Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Moore Power To Ya'!


This weekend will see the release of the latest Michael Moore documentary, "Sicko". I've seen all of his films thus far, as well as several episodes of his "The Awful Truth" TV show, so I'll certainly be seeing this latest film too. To be honest, though I generally like Moore and his principled stands, I take some of what he says with a grain of salt. In order to make his arguments, he sometimes ignores facts that don't support his case, while also making points from things that seem tenuous at best.

For instance, in "Bowling For Columbine", Moore finagles his way into Charlton Heston's home and, after a bit of conversation to soften Heston up and get him with his guard down, proceeds to confront him on his NRA presidency and a rally that was held very insensitively immediately after the gun-related death of a little girl. While this may be a fair attack, given Heston's longstanding, gun-loving, Second Amendment stance, I felt it rather uncalled for when he similarly ambushes Dick Clark on a matter that seems like he's really grasping at straws. He accuses Clark of being partly responsible for the gun use of a little boy whose mother was a worker in a Dick Clark owned restaurant chain, and therefore not at home to look after her son when the incident took place. As far as I could surmise, Dick Clark was guilty of nothing more than being involved in a government program meant to wean people off of welfare by giving them work in participating places of employment. I'm sure that Dick Clark was participating in this program in all good faith, hoping it would give people a leg up to a better future. As such, I felt Moore had overplayed his hand and was looking for any scapegoat that made for good melodrama in his film.

However, as I said, I generally applaud Michael Moore for his efforts. There are a lot of contentious issues in America that should be addressed and I'm glad a guy like Moore is out there to shine a spotlight on them. Here then is my caricature of Michael Moore in tribute to his efforts.

13 comments:

Cooked Art said...

Hey Pete,

I've actually been afforded a chance to see Sicko in advance and while I definitely think its worth a watch and I do agree with moore's views, I am at odds with Moore's style of filmmaking.

My main point of contention against Moore's film is his that while he claims to do so, He doesn't really make documentaries. A documentarian
need never be in his or her documentary only because they are trying to document what is happening in the world around them as it is, without opinion or bias clouding the view. Documentaries are still obviously visual filmmaking essays to prove a point, but the thesis is only as strong as the supporting arguments, and the supporting arguments must be presented in a clear, unfettered manner with which the viewer can digest on their own, and form their own opinion from.

Michael Moore often does not do this, often manufacturing his own
instances for the sake of entertainment, and appears in his own films, introducing a bias that need not be there. It's the equivalent of saying "I feel" in a thesis paper - it's bad form and only works against your point. Why do I care? Because in issues like these, especially in such a palatable form, people will begin to take much of what Moore says as unrefutable fact, which is a little dangerous. He's been known to edit and rearrange timelines so that the story fits in his favor.

I do hope that, however, it will raise the issue enough to give it their own thinking and that it stirs up debate in U.S. congress as to the state of the U.S. Health Sector.

Oh, by the way, great caricature.

Cooked Art said...

Oh, and as an added point, Sicko isn't free of any of the same behavior from Moore. All the same, I'd still recommend a watch, just like with all of his other films.

Pete Emslie said...

Good points, Alan. I agree that Moore can be highly manipulative in his presentation of the "facts", and that his presense in the film makes it more subjective than objective. I guess I'm willing to indulge him, though, as I just see his approach as being not unlike that of a journalist who writes regularly on the editorial page of my morning newspaper, as opposed to a roving reporter just going out and getting the hard news. In the end, his films are rather entertaining, if nothing else, and I think they do get people thinking about challenging the status quo.

Brian Sibley said...

Welcome to Blogdom, Pete! I'll be back... and back... and back... :-)

PS: A word of advice - Word Verification advice that is! Add it to your comments section. Sure, it's a chore for thos eleaving comments, but it will prevent spamsters and scamsters taking over your blog for their nasty ends...

Pete Emslie said...

Thanks for the tip, Brian! I just took your advice and added that feature now. Maybe some will consider it an inconvenience but look on the bright side: You'll be adding to your vocabulary by learning to spell new words like "frzpkly" and "aglubj", which you can then use to impress those in important social circles!

Tasch said...

I don't really have any feeling about Micheal Moore to share, but I do love the caricature.

Philip Thomas said...

Really good to see you have a blog pete. You probably don't remember me. I went to life drawing at Visual Arts Brampton for a while last year. I'll be making sure to check back here and maybe see you at life drawing. Awesome Caricature as usual.

Alvaro Cervantes aka PURO said...

Nice drawing Peter!!
Good to have you on board.
Alvaro

Robin Hall said...

... I couldn't care less whether Michael Moore makes another movie or not, I've never been all that impressed with the one's he's made in the past, and I always feel jilted when I come out of the theater, definitly not something I like to feel.

But anyways, great caricatures all the same!

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Great caricature of Michael Moore!

One quibble, though. You wrote "...given Heston's longstanding, gun-loving, First Amendment stance..." I think you meant the Second Amendment, which is about the right to bear arms.

Pete Emslie said...

Ahh, thank you Mr. Hunsecker for pointing out that mistake. I've now amended that Amendment!

David Wolter said...

Pete -
I'm a huge fan of your work, so I'm psyched to see you have a blog now! I'll be checking back often for inspiration. Great Michael Moore by the way, the expression is the best part, almost orangutan-gian. Keep it up!

harpo said...

I love the caricature
great curves!