June 26, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 (First Reaction)

Just got back from the theatre a little while ago, seeing the midnight showing of Fahrenheit 9/11 in Seekonk.

This is a very powerful film. It is surely one of the best put-together documentaries I’ve ever seen. And it is one of the best at making its point and moving on as it builds to a larger point.

There was a full theatre at the 12:05 show. All the previous shows had been full, according to the people at the theatre. As others have reported, Moore mostly keeps his personality out of this one, but for the end of the film when he tries to bring one of his major points to a head — the ill use of our troops.

I’ll post more a little later once I’ve had a chance to think a bit more, but I’ll tell you that you need to see this film and judge for yourself. Judge Moore’s ability to express his opinion and judge Moore’s chops as a filmmaker. Then judge the facts he puts together for you.

At the very least, I don’t think Moore’s skill can be doubted. This film, to use Tenet’s words, is a slam dunk of filmmaking.

If Kerry wins in November, he owes Moore a beer.

Posted by James at June 26, 2004 5:17 AM
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You tree huggers might be interested in this review of Fahrenheit by a man who styles himself as an ultra-conservative.

It's not what you'd expect.

Posted by: Steve at June 26, 2004 10:07 AM

Steve, regardless of politics, adorning your useful link with the derisive label "tree huggers" automatically lowered your apparent intelligence in my mind and sabotaged your post. Instead of being insightful it merely becomes hateful.

Critique the issue, not the person, and people will take you seriously.

Posted by: Mike at June 26, 2004 10:58 AM

With the current round of campaign finance reform, and this being an election year, how long is it before Moore's movie is classified as a campaign message for Kerry?

Civil Liberties are being whittled away in this country and not many people seem to notice or care. Take for example the recent changes on the T in Boston - random stops, ID checks and searches. The lay response is "What do I care? I'm not doing anything wrong." My reponse is "Go away. I'm not doing anything wrong and it's none of your business."

Posted by: Anonymous at June 26, 2004 10:59 AM

Mike, you need to take a valium and put your feet up.

I assumed that most regular readers of this blog would take my little joke as, well, a little joke.

Now I shall spend the rest of the day fearing the arrival of the hate speech gestapo...

Posted by: Steve at June 26, 2004 11:45 AM

Mike, Steve uses the term in the most loving way possible, I'm sure. I can't speak for him, but...

He's a conservative in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with us on Bush. I respect Steve's honesty, and I have a feeling his "tree huggers" reference is a way to keep his conservative cred and his conscience clean while getting into bed with us on this and other issues.

So, when I see it, Mike, I take it as an indication of this friendly but curmudgeonly fellow swallowing his distaste. But it leaks out as a kind of conservative Tourette's. (and I mean that in the best way possible) You, of course, may take it as you like.

Steve: My fellow Massachusetts Liberals (designation of convenience) are understandably sensitive after 4 years of Bush. Regardless, thanks for the link.

He gives the film a more or less fair shake. I disagree that Moore's presence is too great in the film. Not only is it much less than previous films, a film *is* an expression of the filmmaker. I wouldn't expect Moore to have someone else narrate. And you hardly ever see Moore himself.

Of course Moore holds Democratic feet to the fire. This is the same Moore who campaigned with Nader for a while before the 2000 election. For a while, the Democrats idiotically hated him more than the conservatives did. This is part of why I don't identify as a Democrat.

But I digress. It's still a very interesting review. Thanks again.

Posted by: James at June 26, 2004 11:45 AM

Fair enough. I wasn't aware of the history behind that comment. I detest labels but I also tend to overreact.

Posted by: Mike at June 26, 2004 1:21 PM

Hell, I'm flattered when anyone reads my blog. Doubly so when they leave a comment.

And when people react at all, I'm ecstatic. So thank you all.

Posted by: James at June 26, 2004 1:28 PM

Mike, I take responsibility for setting Steve off on a F9/11 sarcasm binge. He called me and my cohorts "unreconstructed communists"!

We're going tonight, if we can get in. $8.2 million on less than 900 screens. Yikes.

Posted by: Bil at June 26, 2004 6:34 PM

I have seen the film three times. Tonight I am taking a Republican delagate from Texas, of all places. Each time I have passed out short biography fliers on John Kerry, and to very enthusistic crowds. Each of the three sold out shows of Fahrenheit 9/11 I attended recieved a standing ovation. Oh, and the opening weekend box office numbers are in. Despite the film being on just 865 screens, it raked in over $22 million. The #2 film, White Chicks, played on three times as many screens and hauled $19 million.

Imagine if Fahrenheit 9/11 had a proper distributor and an equal number of screens.

Quite frankly, I think Michael Moore is an obnoxious loudmouth who has a questionable history of bending facts just enough to prove a point. But he is right on the money with Fahrenheit. God bless this country. I am taking everyone I know to see this film. I hope we never lose the right to freedom of speech.

And to add to this somewhat one-sided debate, Michael Moore Hates America will be out soon. The trailer makes no signifigant points, but I, an evil liberal, am very interested in seeing it.

Posted by: Stephen at June 28, 2004 7:51 PM

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