Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fuck (2006)

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion." This quote, spoken by a random man-on-the-street type, comes midway through Steve Anderson's rambunctious free-speech document and expresses a common sentiment; what a shame, then, that Anderson's film seems to negate that sentiment. Even if you agree with Anderson's point, as I do, it's still possible to be embarrassed by his deck-stacking. I mean, really -- arguing the side for discretion in language usage are such straw men as Michael Medved and Pat Boone. Anderson knows that nobody generally cares about the opinions of fuddy-duddies like Medved and Boone, which I guess is the point; what he fails to do is explain to me why I should ignore, say, the conviction and reasoning of someone like Boone or Alan Keyes (both of whom, all things considered, actually come off pretty well) while giving weight and credence to the pro-F-word cheerleading of Ron Jeremy or Tera Patrick. How do the opinions of a couple of porn stars add anything to Anderson's thesis? Futhermore, Anderson also undermines his cause with cutesy Michael-Moore-style titles and animations -- the reason these intrusions work in Moore's films is because they help to leaven the heavy, depressing issues with which he deals -- and a free-range approach to collation that looks more like a desperate lack of focus the longer the film runs. (I mean, seriously -- what was the point of the Swedes who fuck for the rain forest onstage?) If there's anyone who should be sympathetic towards this film's pro-"fuck" stance, it's me, a guy who uses the word like punctuation; that I'm not says something about Anderson's total failure as both a polemicist and a documentarian.

Grade: C+


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