Editing is a crucial aspect that determines the effect of the movie. It pieces shots together creating a sense of continuity by altering space and time within the movie, even though it is distinctively different from reality. It allows us to follow the story with little time and does not create an awkward continuum, as it now flows smoothly instead of the addition of unnecessary clips that are not essential to the plot. There are different types of editing, mainly realist and formalist. The motion picture of Julie Taymor’s Frida and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 use different techniques from each as Taymor is known to be a formalist director while Moore is a realist.
A documentary film directed by Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11, which criticizes the way George H. W. Bush handled the event of September 11, 2009. Throughout the movie, Moore uses a fair amount of montage “that elicit a strong emotional reaction on the part of the viewer” and “used as transitional or climactic sequences” (Yahnke, A Primer of Documentary Film Techniques). He uses the reactions of the people for us to see the grim day of 9/11. We see a series of close up shots depicting detailed expressions on their faces showing intense emotion towards the destroyed Twin Towers. He also uses the technique to show George H. W. Bush’s lengthy vacations in a small amount of time portraying that he was not resolving the case and not doing anything to protect America.
He juxtaposes “iconic symbols and video montages of former President Bush against grisly war scenes and emotional personal interviews”, to “develop a number of second order meanings… to relate to his message,” (Pacheco, Analysis of 9/11) using uninflected cuts. The shifting of a visual to another, different visual, enables the audience to draw their conclusion by the pieces of information given (Yahnke, A Primer of Documentary Film Techniques), which can also be known as Moore’s conclusion, hence the visuals he chose. By cutting in a different shot, to another shot we are left to make our own conclusion from the information but since Moore narrates we are left to believe on information’s he gives the viewer.
Moore uses a long clip of the former President George Washington Bush, reading My Pet Goat for nearly seven minutes of the film. “These seven minutes are intercut with Moore's account of how prior to 9/11 the Bush administration ignored warnings of an imminent terrorist attack and cut funding to fight terrorism.” (Weber 120) This creates a sense of flashback for both the viewers and the former President, leaving us to draw conclusions as to why he stayed dormant at the school.
Fahrenheit 9/11 uses a lot of cuts from medium to close up shots which gives the audience the impression that the camera is their eyes through looking at the big picture to suddenly going into details. It did not have rapid cuts, as the film is a documentary, but it did have a lot of intercuts between clips. Most of the cuts were the...