Encountereds. I came, I saw, I commented.

Friday, March 03, 2006

John Junkerman - Power and Terror (4)

Chomsky doesn't deserve the movies made about him. Manufacturing Consent was an adequate representation in both content and style of the man who often appears to be the only sane person in a large room full of fanatics, but Distorted Morality and Power and Terror, both done by Jon Junkerman, are little more than badly edited recordings of public lectures, with no thread or narrative at all. What quality there is, is in Chomsky's arguments, with the few ideas of moviemaking that went into it actually detracting from that. Junkerman opens chapters with a blank screen and a sentence or phrase taken from the lecture or interview segment that is to follow. The the original segment follows without a noticeable gap, making for a logical jump between the two things we hear Chomsky say, and the confusion is intensified when seconds later he repeats word for word what we just heard him say. It's meant to structure the movie, but it's entirely superficial and doesn't work anyway. In the final scene, we see Chomsky on a stage far away, asking us whether we can hear him, clumsily alluding to the fact that he's not very widely listened to and a lone caller in the darkness. It's too bad that bad movies like this one contribute to that.


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