A Ride You'll Never Forget
The Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' criteria for "Best Documentary Film" includes in their definition for a documentary that it should be a non-fiction film that creatively addresses cultural, historical, social, etc. subjects. Bowling for Columbine won the Academy Award for best documentary film and has stirred up quite a bit of debate amongst its viewers. Thousands hail Moore for his ingenious creativity and are ready to take a stand to change America after seeing it. Bowling for Columbine is a great documentary because Moore creatively puts what seem to be unrelated shots and scenes together to create viewer's minds to open up and think about things in ways they may have never thought about before.
In order to create such a thought provoking experience Moore puts footage of different shots together in order to get the viewers mind wondering on different pathways of possible reasons for America's violence issue. For instance, the footage of the crashing of the twin towers and the Kosovo bombings were played right after one another. Nobody would have thought about those two situations having a connection before viewing Bowling. Moore really gets deep into his viewer's hearts and almost physically opens their eyes to see possible relationships between the unimaginable. A good aspect to any film is the power to motivate and to take people on a ride they'll never forget. The montages of different occurrences throughout Moore's film expand your mind and take you on a life time experience.
Many will say that the film has no point and has many bizarre connections brought up throughout the film. In reality Moore does have a point and certainly does not make any crazy connections. Rex Reed states "as the irrelevant facts multiply, the focus jumps all over the map and the point of the movie blurs". In Bowling for Columbine there are several montages put together which contain many different happenings throughout America's history that may seem unrelated. Reed has obviously been blinded by all these "unconnected facts" as he spends most of his time hunting for one specific point when the film really addresses several points such as fear, violent video games, TV shows, poverty, etc. to links for America's violence. Throughout the film Moore approaches several different forks in the road through his unique displays of clips. By doing that Moore suggests certain relationships between possibilities for America's violent streak. Never in the film does Moore pound his opinion upon the viewers. He considerately lays out different possibilities before his audience and lets them choose whether to acknowledge it or not. Anybody should be able to realize that and should be able to see that the point of Bowling is not to force conclusions into our heads but to take us along with Moore on his search for the ambiguous answer to America's violent streak. The so called "irrelevant" facts that Reed speaks of are added into the film to make possible relationships between things that nobody would have ever thought about. A good example would be when he puts the shots of the polluted smog filled Hollywood hills, clips of the T.V. show Cops, and clips of random news stations all in a row. Moore interviews Dick Hurley, the producer of the show Cops, and suggests to him a less violent approach for the show. Dick Hurley proudly announces that the content of their show draws in the ratings and that it catches people's attention when they see the scandalous scenarios. In another incident Moore happens to be walking down a street in the inner city of Hollywood when a news crew pulls up. He tries to talk to part of the news crew while they are hustling down the street to catch a clip of a man with a gun. He tells the news crew that they should film the pollution in the Hollywood Hills, but the crew doesn't say anything back to him and walks away. By making these confrontations with the different media sources...
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