Filmbrain will probably regret posting this, but here goes. Writing this with West Side Story in the background (thanks TCM!)
The scene around the East Village theater earlier this evening was ecstatic. The demand to see the film was so high, the theater decided to show the film all night long, with screenings running throughout the night, on three screens, until 8:00 AM. There were activists all around handing out flyers, members of the DNC looking for donations, and a guy in a suit and Bush mask clutching an oversize globe. The only protest was a young guy in a suit who walked by and felt the need to call us "communists" and told us all to "fuck off" while he chanted "USA USA USA!" Whatever.
Earlier in the day, Filmbrain read two extremely negative attacks on the film -- Christopher Hitchens' twisted attack in Slate and Armond White's painfully embarrassing article from the New York Press that, amongst other things, blames Quentin Tarantino for the Abu Ghraib abuse. He really should consider getting out of the criticism game -- this is beyond ridiculous. Oh, and then there's the hate mail sent by Move America Forward fans to theater owners (found on Rashomon's blog) -- particularly scary considering that none of the people who sent letters have actually seen the film.
[West Side Story is at the America scene: Life can be bright in America/If you can fight in America/Life is all right in America/If you are white in America!]
Back to Fahrenheit 9/11 -- really good film, certainly Michael Moore's best -- much more restrained -- very little of those Michael Moore shenanigans that we've become used to. Best thing about it -- Filmbrain left the theater hating Bush more than he thought possible, and even more than he already did. As many critics have declared -- this is a film that everybody should see -- doesn't matter what side you're on -- and let the debate begin. For anybody who gets their news from sources other than the networks, CNN or FOX, there's not much in there that's new -- and this is exactly the source of the three-hour debate with 1.5 Frenchmen.
Filmbrain argues with his French friend (we'll call him N) on an almost daily basis. Not fights, mind you, but worthwhile intellectual debates. Anyhow, N seems to align himself with Godard in his criticism of the film, and the argument was centered around le texte contre l'image. The .5 Frenchman (we'll call him T, with the other .5 being British) tended to agree with Filmbrain, and felt that the inclusion of disturbing images was essential to Moore's position. You see, there are loads of people in this country who swallow the ejaculations of Bush, his administration, and the media, and it's long past due that somebody put things into perspective. The war was a sham, and it was about not much more than personal vendetta and oodles of profits for Bush's pals. Moore brings the war home -- puts a human face on it that until now the govt. has been successful in hiding from the American public.
[Tony and Maria are singing One Hand, One Heart, and it's really about time Filmbrain got some sleep, even though the room is spinning.]
Having seen the film, Filmbrain now has a better perspective on the Hitchens and White reviews -- after watching Fahrenheit 9/11 it's truly impossible for anybody with half a brain to say "I support Bush", for the film beautifully exposes him for what he is -- a mindless, bumbling, idiot. The only thing left to do is attack Moore on a personal basis. Hitchens sold his soul, and sold out the left in order to embrace the new right -- and now he finds himself in a most embarrassing situation. Only thing left -- attack Moore on a personal level. Now that Bush has turned his back on soldiers (what with all the benefit cuts), and things aren't going quite as planned, what's Hitchens to do? White's column is so incredibly stupid (calling Moore a fascist?) that it's hardly worth a rebuttal.
More on Moore tomorrow -- promise -- right now Filmbrain needs to pass out. . .
[THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Yikes! Bad idea to write last night. Might pull this post down in a few hours and replace it with something slightly more coherent.]