Last week I was curious about the critical response to Michael Moore Hates America. I found out that it actually wasn't a very popular movie and not many people actually reviewed it. It didn't receive any outstanding awards like Bolwing for Columbine did, but it did receive an average rating of 6.2 out of 10. After seeing the title, many viewers thought the movie was going to be in a completely angry tone and were really surprised when it wasn't. One critic even commented that the movie was "just an honest attempt of a young film maker to examine Moore's controversial methods and to question his politics." All in all, the people who saw the movie responded a bit better to it than Michael Moore's movies , but it did not make a huge award-worthy impact.
This week was the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. We finished up our unit on Michael Moore Hates America and began our unit on The Perfect Candidate. We discussed our final thoughts on our "Moore Related Series" of videos, and we also briefly covered the background information in our next unit.
One topic thst raised a lot of disscussion in class is whether or not it was possible to make a 100% truthful documentary. Everyone had mixed views on this subject. I can not think of a single documentary that has been, in my opinion, completley truthful. I feel that editing can be a form of lying; it leaves out certain parts of conversations, so the audience can not see the full truth of the situation. Film makers always edit out the parts they feel would not support their topic in order to save time. This is true in a documentary too. If they never edited, movies would be months long! I know that this is very unreasonable, but I feel it is the only way to make a completley true documentary. It would litterally show everything that happened so that audiences could see the true story. Since no film maker in their right mind would ever make a movie that was months long, I feel that it is impossible to to make a documentary without lying.
One really interesting quote that we covered in class this week was said by Penn Jillette. He said, "Fearing that I'd become my enemy in the instant that I preach.." This quote really made me think. He was trying to say that he wants to get his point out, but he doesn't want to do it by stooping to his enemy's level to do so. If he sinks to his level, then he is just as bad as his enemy. This makes me wonder how many times I have actually become my enemy when I was trying to prove my point. Now that I really sit down to think about it, I totally agree with Mr. Jillette. I do feel that you shouldn't turn into the person who is doing you wrong in order to make them look bad. Two wrongs do not make a right, and sometimes it is better to be the bigger person and just let things go.
My final thoughts on this film are kind of mixed. I do think that his film was much better than Michael Moore's, but I do disagree with some parts of it. I felt he sort of became Michael Moore (his enemy) when he was trying to disprove him. He used several of the same techniques and styles but just in a different point of view. I do think that seeing both Bowling for Columbine and Michael Moore Hates America was very benificial in showing two different poits of view and how persuasive the media can be.
Towards the very end of the week, we started to cover The Perfect Candidate. I find it very interesting and fascinating that the movie takes place in Virginia. I feel that this is extremely beneficial to our class in particular because I feel that it makes it much more relatable. In some of the backgroungd information, we learned that Oliver North was involved in a lot of legal issues and national problems, but still managed to attain the Republican nomination for the Senate seat. He lost in the long run, but I am amazed that he actually made it as far as he did! I would think that all of the controversy surrounding him would have prohibited him from making it anywhere close to where he did! I feel that nowadays, he wouldn't have! I know that I am not an expert in this subject, and I do hope that I will learn more over the next week or two as we watch this documentary!
As we are beginning our next topic, I am really curious about Mr. Oliver North. I would like to know a little bit more as to why he was chosen for the Republican nominee for the Senate? If there was so much controversy surrounding him, how did he make it as far as he did?
Please stay tuned for the answer next week!
Michael moore hates america. (2010, October 10). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Moore_Hates_America
Michael moore hates america (2004). (2010, October 10). Retrieved from http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1183735-1183735-michael_moore_hates_america/?critic=creamcrop#contentReviews
Penn jillette. (2010, October 10). Retrieved from http://downshoredrift.com
The perfect candidate (1996). (2010, October 10). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117320/
Truth. (2010, October 10). Retrieved from http://informedvote.ca