After grabbing some Pagliacci for dinner, I watched Bowling For Columbine. I expected to hate it, even though everyone in the world seemed to think it was the best thing ever. Mostly though, I thought that Michael Moore hit on a few interesting ideas that got lost in his scattered approach to documentary. I need to think about whether that was his intent, or a failure. It seems like he undermines some of his strongest theses with stunts and tangents. For instance, if widespread gun ownership isn't the problem (he repeatedly cites Canada as an example), why does he spend so much time being angry about easy access to guns in the U.S.? I can't tell if he's brave to make a film that admits that it doesn't know the answer, or if he's just incredibly self-indulgent. Or both.
While watching, I kept thinking about Elephant and how Gus Van Sant made a beautiful film that just let the audience float through the day to experience it without outright explanations or judgment. The two films make interesting companion pieces. One almost overwhelms with a desperate but unsuccessful search for answers while the other springs from the premise that the questions are futile.
This is all kind of a mess & I should edit it.
I wrote a bunch of emails in a notebook yesterday, but I still haven't gotten around to typing them into the computer to send.