Tuesday, June 15, 2004

It's All About Money

Few days ago Michael Moore announced that he was going to make a documentary about Tony Blair. According to Moore, Blair as intellectual was more fascinating subject than "idiot Bush". But now Moore retracted the story and said that he only "joked".

Of course, local and European elections held in Britain over the weekend probably has nothing to do with Moore's newly discovered sense of humour.
Just as Moore announced his documentary, Tony Blair's party got pummelled at the polls, making the prospects for Blair's survival as prime minister rather dim. And in that case Moore would experience certain difficulty in gaining necessary funds and publicity for the next Fahrenheit 911. Palm d' Ors, rave reviews, standing ovations and reputation of undisputed cinema genius are hard to get when you make documentary about person as relevant as Tony Callaghan.

On the other hand, Moore doesn't have to worry about losing media spotlight any time soon. Latest to provide him with such services is MPAA. Applying their usual criteria about violent content in the movies, they stamped Fahrenheit 911 with "R" rating, thus restricting cinema audience to the folks over 16 years of age. In the grand scheme of things this wouldn't amount much – younger audience are unlikely to watch documentaries and even when they do they are unlikely to vote in November elections and thus help Moore in achieving the ultimate purpose of his film. But Moore nevertheless screamed bloody murder and requested that the film which features graphic images of Iraqis being abused and American soldiers being maimed, disembowelled, incinerated and posthumously desecrated be available to any teenager over 13 years of age.

Of course, the mere fact that younger teenagers provide the core audience of any summer blockbuster has nothing to do with Moore's criticism of MPAA decision. And that R-rated movies tend to have significantly less impressive box-office numbers than their PG-13 counterparts.

Moore would nevertheless attack MPAA "censorship", although MPAA was in most likelihood more lenient to him than towards some unknown independent filmmaker whose use of similar images would result in NC-17 rating.

That won't prevent from Moore disciples to scream about "censorship", "suppression of truth" and "White House pressures". And many of the people demanding that American teenagers see disembowelled corpses were those that lambasted Schwarzenegger for "poisoning American children with graphic violence" only few months ago.


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