Posted on Sunday, March 7th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
Earlier today, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore sent an e-mail out to his mailing list (a list I belong to) listing his top 20 films of 2009. In the e-mail, Moore hails the best movie he saw in 2009, a film which wasn’t nominated, and wasn’t even shown in the United States — a film titled Troubled Water. Moore writes:
“I’m confident that, if you had had a chance to see it, you would likely agree with me that this is a brilliant film, a rare gem. …. When the film was over, I sat there amazed and wondering, “Why can’t I see movies like this all the time?” What is wrong with filmmaking, with Hollywood? Why are most films just the same old tired assembly line stuff — sequels, remakes, old TV shows turned into movies, predictable plots and storylines… “If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie.” But “Troubled Water” was not like that — and therefore its distribution to the theaters of America was, in essence, doomed.”
Moore went on to criticize those who praise the Best Picture/Director winner The Hurt Locker for being unbiased or taking no political sides:
…like that’s an admirable thing! I wonder if there were critics during the Civil War that hailed plays or books for being “balanced” about slavery, or if there were those who praised films during World War II for “not taking sides?” I keep reading that the reason Iraq War films haven’t done well at the box office is because they’ve been partisan (meaning anti-war). The truth is “The Hurt Locker” is very political. It says the war is stupid and senseless and insane. It makes us consider why we have an army where people actually volunteer to do this. That’s why the right wing has attacked the movie. They’re not stupid — they know what Kathryn Bigelow is up to. No one leaves this movie thinking, “Whoopee! Let’s keep these wars going another 7 years!”
You can read Moore’s full e-mail, which includes a defense of James Cameron’s Avatar and his personal list of the top 20 films of 2009, after the jump.