[lit-ideas] Denby on Moore's flick

In a message dated 6/29/2004 4:00:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
straker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
http://www.newyorker.com/critics/cinema/?040628crci_cinema
____
Thanks to Stephen for posting this rather even-handed review of the film. My 
last  point about motives preceding judgments was raised by Denby in this 
acute paragraph. -EY
____
The great documentary filmmakers of todayâ??Frederick Wiseman, Marcel Ophuls, 
and Andrew Jarecki (of â??Capturing the Friedmansâ??)â??know that truth in an 
absolute sense is unattainable. Itâ??s not even imaginable. Who would validate 
it? Who 
could say that another interpretation besides the filmmakerâ??s was out of the 
question? Movies are made by men and women, not by gods hurling thunderbolts 
of certitude. But the great documentary filmmakers at least make an attempt, 
however inadequate, compromised, or hopeless, to arrive at a many-sided 
understanding of some complex situation. Michael Moore is not that kind of 
filmmaker, 
nor does he want to be. He calls himself a satirist, but heâ??s less a satirist 
than a polemicist, a practitioner of mocking political burlesque: he doesnâ??t 
discover many new things but punches up what he already knows or suspects; he 
doesnâ??t challenge or persuade an audience but tickles or irritates it. Heâ??s 
too slipshod intellectually to convince many except the already convinced, too 
eager to throw another treated log onto the fire of righteous anger. 

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