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Bowling for Confusion

I watched Bowling for Columbine last night. I really have no idea what Michael Moore's point was: it seems to have been the most directionless documentary ever produced. I started off thinking "guns are bad" yet he goes to Canada, shows that they have a ton of guns and don't kill each other like we do, and loses that point. Then he starts to talk about racism, but never really finishes it.

Heck, the only point that was impressed upon me is that the NRA needs to get some competent PR minds working for them, and that Charlton Heston, as good an actor as he may be, is a horrible spokesperson who can't answer a simple question with a real answer. Moore asks the question "why don't other countries kill like we do" and never puts forth any sort of opinion on his own and never supports anyone else's theories: he just makes fun of a few and moves on.

"Bowling for Boredom" was the runner-up title to this entry. Zzzzzzzzzzz. The movie sucked.

16 Responses to "Bowling for Confusion"

  1. I bet you are republican?

    I think it must have been the best documentary I,ve ever watched, and it also won an Oscar.

  2. I'm not really a Republican or a Democrat. The movie lacked a point.

  3. I for one loved the movie. I'm interested in his next, more controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11. In Bowling, he does switch around, but I found the overall message being how guns are harmful and no one needs an M16 or AK-47 in their home. His point on Canada is that other developed nations don't have the same problem with guns as we do; there is something wrong with America, and I thank Mr. Moore for pointing this out.

  4. When I first watched it, I thought it brought up some interesting points. However I felt like you Erik, what was the point? He raised controversy, but didn't really have a point other than that. Its been awhile so forgive any errors in recollection, but at one point it seems like he is trying to say gun control is the solution, and then he later shows that Canada has way more guns per capita and there violence is much less. An interesting documentary coming out is Michael Moore Hates America The person exposes Moore's editing, and it's point is to get Moore to return his oscar since his film is not really a documentary.

  5. I live in Colorado near Littleton, and know several people who attended CHS at the time it was shot up, so I took an interest in this documentary and saw it back when it was showing in the theaters.

    I remember it being disappointing. It asked why there is so much gun violence in America... then showed examples of gun violence in America... then ended without an answer or even a proposed answer. The statistics in it were terribly presented. Hehe, but I don't think I'll join the NRA now that I've seen it... not that I was planning on it or anything.

    I did like two parts. I thought the interview at the Lockheed plant in Littleton was a clever way to highlight the hypocrisy of many people: they are appalled when a shooting happens in their neighboorhood, but don't see anything wrong with the production of rockets used to blow people up.

    And the little cartoon about white folk and guns made me laugh 🙂

  6. I actually ended up seeing it twice (once with Tami for school reasons), which gave me some additional perspective. I'm not sure there's supposed to be one single point, but the central theme is figuring out what aspects of the culture gave the students the idea to do what they did. Everything else seems to sort of feed off of that.

    A big part of the movie was highlighting the effect that the media has on the consciousness of the nation. News broadcasts can practically guarantee viewership (and therefore revenue) by using scare tactics and by convincing us we're in mortal danger. The Canada segment was used as contrast to this.

  7. While there may not have been one definite point within the film, there were plenty of smaller ones. The interview with Marylin Manson concerning Columbine comes to mind. And some of the points are implied. For instance, the parts in which Moore points out the massive problem with gun-related violence in this country, followed by the near-complete lack of such incidents in Canada, hints at problems inherent in parts of America other than its arms legislation and laws.

  8. I saw the point as pretty simple... the US has been brought up in a state of fear, enhanced by the media at every turn, and in the last couple of years, the gov't. This leads to people wanting guns to feel safe, and these guns (in the hands of people who think that everyone (at least those that aren't white) are out to get them) end up with people killing each other.

    While I agree that it didn't follow standard documentary practices, I thought the point was pretty clear. Of course, if someone with their mind already made up about the issue watches it, the point is generally lost. Try viewing it again in a few weeks or a month and see if it's gelled enough 🙂

  9. It is true that the question most brought up in the film is "Why does America have so many guns deaths compares to other developed nations that have far, far less?"

    I liked that fact that there was no answer, nor did he postulate one. That's the point. He wants his audience to talk about it.

    Although, the former president of the NRA, Mr. Charlton Heston, did suggest in the doc that the reason for so much gun violence in this country is "the mixing of the races."

  10. Bowling for Columbine is not a documentary. A documentary is a non-fictional movie. For example, he goes to the bank and gets handed a gun like it is nothing, unfortunately for Mr. Moore that was a staged act. You can read more at the following website, it might open your eyes a bit.

  11. I enjoyed the movie and appreciated the fact that all problems weren't solved in a feature-length "documentary." I don't appreciate Moore's style (ie ambushing people, recording awkward moments when suddenly confronting someone, probably some very one-sided editing), which is probably why his targets often won't talk to him.

  12. I am not american but I'm not anti-american or anything like that. I have lived in the US before and I hope to live in NYC one day.

    Still, Michael Moore does have a point in his movie, and his point is americans should be more self-critic and look at other countries more often.

    Sometimes even a peek at Canada can make you see that there is something wrong with a culture that produces so many people who freak out and kill everyone around them, including themselves, for no reason!

    I mean, those men who tie bombs to themselves in the middle-east at least have a reason for doing it (not that I condone that sort of stuff).

    Yes, the american lifestyle is cool, but it needs some serious changes if you guys want to stop being so hated by those who don't even really know you.

  13. d0l3:

    Excellent attempt at damage control.

    You might enjoy visiting the following website, it might open your eyes a bit.

    "When you see me going in to the bank and walking out with my new gun in 'Bowling for Columbine' � that is exactly as it happened. Nothing was done out of the ordinary other than to phone ahead and ask permission to let me bring a camera in to film me opening up my account."

  14. He's an entertainer, not a documentarian. The people drooling over Moore are probably the ones fulminating over Penn & Teller's Bullshit!.

  15. I agree. Especially considering his other documentaries, this one never really seemed to find a pace. I think for one it was really poorly edited and too ambitious. He was all over the place. I like Arcterex got the message that America is living in and perpetuating a culture of fear, and that fear leads to violence. But that point was not clearly made by any means.

    Moore's narration is typically what leads you from one scene to the next and connects the dots so to speak. He didn't seem to do that this time. While he was offering ruminations and opinions, he wasn't moving us from one place to the next, and one thought to the next.

    It could have been a really good film, but only turned out to be kind of interesting.

  16. I went with Arion last night to see Fahrenheit 9/11. I've previously seen only Bowling for Columbine and read some background information on both BfC and F911. One thing is now clear: Michael Moore does not produce documentaries. He produces...