Bowling for columbine
I’m here to talk about Michael Moore’s film ‘Bowling for Columbine’ and some of the techniques that are used in the film. Michael Moore uses persuasive film techniques to position the audience to accept his version of the truth. Some of the techniques used by Michael Moore to position the audience are editing, sequencing and music. He uses them by editing parts of the film to marginalize the NRA and gun owners. He sequences the film into a certain position to make the movie more effective and uses music to position the audience to feel a certain way. In Michael Moore’s documentary, Bowling for Columbine, Moore uses the rhetorical technique of juxtaposition. By carefully placing specific clips either next to each other, or after one another, Moore is able to bring a clear argument to the viewer. The first example is when we see the NRA rally held just after the Columbine shootings. Charlton Heston is giving his persuasive and motivating speech, yelling the words, “from my cold dead hands,” while holding a rifle of course. Then the film quickly cuts to a scene of a Columbine victim’s father speaking out about his son and why he is protesting the NRA rally that Charlton Heston is in fact leading. Soon after, we cut back to the rally once again, with Heston still gripping that rifle and aggressively yelling. This back-and-forth between the two opposing views allows the viewer to see both sides of the situation. We see this same juxtaposition between Charlton Heston’s second rally, in Flint, Michigan, and the principal of the elementary school where the little girl got shot. Similar situation, similar idea put into the minds of the audience. This brings us to the fairness and legitimacy of this technique. Is it necessarily fair to put an incredibly sad and grieving person up against Charlton Heston, a pompous gun-wielding celebrity? However, Moore’s strategic placement of the two clips – one with a person mourning a loss and...
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