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Tag: Michael Moore (1-6 of 6)

Michael Moore aids detained Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker

Michael Moore couldn’t save Flint, Michigan’s auto plants in the ’80s — but he did help to get Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat released from LAX’s detention room last night. Burnat is currently up for a Best Documentary Oscar for his film 5 Broken Cameras.

Burnat and his family arrived in Los Angeles last night in order to attend this week’s Academy Awards ceremony. But before they could exit the city’s main airport, they were “held at US immigration for about an hour and questioned about the purpose of my visit to the United States,” Burnat said in a statement. “Immigration officials asked for proof that I was nominated for an Academy Award…they told me that if I couldn’t prove the reason for my visit, my wife Soraya, my son Gibreel and I would be sent back to Turkey on the same day.”

Luckily, Burnat was able to send a text to Michael Moore, one of the Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Documentary Branch.  READ FULL STORY

What the success of '2016: Obama's America' says about the upcoming election. (Hint: Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

Tonight, as Mitt Romney prepares to accept the Republican Party’s nomination to be its candidate for president, a movie that broke into the Top 10 last weekend is about to open even wider, on 1,800 screens, this Friday. The right- wing sleeper-hit documentary 2016: Obama’s America is such a success that it has taken the movie world — and, let’s say it out loud, the liberal media — by storm. Sure, documentaries have been huge hits before, and there is one obvious example of a highly partisan documentary — Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 — that set the box office aflame. (It ended up grossing $119 million.) But partisan docs from the right have never really broken through, so the popularity of 2016: Obama’s America is big news. I was intensely curious to see it, and I guess I was expecting a kind of feature-length Fox News editorial, a movie that would package a lot of familiar far-right talking points about Why Obama Must Go. READ FULL STORY

Michael Moore sues Weinstein brothers over 'Fahrenheit 9/11' profits

Filmmaker Michael Moore filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles court today alleging Harvey and Bob Weinstein defrauded Moore from at least $2.7 million in profits from his 2004 film Fahrenheit 9/11. The suit claims the Fellowship Adventure Group — the company the Weinstein brothers formed specifically to release Moore’s white-hot button documentary, in partnership with Lionsgate and IFC Films — and Moore agreed to a 50/50 split of the profits from the film, but the Fellowship Adventure Group “failed and refused to share equally in the fruits of the venture as the partners agreed.” (Fahrenheit 9/11 brought in $222.4 million in worldwide box office, and remains the highest-grossing documentary of all time.) The suit is also seeking punitive damages.

When reached by EW, Bert Fields, the lawyer for the Weinsteins, stated that Moore has received more than $20 million for Fahrenheit 9/11, and “he’s not entitled to another dime.” Fields also calls the lawsuit’s claims of accounting misconduct “absolute baloney.”

'Capitalism: A Love Story': Owen and Lisa debate the politics of Michael Moore

Love him or hate him, 20 years after Roger & Me Michael Moore it still the provocateur we love to fight over. Is he a populist who speaks the truth — or a showboater who makes agitprop? Here, Lisa and I talk about Capitalism: A Love Story and hash out our feelings about the filmmaker in general.

Michael Moore's influence is undeniable. But is he helping his causes -- or his enemies?

Michael-Moore-Fahrenheit_lWhatever you think of Michael Moore — whether you love him, hate him, or (like me) believe that he’s an ingeniously captivating big-picture muckraker who can truly be great when he sticks to reality (which he often does), but is anything but great when he proves overly willing to bend it — few would deny that he’s the most prominent, incendiary, and headline-grabbing, the most influential feature documentary filmmaker of our time. (I would say that the other pre-eminent nonfiction Big Cheese is Ken Burns, who works on PBS in what is by now almost a form of his own.)

But who, exactly, does Michael Moore influence, and how? The conventional wisdom, which I’d pretty much bought for most of his career, is that a Michael Moore film — take, for instance, Bowling for Columbine (2002) — inevitably preaches to the converted, but that, in addition, it probably makes a number of converts as well, and that by showcasing an issue like gun control on a major, widescreen canvas (in the form of an immensely entertaining, audacious, and revealing movie), Moore ultimately helps to bring that issue to light.

My feelings about all this began to shift in the aftermath of Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). The movie was, at the time, the most present-tense and white-hot lightning rod of Moore’s career, an attack on a sitting president at a moment when many of the actions Moore was attacking were still warm. And so it was almost bound to provoke a counter-reaction as furious and vehement as the movie itself. In many ways, the film completed Moore’s evolution from controversial liberal-left filmmaker to scandalous leftist poster child in the new culture wars. READ FULL STORY

Michael Moore at the NY premiere of 'Capitalism: A Love Story': A moment made for Tom Wolfe

Michael Moore’s newest live-action political cartoon, Capitalism: A Love Story, had its New York premiere on Monday night at Lincoln Center’s newly renovated Alice Tully Hall. The event also served as a soft opening for the 2009 New York Film Festival (which officially opens on Friday, Sept. 25), since the Film Society of Lincoln Center was a sponsor, along with Esquire magazine. And on one hand, the venue was apt, since 20 years ago, Moore premiered his first film, Roger & Me, in the same room, at the same film festival.

On the other hand, well — it may not rank up there with the surreality of the fund-raising party that maestro Leonard Bernstein and his wife threw for the Black Panthers in their Park Avenue duplex back in 1970, described down to the last canape by Tom Wolfe in Radical Chic, but the irony was thick enough: Moore’s full-flail attack on the ills of capitalism was offered for the edification of a well-heeled audience that included many of the capitalist Lincoln Center Film Society patrons whose largesse helped renovate Alice Tully Hall. Before the screening, I watched top chef and capitalist entrepreneur Mario Batali hug fellow ticket-holder and entrepreneurial Supersize Me! documentarian Morgan Spurlock. After the screening, I watched Daily Beast capitalist Tina Brown swing a stiletto-shod foot while conducting a Q&A on stage with the filmmaker, himself sporting anti-capitalist saggy white socks and tired gym shoes.

The cultural discrepancies were jarring. (Among the stars of the show on hand were actor/playwright Wallace Shawn, who appears on screen as an expert in economics, and Randy Hacker, whose eviction, along with his family, from their home is one of the movie’s dramatic high points.) But most jarring of all for me was this: In his movies, Michael Moore can’t resist playing a clown, a showboater — the guy with the bullhorn standing outside an office building while the camera rolls, trying to push his way past a stressed security guard who really doesn’t need a Moore-sized headache, the famous guy who can’t resist including reaction shots of himself nodding gravely while unfamous people bare their pain. But on stage, in conversation, Michael Moore is much smarter and more appealing than that: He makes good, well-argued, impassioned points. He marshals his arguments. He gets his serious message across — a message, he reveals in this picture, that’s linked, for him, to his serious Catholic faith.

Who knew? Did you?

Photo Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

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