13 March 2008

The Spirit of the Times

It’s telling that Dylan Avery started writing his popular 9/11 conspiracy film, Loose Change, as a novel, but instead turned it into a documentary. The film, besides having relatively clean graphics and video editing, stands out among other web-based conspiracy movies because of the strength of its narrative. It resembles mainstream political documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11, and it strings together apparently legitimate sources into a compelling story that seamlessly explains the US government involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Despite the vast amount of criticism debunking the theory, the DVD has sold fifty thousand copies, and the film has been viewed online over ten million times, even eliciting a response from the U.S. State Department. However, there has been little critical attention paid to the filmmaking itself.

Loose Change has spawned an abundance of YouTube videos that support, deny, or provide alternatives to its arguments about 9/11. The most recent film to gain similar web popularity, though almost no attention from the mainstream media, is Zeitgeist, a three-part attack on what it claims as the pillars of the American establishment: Christianity, the 9/11 conspiracy, and the Federal Reserve bank. Despite the lofty ambitions of the two-hour film, it appears to be successful, as its creators claim, somewhat dubiously, 2.1 million views per month on Zeitgeist’s website. I first heard of the film from a friend and Google employee, who last year lost one hundred dollars in a bet that the film would change his thinking.

:: more ::

No comments: