June 22, 2004

"Fahrenheit 911" and theaters.

I see the Michael Moore film is opening in Madison on Friday, playing in the very theaters where a significant documentary would normally play, yet the local paper still found someone willing to assert that the film is being suppressed because it's not playing in the biggest, nicest theaters in town:
"This is not a small art film. This is not an indie film," [the local citizen] said. "It's a major film by a major production company that's got a full-page ad in the New York Times and big feature stories in almost every major newspaper in the U.S."

"Anything less than a big screening is an attempt to minimize it," she said. "Censorship of this kind really has no place in American society."

Oh, please. The theater in question is where "The English Patient" played and where similar high-tone films have been placed regularly for years. [ADDED: It's where "Pulp Fiction" played.] "Super Size Me" is playing there now. I like the more modern, stadium-seating theater better too, but it's hardly censorship when a private business decides to fill that theater up with action films and family fare. But if you go for theories like that, you'll probably enjoy the Moore film.

Christopher Hitchens is recommending that people who don't like Moore, rather than idiotically trying to get theaters not to show the film, go in large numbers and make noise:
By all means go and see this terrible film, and take your friends, and if the fools in the audience strike up one cry, in favor of surrender or defeat, feel free to join in the conversation.

By the way, for what it's worth, my son John saw the Moore film in the same audience as Hitchens and notes that Hitchens sat alone in the middle of the front row and left very quickly afterwards. In case you're looking for insight into the ways of Hitchens. I see Lileks has some ideas on the subject.

No comments: