Saturday, July 10, 2004

The New York Times > A. O. SCOTT >A New Market for Bravehearts?

The New York Times > Movies > A New Market for Bravehearts?: "S of this writing, 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' having won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, having landed its director on the covers of both Time and Entertainment Weekly, having dominated talk radio, the op-ed columns and the cable blusterfests for the last month, has just concluded its second weekend in theaters, where it has made more than $60 million so far. By the time you read this, that number will have grown, as the movie, which became the top-grossing documentary ever by the end of its first day of national release, ascends toward the $100 million mark.

But it is also proper, and healthy, for audiences to overrule our anxious, qualified judgments, and to respond to movies like these with more heat and more passion. The basic critical function of consumer advice, in any case, is overridden when movies become part of a larger debate, which may also be hard for critics to deal with, since it threatens our authority.

Which is, all in all, a very good thing. Movies are a democratic art form, and democracy, at its most vigorous, can ride roughshod over polite opinion, responsible judgment and cool appraisal. When that happens, we should relish our discomfort, and gratefully acknowledge that, sometimes, hotter heads prevail."

The New York Times

Page Resources

Special Section: A collection of articles and commentary about Michael Moore's documentary.


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