Monday, March 12, 2007

In the cross-hairs: What goes around, comes around


Michael Moore
Originally uploaded by Erik R. Bishoff.
What a long way documentary film making has come. When I was in high school, I remember going in to Baltimore to see a documentary film about New Zealand. The land was beautiful. The film was boring. I fell asleep.

I'd never fall asleep in a film by Michael Moore. Well, I say that, but I've only ever seen one of his movies, but I get the sense that he knows how to tell a story & keep the audience engaged, whether or not they're in agreement.

Well, turns out a pair of film makers turned their cameras on Mr. Moore... and he responded like someone out of his own films!

From Christy Lemire at Breitbart:
As documentary filmmakers, Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine looked up to Michael Moore.
Then they tried to do a documentary of their own about him _ and ran into the same sort of resistance Moore himself famously faces in his own films.

The result is "Manufacturing Dissent," which turns the camera on the confrontational documentarian and examines some of his methods. Among their revelations in the movie, which had its world premiere Saturday night at the South by Southwest film festival: That Moore actually did speak with then-General Motors chairman Roger Smith, the evasive subject of his 1989 debut "Roger & Me," but chose to withhold that footage from the final cut.

The husband-and-wife directors spent over two years making the movie, which follows Moore on his college tour promoting 2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11." The film shows Melnyk repeatedly approaching Moore for an interview and being rejected; members of Moore's team also kick the couple out of the audience at one of his speeches, saying they weren't allowed to be shooting there.
I love it: a dose of his own medicine.

The film makers note,
We're a bit disappointed and disillusioned with Michael, but we are still very grateful to him for putting documentaries out there in a major way that people can go to a DVD store and they're right up there alongside dramatic features.
Irony. Because of Michael Moore, you'll be able to find Manufacturing Dissent on the shelves of your local video store... when it's released on DVD, that is.

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