those of you who have talked to me about recent trends in the genre of documentary filmmaking know that i wish michael moore would just go away. it's not because i disagree with his opinions, which, for the most part, i do. it's not because he's a biased filmmaker, which he will freely admit that he is. truth is, few filmmakers are unbiased; and whether or not i agree with a person's opinions often doesn't affect whether i think they're doing their job properly or not.
i looked up the word "documentary" on my favorite dictionary site (here). i usually find this site to be fair in its definitions. most of what came up as a result of the word search dealt mainly with presenting facts or presenting views in a factual manner. the fact is that moore doesn't really do either very well, or at least he stretches the definitions of these ideas.
a prime example is moore's recent interview on the tonight show. he was talking about the american democracy and how it presents a serious lack of options to voters, because americans only really have 2, maybe 3, options. when providing an example of a better system, he referred to canada, because "they have, like, 5 major political parties." by my count, we have the liberals, the coservatives, and the ndp. could someone please tell me what the name of the other 2 major politcal parties are?! and no, the marijuana party, as much as some would like to believe it, is not a major political party. this isn't even the first time he misrepresented what it's like to live in canada (e.g. implying, in bowling for columbine, that nobody in canada locks their doors and, because there's no gun violence, there's really no significant violent crime).
this is exactly my point. moore is constantly misrepresenting facts and presenting them as inherently true, not to mention his unconvincingly empathetic use of his subjects (the "victims") only because they serve to promote his agenda (but that's another rant altogether). public opinion polls, when presented back to the public, constantly do the same thing with facts that moore does. this is fine when taken "with a grain of salt". the problem is that many critics that i have heard review moore's films are quite open about how much he manipulates his facts and just don't seem to care.
but to do to facts what moore does before he presents them to anyone, and then to expect people to treat such a presentation as a serious indictment of any person or group of people is absurd. it probably wouldn't bother me as much, though, if there weren't so many people heralding the profundity of moore's "discoveries".
and some of those who like him will tell me that "the least you can admit is that he's a good filmmaker!" i don't care. there are many good filmmakers and a few great filmmakers that put moore's methods to shame. in comparison to these, he's not even really that good. the use of constant voice-overs and public confrontations designed to embarass certain people isn't exactly a one-two punch when used in every film.
okay, okay, i could go on and on as i already have been. you get my point...i don't believe for a new york minute that he's really doing us any good.