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Bowling for Columbine is a work of FICTION

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Bowling for Columbine is a work of FICTION

Old 04-18-03, 08:52 PM
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Bowling for Columbine is a work of FICTION

After seeing a tidbit on the news this evening about Michael Moore's Oscar-winning documentary, there comes some questions...er, rather perhaps strong accusations backed up by facts, that [i]Bowling for Columbine is a con job.

The news story mentioned this site:
Revoke the Oscar

which also refers to these sites:

Unmoored from Reality

Truth about Bowling for Columbine

Viewer beware In "Bowling for Columbine," Michael Moore once again puts distortions and contradictions before the truth

Bowling Truths

But using a quote from the initial "Revoke the Oscar" site it states:
It's time we take back the stage. Bowling for Columbine violated the Academy's own rules. These limit the documentary competition to nonfiction films. Bowling isn't nonfiction. Whenever it was necessary to his theme, Moore invented facts, fabricated events, staged scenes, or doctored the depiction of what actually happened.
and
The Academy can reward propaganda, if it pleases. It can reward anti-Americanism, if it pleases. But its own rules establish that it cannot reward fiction as "best documentary." We call upon the Academy to enforce its own rule.
But don't take my word for it, please check out the four links above to see for yourself to see how Moore fabricated and twisted facts, etc.
Old 04-18-03, 09:14 PM
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So the first 10,000x's this has been posted hasn't proven you right wing folks point?

K thanks Bye. It's a film that is shown through the eyes of one person. Just like if we both see a glass of water filled half way up and take two meanings, half full and half empty. the facts of this documentary can be viewed differently.

the award is already given. Now deal with it folks. sheesh, did you folks really hate the movie that much or is it just because Moore did it? Why not take Romen's oscar away because of his past criminal activity which he fled the country.. Oh wait, is that the next thread you will start?
Old 04-18-03, 09:51 PM
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I hated the movie, but not because Moore did it. He can keep his Oscar for all I care, they mean nothing. What does mean something is that this movie is 'fiction' and that it really isn't very good to begin with.
Old 04-18-03, 09:52 PM
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I agree with Jackskeleton. This entire argument has been beaten to death. Documentaries aren't 100% factual but just b/c they aren't doesn't make the filmmaker a liar. It's nice that people are actually watching documentaries now(if they are actually watching this one, not just blindly quoting websites) and are taking an interest in them, but if you've watched and studied quite a few then you understand that they are still heavily influenced by the filmmaker's own perspective. When editing is involved, you aren't going to get 100% truth, you're going to get a perspective.
But I'm glad we have another thread that will be filled with posts about what an anti-american pinko commie Moore is. It'll be fresh and exciting.
Old 04-18-03, 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by MurraySiskind

But I'm glad we have another thread that will be filled with posts about what an anti-american pinko commie Moore is. It'll be fresh and exciting.

Good times, good times..
Old 04-18-03, 10:11 PM
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I hope this does not become a personal attack on Moore. But fiction is fiction. A documentary, it definitely is not. And the movie sucked.
Old 04-18-03, 10:15 PM
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Sheesh, still with this.

There are more important things in the world you know?
Old 04-18-03, 10:28 PM
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Yes, documentaries usually carry with them the filmmaker's opinion. But they don't go to the point of out-and-out turning the truth to shreds like Moore did.

I never agreed with Moore, but I have liked most of his stuff. BfC, however, was garbage.
Old 04-18-03, 10:59 PM
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Oops sorry. I wasn't aware that this has been discussed before, but since the Oscars was a fairly recent event, and with some of the "Why has BfC DVD been delayed" threads on the DVDTalk fourm, I thought maybe this might be a valid topic these days.

But anyway, to be honest the only Michael Moore film I've ever seen was his first, "Roger & Me" back when I was in (literally) High School in the late '80s. (We were forced to watch it in an economics class or somthing IIRC.) Had I known then, what I know now about film and directors in general and who Michael Moore was, I would've probably been repulsed by it.

The issue here with Moore is that he knowingly twists facts, stages scenes, and as Wildcat says, "shreds the truth" and then calls his work "documentaries" is a blatant example of false advertising and then in turn gets nominated and wins an award for it as a documentary which is defined as a piece of non-fiction is absolutely disgusting and shameful. This would be like George Lucas calling Star Wars a documentary of what a far away galaxy was like a long, long time ago.
Old 04-18-03, 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by Maximus2K3
Oops sorry. I wasn't aware that this has been discussed before, but since the Oscars was a fairly recent event, and with some of the "Why has BfC DVD been delayed" threads on the DVDTalk fourm, I thought maybe this might be a valid topic these days.
Fair enough. I spend entirely too much time reading this stuff so I'm probably a little less patient than I should be. It's always a good idea to do a search before you start a new thread, just to make sure the territory hasn't already been covered. Around Oscar time the subject was flogged pretty soundly.
Old 04-19-03, 09:01 AM
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To extend this logic, there should be an online petition to re-name the Fox News Channel the Happy Wartime Entertainment Channel. Or the Rush Limbaugh show as Uncle Rushie's Storytime Hour.

Right?
Old 04-19-03, 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by Maximus2K3
But anyway, to be honest the only Michael Moore film I've ever seen was his first, "Roger & Me" back when I was in (literally) High School in the late '80s. (We were forced to watch it in an economics class or somthing IIRC.) Had I known then, what I know now about film and directors in general and who Michael Moore was, I would've probably been repulsed by it.
No offense, but until you see the film, your opinions of it mean nothing to me. No one should criticize a film for it's content when they haven't even seen the damn thing.
Old 04-19-03, 12:33 PM
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No kidding Sherm, this guy sounds to extreme:

what I know now about film and directors in general and who micheal moore was, I would've probably been repulsed by it

God, what is your trip? Can't you watch a movie and view it as a stand alone item instead of putting politics into it. The film addresses many points, Some I'm sure you would at the very least question your views on it. You just sound like the thing sucks and is a horrorible spawn monster just because Moore has his name on it.
Old 04-19-03, 03:21 PM
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Good thing Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Cal Thomas and their ilk never like and misrepresent the facts to push their own twisted agendas... Oh wait, that's all they ever do. Never mind!
Old 04-19-03, 04:32 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
No kidding Sherm, this guy sounds to extreme:

God, what is your trip? Can't you watch a movie and view it as a stand alone item instead of putting politics into it.
Politics is what Michael Moore is all about. He puts politics into everything he does or says.

How can someone not think politics when watching a Michael Moore film?


Old 04-19-03, 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by Sierra Disc
Good thing Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Cal Thomas and their ilk never like and misrepresent the facts to push their own twisted agendas... Oh wait, that's all they ever do. Never mind!
Old 04-19-03, 08:36 PM
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Originally posted by Tarantino
I hated the movie, but not because Moore did it. He can keep his Oscar for all I care, they mean nothing. What does mean something is that this movie is 'fiction' and that it really isn't very good to begin with.

A lot of "Roger and Me" was staged too........
Old 04-19-03, 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by conscience
Politics is what Michael Moore is all about. He puts politics into everything he does or says.

How can someone not think politics when watching a Michael Moore film?


I don't recall any part of BfC mentioning Bush. infact, I only recall him talking about clinton bombing a country on the morning of columbine... the real topic of the film is fear in america. Unless you have not scene your local news coverage, I believe this point was made pretty clear.

It's a film that is trying to say a message. it's content will of course be along the lines of the contents announcer.
Old 04-20-03, 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
I don't recall any part of BfC mentioning Bush. infact, I only recall him talking about clinton bombing a country on the morning of columbine... the real topic of the film is fear in america. Unless you have not scene your local news coverage, I believe this point was made pretty clear.

It's a film that is trying to say a message. it's content will of course be along the lines of the contents announcer.
I was referring to politics as a whole, not just Bush. Politics as a whole.
Old 04-20-03, 05:19 AM
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Actually, what is really a work of fiction is the idea that the Oscar is some how going to be stripped from the film. Or my other favorite, that they are holding up releasing the DVD because they don't want to put Academy Award banners on the case if it gets stripped. Damn, people will believe anything.
Old 04-20-03, 09:08 AM
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BFC is not a work of fiction. If it were a work of fiction, all the people in it would be portrayed by actors, and none of the events, situations, people, or organizations ever really existed. You may disagree with the manner in which the material is presented, but part of the documentary filmmaker's job is to effectively and creatively present their point.

One of the criticisms that I remember from previous discussions was the alleged misuse of Heston's "cold dead hands" line, as it was not said in the same context of other quotes placed next to it in the movie. Critics claim Moore makes it look as if he said it in regards to the NRA convention that took place in Denver right after Columbine, when he said it somewhere else.

If Moore were writing a book, it would be simple for him to highlight statements from elsewhere without misleading the reader about their context. In film, he simply used the original clip, and did not "set the stage" by telling you exactly where and when it took place. Moore felt the comment was germaine to the discussion at hand, so he referenced it. On the surface, this may seem somewhat misleading, but it's no difference than a footnote in a book, just in a different format.

As for taking back his oscar, that's just silly. If you start looking for points like these, you'll have to revoke every documentary oscar.
Old 04-20-03, 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
So the first 10,000x's this has been posted hasn't proven you right wing folks point?
Apparently anti-Moore="right wing". Thanks for clearing that up...

K thanks Bye. It's a film that is shown through the eyes of one person. Just like if we both see a glass of water filled half way up and take two meanings, half full and half empty. the facts of this documentary can be viewed differently.
If one is going to make a scathing documentary about any topic, one had better make sure that their facts are correct. I'm sure that every documentary picks and chooses what it shows to make points. But this movie blames America for Sept. 11 and shows America to be a nation consumed by racism, violence and fear. That's fairly inflamatory stuff. If you're going to paint that picture, people are going to get angry, especially since it's pretty clear that a lot of what was in the movie was either misleading or outright untrue. Reletivism doesn't apply in cases like this.

the award is already given. Now deal with it folks. sheesh, did you folks really hate the movie that much or is it just because Moore did it? Why not take Romen's oscar away because of his past criminal activity which he fled the country.. Oh wait, is that the next thread you will start?
I totally agree with you here. Water under the bridge at this point.
Old 04-20-03, 05:36 PM
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Let the right keep on crying over Moore's Oscar win, you know what they say about no such thing as bad publicity.
Old 04-20-03, 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by Hiro11
But this movie blames America for Sept. 11 and shows America to be a nation consumed by racism, violence and fear. That's fairly inflamatory stuff. If you're going to paint that picture, people are going to get angry, especially since it's pretty clear that a lot of what was in the movie was either misleading or outright untrue. Reletivism doesn't apply in cases like this.
Actually, I think the motives behind the Sept. 11 attacks are very complex (not the "blame" as you say). A lot of different things went into the motives and you cannot simply disregard that some things America has done in the past might have played a part in motivating the terrorists. That's not the same thing as blaming America for it in my mind and it also isn't saying the terrorists were right in what they did. I felt the movie simply pointed out that looking into the situation is very complex.

As for showing "America to be a nation consumed by racism, violence and fear," I'd say that for a lot of the country, that actually is a pretty valid statement. Those things might not always be readily apparent, but I feel they are almost always bubbling under the surface in a lot of places in this country. We like to think we have come a long way, but there still is a lot of racism, violence and paranoia and fear in this country. I think one of the stronger points of Bowling for Columbine is pointing this out and trying to find some of the reasons behind it.
Old 04-20-03, 11:10 PM
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Before another person declares BfC as a non-documentary again, let me say this again.

Without a doubt, BfC is a documentary.

I quote acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris:

"I believe cinema verite set back documentary filmmaking twenty or thirty years. It sees documentary as a subspecies of journalism... There's no reason why documentaries can't be as personal as fiction filmmaking and bear the imprint of those who made them. Truth isn't guaranteed by style or expression. It isn't guaranteed by anything."

If you look at the latin root of the word documentary, it doesn't come down to a definition of "to present truth" but instead "To teach." And that is something that BfC does. You may not agreee with what it teaches, but thats another argument altogether.

Michael Moore is just one of many moden documentary filmmakers who shy away from the dictatorial view of the inherently false "objective" camera. All the tools of the fictional narrative, including creative editing, are free reign.

I just personally find it funny that most of the complaints about the validity of the film as documentary come from people who have willingly seen at most maybe 2 or 3 documentaries in their lives (reality tv not included), while those who have seen many more are more open to it.

And that these doubters also view news stories on CNN or Fox News as "truth," when as the recent brou-ha about the falling of the statue of Hussein or the rescuing of Lynch shows, they are just as subjective and manipulative.

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