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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old March 26th, 2003, 10:44 AM   #61
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Keith the people you mention are mega stars. Try starting off in that business saying your a republican.

Chris I think it's a good off topic thread. I hope we can do it without calling each other names. I don't mind being called a right wing republican. I proud to be on the right.

The topic started about Moores Oscar speech. He said we have a fictous war, president, etc. But his film was fiction and to get award for a documentary was a joke.
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Old March 26th, 2003, 11:16 AM   #62
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Yeah, I agree Bob. It will be interesting to see how long Moore's career lasts. He has always seemed somewhat high strung; I'm not usre if that leads to long life, but my ex-mother-in-law still says, 'You can't kill bad grass.'

The thing to learn from his works is that he has managed to get them produced and distributed. I do wonder though if he will be more successful or held in higher regard than the Girls Gone Wild... franchise?
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Old March 26th, 2003, 11:36 AM   #63
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From what I can remember of Flaherty (it's been so long since I last saw Nanook or any other work), juxtaposition was used to point out differences. In fact, Flaherty had trouble with the government during WWII because he objected to the way his material was being twisted for propaganda purposes.

Moore's juxtapositions speak for themselves.
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Old March 26th, 2003, 11:36 AM   #64
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This was an effort of PR.

Its not what he said that was offensive to me, but inviting the other documentary filmmakers, who 'may' or 'may-not' (or abstain) support his point of view was wrong.

Then again the whole event could have been planned/staged from the very beginning with all parties involved.

The name calling propaganda which pits man against man, or nation against nation, or ... Agree to disagee and move forward.

I didn't see his film, nor had any desire to, until someone close to me was spouting off things said in the film.

I've only viewed the trailer to "Winged Migration" and it was so beautifully photographed and positively inspiring. I thought the filmmakers would be rewarded by the cinema society for their efforts. Positive things/solutions are seeming short of supply ...

Cheers, All!
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Old April 6th, 2003, 08:53 PM   #65
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I just saw "Bowling for Coumbine," and while it did not feature any beautiful pictures it most certainly was about something, and that is what the group that votes on documentaries likes in their winners. So it is not surprising that "BC" won over the lovely pictures of flying birds in "Winged Migration."

The question the movie presents is, why is there so much gun violence (death) in the United States? And while Mr. Moore does not have all the answers, he certainly points to some areas that are open for investigation and discussion, such as, the media's emphasis on depicting violence in our news, the money that is being made from the climate of fear in the United States by large corporations, and the actions of the NRA.

I don't think Mr. Moore should be chastised for "picking on" Charleton Heston, or, that Mr. Heston comes off poorly in the film. He has chosen to establish himself as a spokesperson for the NRA, and as such, is fair game to those who will ask him the tough questions. He certainly did not come off as a dodering man suffering the advanced stages of Alzheimer disease. I would say his most damning comment had to do with race, and that he seemed aware that he had slipped up at that point, and would do well to withdraw, which he did.

Mr. Moore's abrasive character will win him very few friends on the "right" side of the political spectrum, but that is quite in keeping with the gadfly's purpose in a democratic society. He certainly did not come off well in my opinion when the management of K-Mart made the surprise announcement that they would henceforth stop selling bullets in their stores. Moore seemed stunned that his shameless theatrics had actually accomplished something concrete, and could only mumble a half-hearted thank you to K-Mart.

Your reaction to "Bowling for Columbine" will largely depend on your political viewpoint, and even to a degree, your ethnic background. At the screening I just attended, judging by some of the vocal reactions from the audience, Mr. Moore is preaching to the converted, which is a pity, because some of these questions should be examined by the right and the left. But I left the theatre invigorated, and felt I had spent two hours on an important subject. I hope some of you who may feel this film will insult your beliefs, will give it a viewing and look for a common ground that we might all agree on. Heck, I even listen to Rush Limbaugh once in awhile just to hear what's going on with the "other side." And I have to tell you, Roger Moore is a hell of a lot more entertaining. IMHO.

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Old December 15th, 2003, 01:29 PM   #66
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Right. Let's understand the first thing straightaway, this film is NOT a documentary! Satire, maybe. Commentary, definitely. Advocacy, editorial, historical fiction, you name it. But not a documentary...to be a documentary it would have to be true. So he won an Oscar? Hey, Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer 70+ years ago for his shameless cover-ups and misrepresentation of Soviet atrocities. It doesn't make his work truthful or credible.

What this film is to me is a startling case study of the power of editing--for good or ill, for truth or deception, information or disinformation. Bob Z gave one highly detailed example of Moore's use of editing to totally reverse the message from the facts; there are plenty of others...the part about the bank "giving away" rifles completely distorts the true sequence of events. And Moore portrays a facility that builds launch systems for broadcast satellites as a factory for weapons of mass destruction, etc. (Well, if they are used for dissemination of his movies they could be called weapons of mass deception! HAHA)

Even the name of the film is based on a falsehood: Littleton Police have refuted the claim that the murderers attended bowling class on the morning of their crimes.

Whether one is a liberal or conservative, the truth is still the truth, and Mr Moore is a total stranger to the truth. His farmboy appearance and smirky demeanour aside, his purpose is to distort in order to persuade. His infantile behaviour is a ruse. Eminem sets out to shock people with his outrageous words, but his works were never meant to be passed off as fact.

Anyway, film buffs, take this film as an object lesson in how you can make your footage say anything, even lies, with the right application of Final Cut Pro. Excuse me while I go practice my FCP chops.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 07:09 PM   #67
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I've been following the arguments for and against Moore's tactics in "Bowling for Columbine" (here and elsewhere) for some time with amusement. He does seem to have bent the "rules," but I wonder if his distortions are any worse than usual? I doubt any documentary, or 20/20 type program for that matter, would stand up flawlessly to the kind of scrutiny Moore's rabid detractors have subjected it to. I understand the film "Winged Migration" that was mentioned in here contains loads of staged footage. Some of those birds were actually raised in captivity just so they'd be easier to film. Does that make the film less authentic? Reality can be an elusive thing.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 08:32 PM   #68
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Marco, if the purpose of staging the bird footage was to deceive, to persuade audiences of something that was not true, like maybe to show that they instead fly north for the winter or eat monkeys for dinner, that would make it inauthentic or fictional. Lots of informational shows use (properly labeled) re-enactments, simulations, computer animations and such, but not for the purpose of distorting facts. It is perfectly legitimate to use devices that more clearly communicate the facts that are being told.

But it is proper to condemn anybody who would commit journalistic fraud. And Mr Moore is not alone in this; we have seen it in the broadcast world. Who can forget CNN's discredited story on "Operation Tailwind" and its allegations of use of nerve gas on American defectors by the US military in Laos? And let's not forget ABC's tainted story on Food Lion. And NBC's attempt to show that GM pickup trucks were explosion-prone by intentionally installing and detonating model rocket engines on the truck's fuel fillers! So I guess he's not the first (or "worse than usual"), I guess that must somehow mean it's OK.

Yes, he does bend the "rules" as you put it. Like the one that says "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbour!" (I'm no bible-thumper, that would be too funny, but my mama did raise me right). Even the most lenient relativist can understand that if only from a practical standpoint this is wrong, because it causes people to disbelieve media in general and assume that everyone is a liar.

So, if Mr Moore wants to play in the same arena as The Matrix or Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, that's all fine. But a fairytale is a fairytale, and will never be a documentary. This is not a comment on his political views, the quality of his cinematography or even his personal hygeine, just the importance of truth, credibility and integrity. If reality is so elusive, that just means that we all have to work harder to get it right.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 09:02 PM   #69
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My mentioning of "Winged Migration" wasn't to expose the film as some kind of fraud. The filmmakers are very up front about their tactics (admirably more so than Mr. Moore), but to illustrate the point that documentaries like this have more to do with their overall themes. "Winged Migration" was about how cool birds are. I don't think anyone who comes away with that impression after seeing the film is cheated even though they may be unaware they haven't seen any bird migrate anywhere. In the case of "Bowling for Columbine," Moore really does demonstrate his themes, even though people can argue in perpetuity about the particulars of what's on screen. Guns are amazingly accesssible in this country -- there is a bank that gives them away for God's sake. So what if Moore got his a couple of days sooner than most customers? The NRA showed great callousness in holding that annual conference. Okay, misidentifying the date of Heston's quote is just plain deceitful. But that's the most egregious falsification associated with this film that I'm aware of, and anyway, the main point is true. Most of the controversial elements in this film range from things that aren't that important, or are seriously in dispute, to, well, the Heston thing. I don't have any way to justify that. It's still a tremendously powerful film, and on its themes, tells a lot of truth about this country. In the end, people need to know that they can't rely on any single source to provide them with hard information. Above all -- and I know this isn't going to win me any friends here -- they should READ, not go to movies.
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