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The only two documentaries I can recall seeing prior to the Errol Morris films we saw in class were “Fahrenheit 911,” and “Super Size Me.” Errol Morris kind of opened my eyes to the complexities involved in producing such a film. While I found both “Fahrenheit 911,” and “Super Size Me” to be very interesting, and entertaining, I can also understand now that while they are all classified as documentaries, there are monumental differences in the way all of these film makers choose to go about expressing their message, and point of views. Both Michael Moore, and Morgan Spurlock seem to center their films in many ways around themselves. In Spurlock’s case, in attempting to prove that Fast food (McDonalds in particular) was unhealthy, he involved himself in an experiment for a month I believe, where all he ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was McDonalds. While there were interviews with other people, several of whom believed they were overweight, and unhealthy due to the affects of fast food; the film was based primarily on the film maker Spurlock; and the changes that he underwent as he filled his body with unprecedented amounts of trans fats. The pictures of themselves on the front cover of their films are very telling. On the other hand, the cover of Morris’ “The Thin Blue Line” features a photo of Randall Adams. In fact, Morris is no where to be found in any of his films. He is, in many ways an objective observer along with the rest of his audience. By the end of “The Thin Blue Line” we are all for the most part convinced of Randall Adam’s innocence; however, unlike Moore, and Spurlock, Morris was not blatant in revealing his bias. He focused on the people in the case, and let them piece together the puzzle of what actually occurred. In this way, Morris did not have to come right out and tell the audience, “Randall Adams DID NOT commit this crime!” But by simply divulging the facts, as well as false aspects of the case in an objective way, the audience could come to their own conclusion about what really happened. I think that the methods used by all three film makers are certainly very affective…just look at some of the results. Through Errol Morris’ film, Randall Adams was able to walk free after 12 years in prison; and “Super Size Me” made such an impact, that McDonalds decided to rid the world of the extra large, extra unhealthy aspect of being able to super size value meals…that’s pretty impressive.

July 23rd, 2007 at 9:06 am