The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

An interesting point about Mike, Mel and preaching to the choir

From Andrew Sulivan:
It occurred to me as I witnessed the unanimity in the audience watching "Fahrenheit 9/11" that I had been in a similar situation before. Yes - this was exactly what it felt like at an early showing of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." Both movies were designed for people who already held - as theological certitude - the basic line of the work. Both used the most egregious devices of propaganda to reinforce this point. Gibson used extreme and constant violence - as if to say that recoiling from that horror was proof that his vision of Christianity was correct. The loving camera shots of pure pornographic pain and gore were devices to end thought, short-cut any audience autonomy, and reinforce orthodoxy. And that was Moore's device as well. The long views of the faces of various villains; the camera edits to create menace; the emotional manipulation of a bereaved mother; the swelling, ominous orchestral swoops. All we didn't have was a Pieta scene. One was designed for the unthinking hordes of the far right; the other for the unthinking hordes of the far left. Both were deeply depressing indicators of how far our culture has curdled into unthought and emotional extremism. Neither sought to convert or explain or persuade. Both were designed to bludgeon the viewer into ideological conformity. And if you resist? You are a heretic or a dupe. Whatever happened to "intelligent viewer"?


  • Another interesting look at tehse two movies is here:

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 3:12 PM  

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