Monday, August 09, 2004

International Herald Tribune : Moore's documentary allies keep up fire

by Joan Dupont IHT
Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11" is spawning spinoffs all over the map, movies turned on a dime. In San Francisco, the Roxie Cinema runs titles like "Highjacking Catastrophe," about how the right used 9/11, and the latest, "Out-Foxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism." And in France, surfing on the wave of Moore's success, yet made a year earlier, "Liberty Bound" by Christine Rose, a young American filmmaker, was released in an unusual distribution coup. The film opens in the United States this autumn.

Most French critics treated "Fahrenheit" as a spoof and dismissed Rose as a wild young thing. They favor their own homegrown - presumably high-minded - approach. "Le Monde selon Bush" (The World According to Bush), by the Paris-based documentary filmmaker William Karel, was made for television and also released in theaters.

Up to now, Moore's bulky profile and antigovernment stance had been welcome in France, but only as long as he was perceived as a loner, on the outs with the system. Then "Fahrenheit" won at Cannes, turning cinephiles against him. "Une défaite," an insult to cinema, declared Cahiers du Cinéma.

In contrast, "Le Monde selon Bush" won high praise. A master behind the camera, and good at concealing his hand until the final cut, Karel is a veteran filmmaker who knows as well as Moore how to manipulate images, but he has kept his focus on a small bunch of talking heads - all male - and his tone solemn.

(click on the title for the whole article)

NOTE - This American vision of the French reaction is pretty well thought out !


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