December 09, 2004


Want a good review from influential Australian movie elder David Stratton? Andrew Bolt tells you how:

Only last July, he hailed Michael Moore's rancid Fahrenheit 9/11 as a "remarkable political documentary" that "marshalls the facts . . . so lucidly".

In fact, Fahrenheit 9/11 marshalls little but lies and slurs against US President George W. Bush, vilifying him as a lazy, lying, corrupt, callous, brainless, murderous and racist bigot, yet Stratton gave it four stars, despite admitting it was "a bit unfair" and with no "pretence at all that this is an objective piece of work".

So it seems unfairness and bile only upsets Stratton when it's aimed at the Left. And often in his work we see this same conceit.

Stratton complained that The Recruit, with Al Pacino, showed "CIA people risk their lives for low pay and no public recognition because they know they're right", which "sounds like the George W. Bush line that 'you're with us or you're against us' and (is) all very off-putting".

He praised The Manchurian Candidate remake for showing America's "enemy is much closer to home" -- not an agent of a communist power this time, but a US multinational just like the one US Vice-President Dick Cheney once ran, the villain.

He cheered the remake of The Quiet American, saying while "it isn't exactly about US government terrorists, it is about American interference in the affairs of sovereign countries, interference that will lead to a terrible war", and this is one of "the important issues that confront the world".

He endorsed Rabbit-Proof Fence as an "amazing, true story" (which it isn't) of the "stolen generation" (which wasn't), nicely portraying a real-life "pasty-faced, stitched-up bureaucrat" who is a "smug racist" (which that man's son angrily calls a lie).

"Pasty-faced, stitched-up bureaucrat." Hmmm. Taxpayer-funded, chalk-featured David may be projecting a little.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 9, 2004 12:02 AM

Wow, Tim! You have a pet attack wallaby! Cool!!

Posted by: jlchydro at December 9, 2004 at 12:22 AM

Wow, Tim! You have a pet attack wallaby! Cool!!

Posted by: jlchydro at December 9, 2004 at 12:24 AM

More idiocy from yet another elderly man with white hair, a goatee, and wire-rimmed glasses. These people are more conformist than any military, not only in looks but in mind-set.

Posted by: Rebecca at December 9, 2004 at 01:49 AM

Rabbit Proof Fence was a great film. It left me in tears.

Posted by: Jonny at December 9, 2004 at 01:55 AM

"Finding Nemo" can also have that affect Jonny and they both have as much to do with Australia, bugger all.

Posted by: Gordon at December 9, 2004 at 02:30 AM

So Gordon, you're saying that a film about an indeginous Australian has nothing to do with Australia?

Posted by: Jonny at December 9, 2004 at 02:44 AM

"Great" films may have a powerful emotional impact but don't necessarily concord wth historical fact. Films like the Oliver Stone's Nixon & Kennedy films, Mel Gibson's "Braveheart", even "Gallipoli" were "great" films with historical inaccuracies.

Moore's 9/11 film was a fabrication that did not even pretend to be a "fictition". That this film won awards as a documentary in Hollywood and Cannes beggars belief. Stratton's apology for this "work" similarly is beyond belief.

Posted by: Observer at December 9, 2004 at 02:57 AM

I didn't know Nemo was an indigenous Australian.

Posted by: R C Dean at December 9, 2004 at 03:22 AM

RC Dean - sure he was, he was from "Down Under" the water. (heheheheh)

Mr. Stratton is by no means unusual. My local paper in Crappy New Jersey™ called F.9-11 a flawed but important film - in other words, if you don't like the administration's policy, you need to lie about it to draw attention to yourself. Nobody's ever heard of the boy who cried wolf, apparently.

Posted by: Nightfly at December 9, 2004 at 05:07 AM


Point is that Finding Nemo and Rabbit Proof Fence are both completely fictional, and have nothing to do with "real" Australia.

Problem is that the latter is touted as a documentary. See "Fahrenheit 9-11" for similar fictional films masquerading as documentaries.

Posted by: Andrew at December 9, 2004 at 08:02 AM

Andrew, I missed the point. Never thought of "Rabbit Proof Fence" as a documentary. But I still think it has alot to do with Australia.

Posted by: Jonny at December 9, 2004 at 08:47 AM


My fault - probably not making myself clear. My point was that Gordon was saying that neither film had anything to do with what really happened/happens in Australia.

Mind you, why am I getting involved in other people's arguments ....

Less interference, more work should probably be the order of the day.

Posted by: Andrew at December 9, 2004 at 09:56 AM

[Entire post deleted for copyright violation. The Management.]

Posted by: Walter Plinge at December 9, 2004 at 12:22 PM

Walter, as you can see I deleted your entire post. That is because you 1) posted someone else's words without sufficiently indicating that they were not your own, i.e., by using quotation marks or the html "blockquote" tag, so that I had no way of clearly telling where your words ended and the quoted authors began, 2) posted someone else's words without citing where you got them and (if available) providing the url from the website you lifted it from, and finally, 3) you posted someone else's entire article from what I presume is either a commercial dead-tree publication or a commercial website, which is a copyright violation and can get Tim and I in trouble. I have banned people for this. Do not make me ban you, because the alternative is shutting down comments on this blog if it comes down to doing so or possibly getting sued by some "rightie" hating newspaper publisher.

In the future, if you want to quote someone, CITE YOUR SOURCES, and only quote BRIEF PASSAGES. IF you think it's so important for us to read the whole thing, give us the location of the original article so we can READ IT OURSELVES.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 9, 2004 at 01:09 PM

Did anyone see Mr. Stratton's near apolexy when reviewing "Team America: World Police". The earring lady loved it, and his jaw nearly hit the floor. He considered the attacks on Holywood liberals unfair;

"And to be honest, I think people like Sean Penn and Tim Robbins have been very principled in what they've said about the Iraqi War and I think that to deliberately destroy them the way this film does is really playing into the hands of George W. Bush. I think George W. Bush would love this film if it were not for some of the bad language."

Read the rest at:

Margaret's rating: 4 stars
David's rating: 1 star

I actually like his reviews but the hypocrisy in this one (hypocrisy being the only way to reconcile anti-americanism with any rational thought) is staggering.

Posted by: Dean McAskil at December 9, 2004 at 04:52 PM

My bad!

Should have read link before posting

Posted by: Dean McAskil at December 9, 2004 at 07:57 PM

Stratton's only irritated because he only won second prize in this year's Obi Wan Kenobi look--alike contest.

Posted by: Blake at December 9, 2004 at 08:30 PM