Rex Reed of the NY Observer

Reed is no flaming liberal. Here’s his thoughts on Fahrenheit 9/11.

Michael Moore leaves no turn unstoned. There are multitudes of shattering, seminal moments in his brilliant Bush-whacking documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, that reveal more about the cynicism, greed and ineptitude in the U.S. government than you will ever learn from any sound bite on the right-wing late-night cable-channel blabfests, but one will stay with me forever. Forget about the “official” reports from the White House about the activities of George W. Bush on the fateful morning of Sept. 11, insisting he learned about the Al Qaeda attacks while meeting with Florida pre-schoolers and quickly dashed from the room to save the country. The truth, it is now revealed, is that he was informed of the first attack on the World Trade Center before he even entered the schoolroom, and he decided to continue with his photo-op anyway. There he is on camera when Andrew Card informs him of the second plane and utters the fatal words, “We’re under attack!”—but he continues to read My Pet Goat for another seven minutes, his eyes sliding sideways in his puzzled face, like a moron looking for a bathroom, until his staff insists that he leave. (He stayed for another half hour.) If nothing else, that defining moment says volumes about what we can expect from the President of the U.S. in the center of a supreme, history-altering crisis: He’s just clueless.

And this man is the veritable king of the world. He can determine who is thrown into prison for as long as his minions see fit, with no hope of appeal, without even a lawyer. He can decide the fate of the earth with the touch of some buttons.

There are other moments that will impact some viewers and polarize others. So many, in fact, that you watch Fahrenheit 9/11 with disbelief, and leave shaking with rage. Sometimes sarcastic, always funny, Mr. Moore is armed with facts, and he presents them accurately and succinctly. The controversial filmmaker stated on the Today show that White House mouthpieces have denounced the film as “outrageously false” without seeing it, and right-wing Republicans have charged Mr. Moore with staging a “left-wing conspiracy” to influence the forthcoming election. Well, duh. For years, reactionary conservatives have been famous for staging right-wing conspiracies of their own to disgrace and discredit elected Democratic public officials. Maybe this is payback time. Whatever it is, everyone should see Fahrenheit 9/11 first—before debating the issues. The purpose of any documentary is to influence opinion. But instead of the customarily droning voice that comments on the action and tells you what to think, this one asks tough, logical questions, gets rational answers, and never loses its entertainment value.

This is a long and incredible review, and I urge you to read the entire thing. I never knew Rex Reed had it in him. I’m blown away.

Of course, having not been able to see the film yet, I can’t say whether it is great or terrible. But I sure think I have a good idea. I’ll confirm this on Friday, when I’ll be the first ticketbuyer on line for the first performance in Arizona.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Please tell us what you think. Not all of us are free to go to matinee movies during the workweek!

June 24, 2004 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

Bravo Rex Reed.

The closing line about the prez “brain washing himself” is priceless.

Sunday, 6/27/04 in guangzhou I will start looking for a DVD. It may be poor quality, but I want to seen what seems like will be a major blogstorm.

June 25, 2004 @ 4:36 am | Comment

Pete, be sure to let us know what you think. I’m surprised it’s not on sale in China already. I bought Kill Bill a week before it opened in America.

June 25, 2004 @ 11:03 am | Comment

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