May 1, 2012

The Big One (1997)

Hey kiddos, I'm back with a short series on some documentaries I've seen recently that I enjoyed.
Simul-posted here: The Movie Advocate

The Big One
I think Michael Moore is a great filmmaker.  The guy knows how to make an engaging documentary whose end message appears to have been reached by accident.  It's manipulative for sure, because he talks in this faux-ignorant tone, both as narrator and as interviewer, as though he thinks that he will find pure and good in the world, and then attempts to come off as surprised when the head of Nike doesn't want to go see the sweat shops they own.  Yes, his digging up painful histories and embarrassing current practices, he is doing one heck of a service for mankind, because these things do need to be talked about.  But ... I can't help be feel condescended upon, as though the only way he's going to get his message across is to say it slowly and in simple words, presenting the facts as though he himself just learned them 10 minutes ago and is telling about them at the dinner table.  I'm troubled by the possibility, however, that this presentation method really is the best way to present an idea so that it sticks and gets you as angry as he was when he decided to make the movie.  I'll probably continue to see his movies, because he knows how to present a frustrating world fact ... but I can't say I enjoy Michael Moore's "Michael" character he performs as in his movies. Anyway, about The Big One: See it if you enjoy his style, because it is signature MM, but the topic it's discussing feels dated (though, terrifyingly enough, it most likely is not a dated topic at all).

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