July 08, 2004


Not since Jacques Tati have the French so delighted in the antics of a bumbling idiot:

"Fahrenheit 9/11", Michael Moore's film bashing US President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, started its march around the world Wednesday by opening in cinemas across France - where not surprisingly its box office success looks guaranteed.

Cinema-goers who scrambled to get into one of the packed screenings applauded, laughed and sat stunned as the movie spelled out Moore's views that Bush was an incapable dolt whose family has an overly cosy relationship with rich Saudis.

Amused head-shaking and a sort of collective smugness punctuated the film's two hours, with the issues and images presented being carried off into city cafes afterwards for heated discussions.

Others were less impressed:

The daily newspaper Le Monde wrote: "To affirm ... that it was crowned (in Cannes) for its cinemagraphic qualities is either proof of incompetence, a pure lie or a cynical joke."

Even less kind was France's superstar philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levy, who dismissed "Fahrenheit 9/11" as dishonest.

Levy noted that he opposed the war and considers Bush a "catastrophe for America." But, he added: "Saddam Hussein was also a horrible dictator. And that is not in the film of Michael Moore."

Moore faced criticism at home, too, where a cineplex appearance at Battery Park brought him in contact with an unsympathetic Spider-Man 2 fan:

A Lowdown spy reports that Moore droned on, oblivious to his own personal safety until a Spidey loyalist yelled, "Not everyone thinks you're God, Moore!"

The director hastily wrapped things up and wandered away dejectedly.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 8, 2004 04:37 PM

Good on yer Bernard.
He knows -he spent months in pakistan investigating the murder of Daniel Pearl.
i can just imagine the converstions of the leftoids in the St Germain cafes as they order their petits cremes after the show.
need i remind you about the "openess" of the french Cinmatography.
Banned Stanley Kubrik's "Paths of Glory"
Banned Marcel ophuls "the sorrow and the Pity"

Both these films were highly critical of france's behaviour during WW1 and WW2.
But with les Americanos of course it is different.
yes the french are indeed une bande de putes!

Posted by: davo at July 8, 2004 at 04:59 PM

go spidey!

Posted by: peterparker at July 8, 2004 at 05:23 PM

It stands to resons that Spiderman 2 would be more popular than Farenheit 9/11.

Spiderman is more rooted in reality than 9/11 is.

Posted by: The Mongrel at July 8, 2004 at 06:14 PM

Plus Spiderman has a more stirring message. "With great power comes great responsibility".

Moore's message, "Its all BUSHITLER's Fault!"

Posted by: Quentin George at July 8, 2004 at 06:34 PM

Apparently the third Spider-Man movie is going to be a hard-hitting documentary by J. Jonah Jameson called Arachnid 411.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at July 8, 2004 at 07:10 PM

Is this where Peter Parker's links with the shady Ozcorp are detailed?

Parker lied, the Green Goblin died!

Posted by: Quentin George at July 8, 2004 at 08:28 PM

Michael Moore isn't God? Does this mean Spidey rules?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at July 9, 2004 at 12:22 AM

Those superhero brownshirts are always beating up muggers. I mean dissenters.

Posted by: Sortelli at July 9, 2004 at 12:35 AM

And Spidey's a digital brownshirt too, at least in the CGI parts of the movie. I'm expecting an Algore speech any minute now.

Posted by: PW at July 9, 2004 at 01:54 AM

It's not like Moore could get away with a skintight red and black number either...

Posted by: KE at July 9, 2004 at 02:06 AM

"It's not like Moore could get away with a skintight red and black number either..."
Thanks, KE, for that absolutely disgusting mental picture, I think I will go scour my brain now.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at July 9, 2004 at 02:11 AM

My mind works in cruel and vicious ways when battling sleep deprivation.

But mostly it just wants cheese toast.

Posted by: KE at July 9, 2004 at 02:15 AM

So fix some damn cheese toast, and leave the skin-crawling visualizations to Stephen King. I am still shuddering.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at July 9, 2004 at 03:17 AM

Actually the image of MM swinging into a building and splatting like a bug is pretty amusing. Just add a little mental pixilation over his corpulentness and it's not so bad.

Posted by: JakeD at July 9, 2004 at 03:18 PM