Fahrenheit via the Internet, or otherwise

A hearty congratulations to Mr. Edwards for landing the job he's been gunning for all along... he's a natural choice for a folksy veepster and clearly has a great deal of support across the country, while perhaps more importantly, he looks just fantastic next to Cheney. I took this photograph, tilted like crazy, when he came to town before the caucuses. There's a whole Edwards photo gallery on the site, check it out.

Ok, ok, some substantial post is actually going to get on this site Wednesday. I have been off to evaluate where I stand in the world, what I ought to believe in (less than ever) and take these summer classes. I have a midterm exam on Thursday, AUUGH!!!! Yet I will deal with it. Much to note, but unpredictability increases as the situation complexifies.

On the Fourth, I peeked into the movie theater next door and took the following glorious pic. The theater was mostly full:

This weekend I decided to see if Fahrenheit 9/11 is downloadable from the Internet. I got it off BitTorrent in about 36 hours, and I did indeed leave my connection open for a while to 'give back' the file seed to the swarm. This essentially proves the film is available to anyone in the world with a sufficient Internet pipe, in Baghdad or otherwise....

Upon downloading (try this link via Suprnova.org if you want it) I found that there are three video files. On a Mac these all play very nicely using the great video program VLC. The main video file is suitable for burning onto a VCD that can play in most modern DVD players, using something like Roxio Toast.

The first video is a statement from Moore at a press conference describing his position on sharing the movie. He said that he was all right with it as long as no one was making profit off his labor. The second video is a short sample showing the recording's quality, a standard feature of these pirated Internet movies. There was also a text file with all the usual movie piracy ring jibba jabba ("POT" is their handle), and of course the film itself, at about 650 MB.

It was somewhat different than the theatrical release, but at least 90% of the final images are intact. (Maybe a little less: the film's edges are rather cropped but the top subtitles are generally visible, and during the wrenching scene with the bereaved Iraqi mother calling God's wrath down on the houses of America, the camera tilts down for the captions)

The section about Ashcroft and the Patriot Act, including his reading of it from the ice cream truck, was gone. The controversially 'slanted' montage of Iraqi children flying kites and other happy stuff isn't there. Instead it cuts roughly from the mechanic dude who says that ya can't trust your friends, right to the exploding government buildings in Baghdad. I was most disappointed that much of the excellent music was gone ("Roof on Fire"), or at a very low level ("Shiny Happy People"). Sadly it's missing such bits as the tense post-airport shutdown music and, in particular, the haunting back-and-forth piano line in the Florida classroom. Instead the sound levels of those clips are higher, which makes some of the Iraq scenes even more jarring. The film's credits are entirely missing after the dedication screen.

If you want the proper, immersive cinematic experience, frequent a real theater like my neighbor the St. Paul Grandview. If you resent giving Mr Moore money, have no theater within 40 miles, want to back up claims for or against the movie, or are planning to write the next great grad student paper on it, live under some repressive or un-Hollywoodified regime overseas, you should probably download this to check out what's going on. You basically have Moore's explicit permission. However, it is not authoritative and not nearly as funny without much of its music.

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