documentary," no matter how egregious, deliberate, or harmful has to be swallowed whole and given equal standing, apparently. You've got your biases, I've got mine, and The Truth is unobtainable so we'd better just give up on trying to distinguish fact from fiction. What a crock of shit.

 

Yes, everyone has their biases, which influence their opinions, which alters the manner in which they present their evidence in ways that can be so subtle as to be nearly undetectable or so painfully obvious. A movie in which subtle biases, a lack of time, or what have you leads to a situation in which the film's central claims are inconsistent with the evidence upon which it is based, this film may still be called a documentary, albeit a flawed one, in which the depth of the flaws is dependent upon the magnitude of the deviation from the evidence. When you deliberately distort, fabricate, or omit evidence which does not support or refutes your central claim, you have veered into the realm of propoganda. There's a difference.

 

All of this blithe indifference to the correlation between Moore' central claims and his evidence makes me wonder what else some of the folks here would excuse in the name of "bias." Say there's a film put out by Serb's that claims that a massacre of Kosovars never happened. They claim that the "dead" Kosovars simply decided to move elsewhere, and that no one witnessed any such actions taking place, etc, etc, etc. There's also a film put together by a group of Kosovars which claims that the massacre did happen. They present census records which record the identity of all of the persons living in the town in which the massacre purportedly happened. There is a mass grave near the town. This grave contains the remains of corpses carrying identification cards which match the names of the missing persons. The remains also have dental records which match those of the missing persons. The shell casings found on the perimeter of the grave come from an arms factory known to have supplied the Serbian army, etc, etc, etc.

 

Both filmmakers have agendas to further. They are both deeply "biased." Per the reasoning on display above, there's no way to distinguish one from the other and both sides of the story must be granted equal status as true because everyone is biased, and absolute truth is unobtainable - so we have no responsibility to differentiate between the two. The guilty go unpunished, the dead unreckoned, and the story fades away into a mist of relativistic ennui. Nice.

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If we accept the notion that all individuals are free to construct their own "truths" that are equally valid

 

nice diatribe but i never said this. now, did i?

 

i said that most all docu-movies are put together from a position of bias that expresses itself through editing, attention paid to various aspect of the matter (focus), etc ... and thus fit the definition of propaganda ("the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person"). i also asked for counter examples (i.e. non-biased docu-movies about politics/history/economy/etc ..) from the people who keep pretending that moore is uncorrigibly biased and that teh makority of other docu-movie film directors, news editors, etc .. aren't biased. i am still waiting ...

 

i also said earlier that none of the very few factual untruth in bfc are damning to moore's central claim about violence in america. from what i can tell, the errors are very few and minor, and his intent when making generalisations remains to be determined.

 

i am certainly not a postmodern relativist.

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Left wing dems can suck my ass. Fucking pussies.

And my Favorite security guard chimes in

 

Calling me a security guard is like calling the Waffen SS regular soldiers. Watch your step here shitbird.

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Michael Moore is a fat, overrated fuckstick, with an agenda of his own. He is not an expert on anything except creating controversy in order to sell films and frankly I can't believe anyone would garner a political outlook based on anything guy has to say.

 

Check this out:

 

Rush Limbaugh is a fat, overrated fuckstick, with an agenda of his own. He is not an expert on anything except creating controversy in order to sell commercial time on his daily radio show and frankly I can't believe anyone would garner a political outlook based on anything guy has to say.

 

Whoa, that's a trip!

mushsmile.gif

 

- a s s m moon.gif n k e y

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Okay, perhaps Moore is not a pretty sight to look at, ...

 

NAME ONE FAT PERSON WHO IS?!?!?!

 

THAT'S THE PROBLEM! RAMPANT OBESITY!

 

Shakespeare:

First, we kill all the fat people.

 

- a s s m * n k e y

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"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." —Richard Avedon

 

 

To have a true documentary, you would be trying to tell a story in real time, and your audience would have left the theater before any point could be made. Even then, you would still suffer from the prospect that merely the presence of someone recording the events might have changed the outcome compared to if someone wasn't there.

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More on the documentary concept from Slate, again:

I write "pretend" because Moore understands, from first-hand experience, the protections enjoyed by opinion journalists. On This Week, Moore described Fahrenheit 9/11 as "an op-ed piece. It's my opinion about the last four years of the Bush administration. And that's what I call it. I'm not trying to pretend that this is some sort of, you know, fair and balanced work of journalism. …" Later in the interview, he called the movie "a comedy, too." In other words, he knows that nobody is likely to get very far by suing him for his opinions, as expressed in Fahrenheit 9/11. Since he clearly understands the law, it's plain that if we take Moore at his word, he appears to believe in free speech only for himself.

 

 

If so, shouldn't he return his Palme d'Or? Of course, Riefenstahl denied that 'Triumph of the Will' was anything more than a simple documentary to her dying day (last year).

 

Bt the way - if someone who looks like this:

news_story02.jpg

came up to you on the street and started ranting about conspiracies, wouldn't you just give him a buck to get another bottle of Thunderbird and go mumbling off into an alley?

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Huh? Mtnnut, I don't understand.

 

A true documentary is absent of bias. It seeks only to document events from a position of objectivity. If objectivity is difficult, then the documentarian should attempt to present the subject from both sides' angles. That is, he/she should not just present the story from one point of view. If he/she chooses only one point of view, he/she is not allowing us (or wanting us) to make up our own mind. He/she has moved into the realm of making a propaganda film. There IS a difference. Most assuredly there is.

 

Addenda: based on glacier's quote above (from The Slate), even Moore appears to understand F911 is not a documentary but an Op-Ed Piece.

Edited by klenke

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