Tuesday, July 20

Michael Moore, Alas Todd Gitlin - openDemocracy

"André Gide, when asked in 1905 whom he considered the greatest French poet of the 19th century, is said to have replied: “Victor Hugo, hélas!”

Who is the most compelling, useful filmmaker of the 21st century (so far)? Michael Moore, alas–

But now a pause for a moment of conscience. Let intellect have its due. Moore cuts plenty of corners, so how good can that be? Compelling? Useful? Moore specializes in hodgepodge. He jokes his way past the rough edges. He’s neither journalist nor documentarian, for he doesn’t set out to discover what he doesn’t already know. To patronize Michael Moore by calling him useful is to give him a pass for shoddy work, sloppy insinuations, emotional blackmail and all–around demagoguery.

He’s an entertainer (when it suits him) whose brush is so broad, at times, as to coat all evidence and logic with bursts of sensational color. His chief method is the insinuating juxtaposition. Presto, proof by association. Fahrenheit 9/11, his election year release, is like a beer commercial. When you see the gorgeous women drinking the beer, the subterranean layer of your cortex is supposed to think: if I drink, I get. This deep layer is protected by the more deliberate thought: hey, it’s all in good fun. Bush–haters can say, I knew it! Moore can say, I don’t do proofs, I do provocations."

Michael Moore, Alas: "n "