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The Reeler Blog

Guggenheim Sticks to the Truth

My intrepid Reeler associate John Lichman had an interesting encounter yesterday with reigning Best Documentary Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim, about which he wrote in with the following:

IT'S BEEN A BUSY YEAR for director Davis Guggenheim, watching his Al Gore/global-warming treatise An Inconvenient Truth become the third highest grossing documentary behind Fahrenheit 9/11 and March of the Penguins, bringing home the Oscar for Best Documentary and winding down post-production on his upcoming narrative feature Gracie (shot in New Jersey his wife, Elisabeth Shue). He and Gore are also still fending off attacks from critics like those quoted last week in a New York Times piece citing a “three-alarm film on global warming” and scientists referring to Gore’s facts as “exaggerated and erroneous.”

For his part, the former Vice President will today bring his case before skeptics at a joint hearing of Congressional energy and air quality committees. Meanwhile, The Reeler called Guggenheim up on Tuesday to get his own response to the article.

“Most of the scientists believe global warming is real,” Guggenheim said. “Most of the arguments in the film are fair-minded. I found the article as actually being ‘neither nor’; I didn’t take much away from it.”

Leading up to Truth's Oscar success, Guggenheim said he expected more “naysayers,” but so far they’ve remained on the fringe; the filmmaker adds that even those dissenting scientists quoted in The Times say the overall message about global warming is real and that something should be done about it. “I put [the article] in the column of 'people dithering,' ” Guggenheim said, recalling Gore's reference to Winston Churchill’s criticism of British bureaucrats in the prelude to World War II.

All the attention is still a dream come true for him after the smaller reach of his acclaimed earlier documentaries like Teach and The First Year, which focused on similar “social action” issues. “When you make a film like this, you just dream late at night when you’ve had too many cups of coffee," he told me. "You’re feeling giddy because you think you’re onto something.” -- John Lichman

Posted at March 21, 2007 12:14 PM

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