Monday, May 17, 2004

Farenheit 9/11's Cannes Bow

From early reports here and here, Moore's made a surprisingly sober polemic that ties together well established facts about the catastrophic failure of the Bush presidency. He even appears (thankfully) to have kept his self-congratulatory persona off-screen most of the time in this new film. I never expected much new information from Moore, but if he can assemble these previously documented facts into a graceful form, I'll be ecstatic.

Given Moore's demonstrated disinterest in fashioning coherent arguments, I'm rather doubtful this new movie will be of much use to me. However, to take Moore's film as a work of art or journalism is almost beside the point. (Film, as an artform, has never been suited for rigorous political argument; a typical lead essay in Foreign Policy journal contains about 3000% more meat than the typical cinematic polemic. The medium's limitations is one reason why I'm generally not a big fan of cinematic political screeds.) Moore's clearly agitating for publicity and votes with the timing of this Bush broadside. And if his film can swing even 100 votes away from Shrub, all the more power to him.

Fact is, Moore has now filled the niche as the face of the populist Left. While Moore's demogoguery and cheap provocations aren't especially palatable to snotty pointy-heads, he nevertheless provides an important corrective to the right-wing propoganda that permeates the media, most prominently on Rupert Murdoch's Faux News Network. In other words, Moore's a necessary evil given this No Holds Barred political atmosphere. Speaking of Fox, John Carroll, the editor of the LA Times, delivers this stinging rebuke to that alleged news channel's disgraceful "journalistic" practices.

Hopefully, Our Man at Cannes will shake off his mid-fest despondency and give us a report.

Three more days until the new Wanker Wai...