ReelPolitik

In Honor of Hurricane Sandy, What Are Your Favorite Climate Change Docs?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 31, 2012 10:37 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Michael Moore and Errol Morris Unveil New Short Political Docs

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 31, 2012 10:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
On the eve of the Presidential Election, prominent doc filmmakers Errol Morris and Michael Moore have unveiled new short political docs that are pretty hilarious. Over at the New York Times' Op-Docs page, Morris explores, counterintuitively, the reaons why young Americans might not vote in a piece called "11 Excellent Reasons Not To Vote?" Employing Morris's familiar Interrotron device, the director interviewed more than 50 people between 18 and 40, almost all of whom are planning to go to the polls on Nov. 6. The video snippets are funny and illuminating and speak directly to Morris' statement: "Either you believe that the system is both changeable and worth changing, or you don’t — and most new voters are not convinced."

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 14, 2012 9:51 PM
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  • 62 Comments
Aside from a pro-Jimmy Carter coda and a few asides that show America's support of the repressive Iranian monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Ben Affleck's "Argo" is essentially and overwhelmingly right-wing, pro-American propaganda, demonizing Iran as backward, barbaric, and fanatical--which is particularly problematic considering the United States' rising tensions with Iran. Sure, Affleck is depicting a moment of national crisis in Iran, when the country was gripped with an extremist Islamic fervor, but I suspect Iranian historians would have told Affleck's production team that not every single Iranian was a screaming, violent, fundamentalist--as they seem to be depicted in just about every scene of the film. We get angry Iranian mobs on the streets, in bazaars. in the airports. Is this really any better than that Chuck Norris' Iranian hostage exploitation film "Delta Force" from the 1980s?

Oscar Street Fight: Michael Moore's War on Indie Docs

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 9, 2012 12:45 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Last week, news came out that new rule changes in the Academy Awards' Documentary category had created some unintended consequences: a huge deluge of eligible films, far more than members of the documentary branch would be likely to see. Michael Moore, the acclaimed docu-director, who was instrumental in rewriting some of the rules for the category subsequetly took to Twitter on Wednesday, criticizing the over-abundance of docs. "Over 130 'documentaries' have 'qualified' 4 this yr's Oscars. But as u all know, 130 docs were not released in theaters this yr. So now what?" he wrote. "Once again, scores of 'documentaries' which didn't get a REAL theatrical run have 'bought' their eligibility to qualify for the Oscars."

Is Redo of Reagan-era "Red Dawn" Still Effective Rightwing Propaganda?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • October 5, 2012 10:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The reviews of the "Red Dawn" remake are in--and like many young 'uns who came of age in the 1980s when the original "Red Dawn" was released, I've been awfully curious about how contemporary political realities might effect the reboot of the rightwing Reagan-era classic. Would supposed "Liberal" Hollywood defang its propagandastic anti-Communist ways? Or would extreme conservatives, constantly lamenting the lack of movies that share their point of view, have another film to champion in the wake of "2016: Obama's America." Turns out, it's the latter. And just as with so many rightwing movies, it's also poorly conceived and poorly made, which doesn't seem to make a difference to its target demographic.

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