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mrjamin
May 17, 2003, 10:57 AM
Not sure if this belongs here or in the Politics discussion - here will do.

How many of you saw Bowling for Columbine and what did you think?

(for those of you who don't know what i'm talking about - the Michael Moore documentary that won an oscar this year about gun culture in america)

I thought it was fascinating; very shocking in places. I can't believe some of the stuff charlton heston was coming out with. Was also very interested at Marilyn Manson's interview.

Obviously there was a lot of very selective editting; but how fair a representation of the US (esp michigan areas) do you americans think it gave?

Interested to hear other people's responses...

JesseJames
May 17, 2003, 11:48 AM
I've seen clips of it. The bit with the paranoid soybean farmer who is a little nuts. The "interview" with Charlton Heston who is known to have Alzheimers. A disease that affects rational thought. I always thought the NRA's decision to make him president of the organization was a joke so I don't need to see him made a fool of to know better. The "South Park" style animation of how white people perceive black people and how the fear of the latter by the former pervades gun culture.
I thought Michael Moore was an okay guy when I saw his first movie "Roger and Me". Standing up for the little guy.
But now, something's happened to him. Maybe success has gone to his head. Maybe he doesn't get laid enough. I'm not sure. But he's turning into a first class *******. Instead of an objective fair view, now he goes for finding nuts, dimwits, and zealots to mock how dumb the "other side" really is.
In my opinion, the left and the right are full of idiots. What we need are men of reason to shine a light on the facts and the truth and offer up possible answers. Not propaganda to sell more movies.

By the way. I am a gun owner. I am not a member of the NRA. Never will be. I believe in RESPONSIBLE firearm ownership. By that I mean keeping guns locked up. Even possibly mechanically disabling them by removing the bolts, putting on trigger locks, and proper firearm handling education. Most of all, to respect guns. They are NOT toys.

I think assault weapons should be banned. I think we should do a BETTER job of enforcing laws already on the books to keep guns out of criminal hands. The laws are sound, it's the matter of doing and diligence.

pseudobrit
May 17, 2003, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by JesseJames
I've seen clips of it. The bit with the paranoid soybean farmer who is a little nuts. The "interview" with Charlton Heston who is known to have Alzheimers. A disease that affects rational thought. I always thought the NRA's decision to make him president of the organization was a joke so I don't need to see him made a fool of to know better. The "South Park" style animation of how white people perceive black people and how the fear of the latter by the former pervades gun culture.

You need to see the whole movie in order to give it and Moore the damning you have.

BTW, Heston was not diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the time, and did not display any symptoms.

MacFan25
May 17, 2003, 02:51 PM
I've never seen it, but this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14154&highlight=bowling+for+columbine) refers to it.

Wildcat
May 17, 2003, 03:16 PM
I thought that bowling for columbine was great. The speach at the oscars aside( not going to coment on it at all). I really like all of Michael Moore's films.

hugemullens
May 17, 2003, 08:45 PM
Michael Moore has a house about 12 miles from mine. I live in northern michigan and must say i was not impressed. my girlfriend goes to North Central Michigan College where Michael Moore's father is an instructor. Another instructor made the students watch the class and give a speech about there thoughts on the the movie. Michael Moore's father attended the speechs. The entire speech class was not impressed with the movie. I found it to be fairly interesting, but with a lot of missrepistations of people. On an intersting side note, people up here got so mad over his speech somebody dropped 7 yards of cow ***** in his drive way with a dump truck.

MrMacMan
May 17, 2003, 09:16 PM
*not a personaly attack*
JesseJames, I'm sorry, you haven't seen the movie, you saw parts, very small parts, you need to see it all.

Anyway I thought it was good, but, heston interview, what the hell was that? He just walks and asks for an interview, for god sake don't do that, have a formal interview... :rolleyes:

Everything else was good, but I'm looking forward, think election time, year baby!

Fahrenheit 9/11 (http://movies.go.com/movies/F/fahrenheit911_2004/)

Look, america has the most gun deaths in any non-civil war related incident yearly. Even including civil wars I think we are up there.

Its knowing when and when not to use a gun that matters.

ibookin'
May 18, 2003, 12:49 AM
I saw it twice and liked it, once before the Academy Awards and once after. I thought that it was a very good film.

However, I do think that Michael Moore was a little overly dramatic in the scenes where he confronted various people unannounced. While he seemed to be fairly subdued in the arranged interviews (Marylin Manson, Canadian Mayor, school officials, etc.), he became somewhat nasty when doing the on-the-spot ones, such as the 30 seconds where he chided Dick Clark for something that he probably has little control over, and, of course, the Charleton Heston interview. It seems as if he is much more verbally agressive when talking to someone who disagrees with him.

I liked the movie, though, it did deserve the Oscar.

evoluzione
May 18, 2003, 03:43 PM
i thought it was a great documentary. some of it showed exactly why the United States is hated by the rest of the world. There's just so much wrong with a lot of the items raised in the film, including the free health insurance thing.

if you haven't seen it, all, it's highly recommended viewing. i do agree that it is a bit over the top in some places though, not the most unbiased reporting for sure.

cc bcc
May 18, 2003, 04:02 PM
I thought it was a great documentary, although I cannot confirm any of his conclusions.
What amazed me (and also amazed Moore i think) was that the massive amount of gun related murders didn't have much to do with how easy it is to obtain a gun in the usa (Moore opened a bank account and recieved a free rifle! :confused: )

He showed that Canadians also have a lot of guns, but a few hundred times less murders.
I liked it when he was in Canada and found out that nobody locked their doors!

Here you would only find that in very small villages.

cc bcc
May 18, 2003, 04:16 PM
Slightly offtopic: Has anyone been to the Massive Attack concert? (100th window)

That's really amazing! They have a lot of data on the videowall, about military budgets but also on our energy usage, waste production etc.
All in a very cool ascii art kind of designs. Beautiful and very impressive!

mactastic
May 21, 2003, 11:54 AM
I saw it. I enjoyed it, he does a decent job of showing how paranoid we have become as a society. How the news is all fear-driven, if-it-bleeds-it-leads stuff. I think Moore was overly showey in some of the scenes, but Heston was a legitimate target for an interview at the time this was shot, and he did say that a lot of our problems in this country stem from our "mixed ethnicity". Not that I buy into it hook line and sinker, but this is one of those movies that makes you go hmmm.
BTW I also am a gun owner, but not an NRA member. IMHO the NRA went south when they lost the support of the police chiefs over the whole armor-piercing-bullet thing. In addition they are a powerful conservative lobbying organization rather than the gun-saftey and hanging-out club that they should be.

deryk
May 21, 2003, 12:29 PM
I thought that this was an excellent documentary. Moore has taken a subject (gun ownership) that has traditionally (in the US) been fairly black and white: you are for or against ownership.

He goes to great lengths to show that ownership does not lead to violence and that the gun violence that we experience here in the United States is not due to us having access to guns.

I liked his comparission of gun violence to oppression, but I don't believe that is the entire answer. At the same time, I don't think he even has to develop the answer in this documentary. I think the largest contribution he made was showing that we are placing far too much blame on guns and gun ownership as the cause to the gun violence in the United States.

mrjamin
May 21, 2003, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by deryk
I think the largest contribution he made was showing that we are placing far too much blame on guns and gun ownership as the cause to the gun violence in the United States.

Thats the jist that i'd got.

GeneR
May 21, 2003, 12:54 PM
I missed it in the theatres. Is it out on DVD yet? This was one of those "on my to-do list".

mrjamin
May 21, 2003, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by GeneR
I missed it in the theatres. Is it out on DVD yet? This was one of those "on my to-do list".
It was out in the UK last monday.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000089ATL/qid%3D1053540036/202-9142847-1697400
Not sure i'd really want to own it; not the kind of thing you'd want to watch more than once.

LethalWolfe
May 21, 2003, 01:14 PM
Bowling for Columbine is a horrible documentary (working under the assumption that documentaries attempt to present their subject matter in a factual and unbiased way). BfC is a work of reality-based fiction. It's MM on a celluloid soap box. It's no more an accurate portrayal of reality than a film by Rush Limbaugh would be.

LINK (http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html) to a well documented (albeit it long) site talking about some of the creative license MM took w/reality for BfC.


Lethal

GeneR
May 21, 2003, 01:57 PM
Documentaries by nature can either be highly subjective or highly objective depending on the filmmaker's adherence to the truth. Unfortunately, by the public's very nature I believe we tend to take the documentaries as fact more often than with a grain of salt.

Ever see "Triumph of the Will"? An amazingly powerful piece of propaganda put out by the Nazi party. Of course we know in retrospect how wrong the message was, how it paints Hitler as some great messiah. But it also makes us realize how understandable it was for people in Germany and Austria to be swept up by the Nazi fervor: because the documentary is really that convincing in many ways.

Interestingly enough, it was because of the success of this film and others during WWII that Frank Capra, William Wyler, etc. responded with the "Why We Fight" series of U.S. propaganda.

Also interesting is how the symbolic language used in "Triumph" has affected the way that political campaigns and political spin is used in the U.S. today.

I still haven't seen BfC but I plan to do so. It will be interesting to me to see if anything objective is portrayed.

pseudobrit
May 21, 2003, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by GeneR
Documentaries by nature can either be highly subjective or highly objective depending on the filmmaker's adherence to the truth. Unfortunately, by the public's very nature I believe we tend to take the documentaries as fact more often than with a grain of salt.

Ever see "Triumph of the Will"? An amazingly powerful piece of propaganda put out by the Nazi party. Of course we know in retrospect how wrong the message was, how it paints Hitler as some great messiah. But it also makes us realize how understandable it was for people in Germany and Austria to be swept up by the Nazi fervor: because the documentary is really that convincing in many ways.

Interestingly enough, it was because of the success of this film and others during WWII that Frank Capra, William Wyler, etc. responded with the "Why We Fight" series of U.S. propaganda.

Also interesting is how the symbolic language used in "Triumph" has affected the way that political campaigns and political spin is used in the U.S. today.

I still haven't seen BfC but I plan to do so. It will be interesting to me to see if anything objective is portrayed.

Moore is definitely out to make a point. He uses facts, but the way he portrays them shores up his POV. Anyone who saw Roger & Me would know that Moore's not out to make a dry, humorless film absent opinion.

ExoticFish
May 21, 2003, 04:21 PM
I thought the movie was wonderful and I know that it's very hard to keep your own biases out of something you're working on, but I thought that he did a great job. The statistics that he gives throughout the movie just rip your heart out to think about. I understand comments about how "oh but I'm responsible with my gun". That's not the point. The point is that there should not even be a need for a gun.

zarathustra
May 21, 2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by ExoticFish
The statistics that he gives throughout the movie just rip your heart out to think about. I understand comments about how "oh but I'm responsible with my gun". That's not the point. The point is that there should not even be a need for a gun.

But the statistics that are given in Bowling are deceptive and wrong in many cases. Please follow LethalWolfe's link and read about it.

wsteineker
May 21, 2003, 05:28 PM
I think one thing that a lot of people are forgetting here is that Moor himself is a gun owner, supporter of the 2nd ammendment, and lifetime member of the NRA. I didn't walk away from this film thinking "guns are bad", I walked away thinking "damn, people can be really stupid". That's what Moore was trying to show, that the gun in and of itself is not evil, but that terrified and uneducated gun owners are frightening. Organizations like the NRA hav occasionally made it a point to prey on folks like that, thus worsening the situation. I think a lot of folks are still pissed at Moore for his show at the Oscars, and that tends to show through in some criticisms of his latest work. That being said, he makes a good point here.

As for the folks who are a bit miffed at his selective use of facts to support his pov, welcome to media. That's the point, to support what you're trying to say. Nowhere did he claim to be purporting the absolute truth, folks.

jelloshotsrule
May 21, 2003, 06:06 PM
thanks for the link lethal. very interesting stuff.

i agree that he never said that it was the absolute truth, but i also do think that he did a bit much in terms of misleading people...

that said, i thought it was a great film. anything that gets people to think about this kind of thing is good. it starts discussion and debate. which is all too rare. if everyone in our country talked about these things the way this board does, i don't think there'd be quite as much hate. it's easy to hate a faceless person, race, etc. but sit and talk to someone. see what they're thinking. and any ability to hate fades away

and i think hate is at the core of most of our problems.

anyhoo, i think the editor of that site is off in his last part about the path of the film... i don't think documentaries have to go as planned. in fact, i think they'd be boring if they do. if i set out as a filmmaker to make a film about how black people can better relate to sweatshop workers because of their history of oppression, and then find out during the interviewing and such that really, it's not that they can empathize better because they're black, but just because they're human... then i don't think i've "failed" or done anything wrong. on the contrary, i think i've learned a good deal myself, and in theory could help educate others who might have thought like me

(a couple summers ago i kinda did do that... asking people in harlem and central park how they feel about sweatshops and such... going in thinking one thing, and finding out a slightly different thing)

GeneR
May 21, 2003, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by jelloshotsrule
thanks for the link lethal. very interesting stuff.

(a couple summers ago i kinda did do that... asking people in harlem and central park how they feel about sweatshops and such... going in thinking one thing, and finding out a slightly different thing)

hello, Jello,

I hope you're making a documentary about that. Sounds like a great topic. I think Plexifilms.com (718) 622-5757 (http://www.plexifilm.com) -- a micro-distributor -- might be an avenue for your distribution if you're doing a doc. An article I read recently said they were into direct to DVD sales of documentaries (which isn't such a bad form of distribution nowadays). I don't know if they cover production costs, but it may be worth researching.

Best of luck! :D

jelloshotsrule
May 21, 2003, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by GeneR
hello, Jello,

I hope you're making a documentary about that. Sounds like a great topic. I think Plexifilms.com (718) 622-5757 (http://www.plexifilm.com) -- a micro-distributor -- might be an avenue for your distribution if you're doing a doc. An article I read recently said they were into direct to DVD sales of documentaries (which isn't such a bad form of distribution nowadays). I don't know if they cover production costs, but it may be worth researching.

Best of luck! :D

well my brother and i were living in harlem for the summer and it was something that came to mind... the idea that oftentimes people in the inner city, especially basketball players and such, buy up the nikes and other expensive expensive shoes, costing nike et al <$10... and yet selling them for $100+... the people who end up buying a bulk of these overpriced goods (sold at such a price because of the brand name/sports star endorsing the product) are really the ones who can least afford it...

so, we asked people if they knew all that "sweatshops" really entail... ie, more than just poor wages. most didn't. and most were upset. and most said that if there was an alternative (ie, shoes made somewhere besides sweatshops), they'd even be willing to pay $10 more for them. one particularly awesome guy said that his kids were good kids, and if he explained it to them, they'd be more than willling to go without the latest air jordans... anyways, we came up with some good footage, but nothing has come of it yet. it might, one day, but i don't think it'd be so much for distro as much as just for kicks. the fact is, we haven't done the research really to make it all it should be.

thanks for the suggestions and such. i have an animation i did that would go well with the topic, somewhat... kinda cool, though perhaps not great animation. i'll put it up somewhere sometime just for kicks.

wlbadger
May 24, 2003, 02:51 AM
I have been a long time lover of micheal moore's movies and books. No longer. While I found the movie to be very entertaining and insightful I do not believe he should continue to harass people for their beliefs. I was deeply upset by his interview with Heston at the end which I found to be way out of line and in bad taste. It served little or no purpose to his overall arguement and only proved that Moore was capable of being a common thug, move over Geraldo. The fact that Moore insinuated that Heston was senile and then to use him for his platform in the same way that the NRA has used him for years shows me that Moore has become preoccupied with Hollywood shock values and gotten away from what made his work great. I guess it is what we have come to expect from Moore but I for one do not see Heston as the enemy. I left the theater feeling sorry for Heston for being kind enough to give an interview in his home and then chased inside and sorry for Moore who seems to me to be losing sight of the issues. Of course none of this was helped by his little oscar tyraid.

maradong
May 24, 2003, 05:44 AM
Originally posted by wlbadger
I have been a long time lover of micheal moore's movies and books. No longer. While I found the movie to be very entertaining and insightful I do not believe he should continue to harass people for their beliefs. I was deeply upset by his interview with Heston at the end which I found to be way out of line and in bad taste. It served little or no purpose to his overall arguement and only proved that Moore was capable of being a common thug, move over Geraldo. The fact that Moore insinuated that Heston was senile and then to use him for his platform in the same way that the NRA has used him for years shows me that Moore has become preoccupied with Hollywood shock values and gotten away from what made his work great. I guess it is what we have come to expect from Moore but I for one do not see Heston as the enemy. I left the theater feeling sorry for Heston for being kind enough to give an interview in his home and then chased inside and sorry for Moore who seems to me to be losing sight of the issues. Of course none of this was helped by his little oscar tyraid.

moors is doing a wonderful job. he is shaking some people awake, as there are many who do not notice common facts. it s hard but it s the reality.

xjohn
May 24, 2003, 06:38 AM
Some might find it interesting to (re)read Mr. Moore's speech at the Oscars (link (http://www.octanecreative.com/american_prayer/michaelmoore/)). There's also a recording of the post-oscar press conference.

I think he speaks for himself very well. (The included picture, however, is not very flattering.)