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Over There (in the UK)

November 22, 2002 at 5 PM

A Spare for Michael

It's hard not to like Bowling for Columbine a little more after reading a lengthy interview with Michael Moore from the Guardian.

Reporter Andrew Collins doesn't throw out any grand challenges -- he's obviously a big fan of the film and the views it espouses -- but Moore offers plain-spoken, thoughtful responses, and, thankfully, few of the automated diatribes on popular left-wing issues that too often pass for 'enlightened' commentary.

Bowling... is certainly an easy movie to enjoy, and Moore suggests that is no accident:

...Try to remember when was the last great film that you saw and when you left the theatre it was like a religious experience; you have tears in your eyes because this art form was honoured by what you just saw on the screen. And it's so rare these days. It's been that way for the last decade or so and so I think as a film-maker, my first contribution would just be to make a good movie that people would love to go see and leave the theatre charged, with that sense of excitement that we've all had.

Of course the film makes sacrifices with the depth of its arguments for the sake of simplicity, but I say that's okay. It's a film, and the medium is not suited to serious complexity. (Perhaps there should have been a companion book: Bowling for Columbine: The Essays.)

It's easy to sit in Canada and enjoy a movie that criticizes the dominant culture of the US, and as I watched the film I couldn't help but wonder: will this Important Message be lost on the very people about whom it speaks? Will average Americans who live in average places and own average guns ever see it?

I still don't have the answer, but in the few weeks since I've seen the film, I've decided I'm not sure I care. If Moore can get Kmart to stop selling bullets, then that's a lot more accomplished than 99% of all the documentaries ever made combined. So good for him.

Go see the film if you haven't. Even if you don't care to be particularly political afterwards, you will, I promise, be entertained. And that, after all, isn't such a bad thing.

Comments

The link in this article says it goes to “a lengthy interview with Roger Moore” which is probably not what you intended. Tried to email you, but your hotmail address bounced my message.

Kate M | Nov. 24, 2002 — 3 AM

I can only imagine I wrote “Roger” because I was about to go see Die Another Day. Although I’m sure I’ve heard many other people make that same mistake too. The title of Michael Moore’s first movie, Roger and Me probably doesn’t help either. :) Oh well, it’s now corrected.

PS - the hotmail address I only use for Messenger. My e-mail address is in a big font on the contact page.

— Luke | Nov. 24, 2002 — 1 PM

Hello Michael…I am bi-polar and work with the postal service. I hate the postal service and how they have handled my mental situation. I would like to retire. I am clerk, at the Main Office, in Provo, Utah, hate postal management and hate their job…but the pay is just good enough that they hang on! Could I have your mailing address to give you more details? Thanks…Lee

— Lee Jesperson | Feb. 16, 2003 — 9 PM

Previously: Show Me, Show You

Subsequently: Bond

November 2002
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