Friday, November 09, 2007

20:07 (Gun Crazy)

screenshots from the 20th minute and 7th second of a movie
I can't guarantee the same results at home. I use a VLC.

James Nichols: I sleep with a 44 magnum under my pillow.
Michael Moore: Come on. That's what everyone says. Is that true?
James Nichols: It's true.
As I was perusing Bowling for Columbine the other day, it occurred to me that I’d never talked about Sicko (Michael Moore’s latest), now on DVD. A lot of critics called it his best film. Though I hope every person in America sees it, I can’t get behind that notion. I think Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine are both superior, bursting with ideas and humor while jabbering away about particularly complex problems in layered ways. I personally feel that the more unanimous reaction to Sicko is because (for once) it’s hard to argue with Moore; doesn’t everyone recognize that American health care stinks, profiting as it does from sickness rather than health?

How to fix it, then, is where the arguments come in. As an American without health insurance who lives in fear of getting sick, I root for people to wake up in regards to this issue. The film reminds that even if you have health insurance you can still end up bankrupt or untreated if insurance company executives want a raise. It makes sense: It's a for profit system, how can they make more money if they're generously concerned with your well being?

So, I hope Sicko continues to strike a chord with other Americans but I didn't love it as a movie. I was annoyed with the treatment even as I nodded my head furiously. The subject is so powerful and Moore is so good at prying info from his subjects that I wish he didn’t egg on the emotional response. I hated the sappy music cues. I wish this one was less tricked up --the subject matter and argument alone carry massive force.

As for Moore's more divisive works, I continue to love them. They're favorite targets of hawkish pundits and they might be easy to undermine with nitpicking or deflate with personal attacks. But you have to wonder about the motives that lead people to do so. What leads people to vehemently hate an American who passionately argues for a peaceful, neighborly and healthy society?

4 comments:

Rural Juror said...

nothing is gonna ever top Bowling for Columbine

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Re: "What leads people to vehemently hate an American who passionately argues for a peaceful, neighborly and healthy society?"

Exactly that. He reminds them that the society they live in isn't peaceful, neighborly and healthy.

Anonymous said...

Re: "What leads people to vehemently hate an American who passionately argues for a peaceful, neighborly and healthy society?"

Personally it's not hate but rather profound disappointment and complete lack of respect for a "documentary" filmmaker who shamelessly manipulates and skews the facts, unethical means he uses to justify his ends. Pity because, while Moore bravely tackles important topics like gun violence and our fractured health care system (not to mention the woeful incompetence inheritant in goverment bureaucracy), he totally undermines our cause in my opioni with his unnecessary need to tinker with the truth when the real truth of things is pretty terrifying on its own [sigh].

Marco

RC said...

i loved bowling for columbine. i think it's a fascinating and important film...and the humor and seriousness and originality to it is wonderful!