Michael Moore and the Rhetoric of Documentary

Now not afraid to take on provocative issues in American tradition, from gun violence and exertions regulations to terrorism and well-being care, Michael Moore has earned either applause and invective in his occupation as a documentarian. In such polarizing motion pictures as Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit Sept. 11, and Sicko, Moore has proven a special voice of radical nostalgia for progressivism, and in doing so has turn into essentially the most famous documentary filmmakers of all time.

In the 1st in-depth examine of Moore’s feature-length documentary motion pictures, editors Thomas W. Benson and Brian J. Snee have amassed top rhetoric students to check the creation, rhetorical appeals, and viewers reception of those motion pictures. individuals critique the movies basically as modes of public argument and political paintings. every one essay is dedicated to at least one of Moore’s motion pictures and lines intimately how each one movie invitations particular viewers responses.

Michael Moore and the Rhetoric of Documentary finds not just the paintings, the argument, and the emotional appeals of Moore’s documentaries but additionally how those motion pictures have revolutionized the style of documentary filmmaking.

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Now not afraid to take on provocative issues in American tradition, from gun violence and exertions regulations to terrorism and well-being care, Michael Moore has earned either applause and invective in his occupation as a documentarian. In such polarizing motion pictures as Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit Sept. 11, and Sicko, Moore has proven a special voice of radical nostalgia for progressivism, and in doing so has turn into essentially the most famous documentary filmmakers of all time.

In the 1st in-depth examine of Moore’s feature-length documentary motion pictures, editors Thomas W. Benson and Brian J. Snee have amassed top rhetoric students to check the creation, rhetorical appeals, and viewers reception of those motion pictures. individuals critique the movies basically as modes of public argument and political paintings. every one essay is dedicated to at least one of Moore’s motion pictures and lines intimately how each one movie invitations particular viewers responses.

Michael Moore and the Rhetoric of Documentary finds not just the paintings, the argument, and the emotional appeals of Moore’s documentaries but additionally how those motion pictures have revolutionized the style of documentary filmmaking.

Show description

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27. Bill Nichols, “What Current Documentaries Do and Can’t Do,” Velvet Light Trap 60 (2007): 86. 24 Thomas W. Benson and Brian J. Snee 28. Ernest Callenbach, “Sicko: Ernest Callenbach Applauds a Witty Documentary Broadside,” review of Sicko, Film Quarterly 61, no. 2 (Winter 2007): 20. 29. Theodore Hamm, The New Blue Media (New York: New Press, 2008), xiii. 30. Matthew H. , Michael Moore: Filmmaker, Newsmaker, Cultural Icon (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010). 31. In the bibliography, we cite a generous sample of the film and media scholarship of the book’s authors for readers who wish to pursue these modes of inquiry further.

21 Bernstein asserts that Roger & Me functions largely in the expository mode, and he notes, “Moore has a general thesis about why General Motors closed its manufacturing plants in and around Flint, Michigan, and he has a clear Laughing through Our Tears 33 argument about its effects on the town. ”22 In this regard, Roger & Me may best be analyzed as an interpretation of truth and history rather than an objective and balanced presentation of reality. Film scholar Miles Orvell also strives to understand the film’s departures from conventional documentary form, asserting, “We expect ‘truth’ from documentary: we don’t expect it in quite the same way from satire.

Benson and Carolyn Anderson, Reality Fictions: The Films of Frederick Wiseman, 2nd ed.  J. O’Connell, Robert Drew and the Development of Cinema Verite in America (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992); Jonathan B. Vogels, The Direct Cinema of David and Albert Maysles (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005). 20. v=M7Is43K6lrg. 21. For descriptions of the event, see Robert Brent Toplin, Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”: How One Film Divided a Nation (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006), 1–2; Roger Rapoport, Citizen Moore: The Life and Times of an American Iconoclast (Berkeley, CA: RDR Books, 2007), 1–7.

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