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Michael Moore and Disney

Damien Howard
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Was it right for Disney to censor Michael Moore's new film Faranheit 911?

I say that they should have released it and let the public decide for themselves if it is worth watching.
Warren Dew
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Turns out Miramax decided not to distribute that film a year ago. Moore spun it to look like Disney was censoring him to build publicity for the film, and Disney apparently didn't begrudge him that publicity.
Jim Yingst
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Michael Moore, distorting facts to promote his own agenda? I am at the implication.

I mean, it's not as if Miramax sent a team of firemen to his house.


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Damien Howard
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
Turns out Miramax decided not to distribute that film a year ago. Moore spun it to look like Disney was censoring him to build publicity for the film, and Disney apparently didn't begrudge him that publicity.


Where did you hear that? Fox News?
Warren Dew
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I think it was in a Wall Street Journal article last week. But if it's as good as "The Passion of Christ", it should be a success without a big name distributor, right?
Joe King
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
I think it was in a Wall Street Journal article last week. But if it's as good as "The Passion of Christ", it should be a success without a big name distributor, right?


Well they're both a kind of propoganda......
Ashok Mash
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Well, when it comes to movies, any sort of publicity, even the bad kind, is only going to help increase the number of people who want to check it out.

I personally enjoy reading Micheal Moor�s books, (Dude, where�s my country etc), and even though his continuous Bush-bashing gets to my nerves and quite sickening, the facts that he states (with supporting evidence, or so he claims, and since I haven�t heard of any one challenging them yet, I believe they are true) are shocking, and the sheer �aww� factor compels me to read the book cover to cover. If there�s any truth in any of his books, Bush should apologise to American public, quit and live in solitude (or some sort of self-imposed punishment) for a while � just to cleanse himself of all those bad deeds!

I am looking forward to �Fahrenheit 9/11� just for the same reasons!


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Paul McKenna
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I thought Michael Moore was a respectable man until I found out how he twisted the truth to suit his needs. In "Bowling for Columbine" he approaches some hollywood star for money and he portrays the star as being insensitive when he slams the door of his van in Michael's face.

Later on, it was revealed that Michael had been incessantly irritating the star for about 25 minutes at which point the star got fed up and slammed the door.

A group of conservative students wanted to ask Michael some questions and so they approached him. However, the man who portrays as he who stands up for the little guys, has been eluding them for the past 6/7 months. And so, the students have decided to make a movie "Michael and Me" just like Michael did so in his first movie "Roger and Me". I am waiting to see this one!


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Ashok: If there’s any truth in any of his books, Bush should apologise to American public, quit and live in solitude (or some sort of self-imposed punishment) for a while – just to cleanse himself of all those bad deeds!

This can be said about any politician with a very rare exception...


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Bert Bates
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To me the interesting question is how much is a movie distribution house like a news organization? It's certainly VERY frightening to me that the news media is being absorbed into nothing but huge corporations, I hadn't thought much about movie distribution in the same light.

If MM was careful he retained the rights to look for other distributors in the event that Disney or whoever chickened out. It would be quite sad if "911" could be buried by a lame distributor.


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Damien Howard
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Currently MM cannot find another distributor because Disney owns the rights to the film. The only way he could find someone else to distribute his film is if Disney sells the rights back to him or to another distributor.
Thomas Paul
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You should realize that Michael Moore does not create documentaries. His movies are fictional. Moore has stated that he didn't really care what message people got from Bowling for Columbine or that most of it is deceptive since he considers himself an entertainer.
Jason Menard
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JM: Michael Moore is no one special, just a guy with a big mouth and a self-serving agenda.

Michael Moore is a widely-acknowledge film director whose movies have earned critical international acclaim and scorn. He makes big money with his big mouth and self-serving agenda. In the business of entertainment, that's anything but "no one special." It's a small group of people who have achieved what he has in his line of work.

JM: I believe that most people are by now aware that Bowling for Columbine was nothing but a work of fiction, so there's no reason to think his latest "tour de force" would be anything less.

Bowling for Columbine is an Oscar-winning documentary. Despite multiple allegations that the work is fiction -- which, if true, would ostensibly disqualify in the Best Documentary category -- the Motion Picture Academy hasn't even given those allegations the time of day.

The allegations I have read amount to complaining that Moore's editing of Heston and others amount to distortion. That is, they complain that Moore only leaves in the parts of their speeches or interviews that make them look bad. And the point is.....what? That these people didn't say the things that make them look bad in the film? That Moore failed to give a balanced perspective?

One person's slant is another person's bias is another person's agenda is another person's champion cause is another person's distortion. None of these terms devolve nonfiction to the level of something made up. The things that Moore depicts, they happened. It has yet to be shown that any element of "Bowling for Columbine" was staged, intentionally untruthful or pure imagination passed off as established fact.

[ Dammit --- sorry sorry sorry. I hit edit when I meant to hit quote. Jason if you have your original text, please restore it. ]
[ May 18, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Bert Bates
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What's not fiction to some degree? Is the news we hear completely non-fiction? Anyway - most movies US distributors choose to show us are homogenized and sanitized, and it's great to see a different perspective sometimes

One thing I see a lot in MD is this idea that if you mention someone controversial, it's assumed that you're a groupie. :roll: I for one just like to get different perspectives, end of story.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
What's not fiction to some degree?


I agree with you, but fiction presented as fact certainly doesn't serve anyone IMHO, no matter the agenda being pushed. Regardless of what I may personally think of Moore he certainly does have a large audience eager to view his work, and for no other reason than that his work should be released. I disagree that Disney is censoring him however, merely they are choosing not to distribute his film. There would seem to be sound business reasons not to distribute his film though, and one certainly can't blame a corporation for making such a decision. He's probably just milking this for the free publicity though, and I have no doubt he will find a distributor eventually.

One thing I see a lot in MD is this idea that if you mention someone controversial, it's assumed that you're a groupie.


If I gave that impression I apologize, as I certainly didn't intend to.
Michael Ernest
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One expects a profit-oriented corporation like Disney to sell what it produces in order to make money.

If it has a property that can make money -- and every indication points to Moore's work being profitable stuff -- where does Disney get off trying to suppress that property by a) refusing to distribute it and b) seeking no buyers for stuff it doesn't want to be associated with?

It's absurd that a corporation would refuse to make money one way or another. In that light, I think Moore is doing what he can by generating publicity -- and potential sales -- for the film. If he can make it controversial to enough people that they insist on seeing it for themselves, Disney's refusal to distribute the film or sell to another distributor would certainly seem to suggest politics over profits.

So here we have Moore's position: he suggests that Disney stands to lose more money in the form of rescinded tax breaks than they do by distributing the film. If someone can put hard evidence to that link, I'd be impressed. Disney working the government for tax breaks in return for stifling media that goes against their agenda. There's another


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Bert Bates
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I may be mis-remembering, but I thought a high level Disney official said just that, that they were afraid of losing millions in Florida tax breaks if they pissed Jeb off.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
I may be mis-remembering, but I thought a high level Disney official said just that, that they were afraid of losing millions in Florida tax breaks if they pissed Jeb off.


No, that is what Moore accused Disney of thinking. No one from Disney actually said that.

From CNN:

Moore told CNN that Disney had said they did not want to upset the Bush family because of the risk of jeopardizing "tens of millions of dollars" in tax incentives.

The New York Times reported that Disney executives denied the allegation. One unnamed executive told the paper it did not want to be seen taking sides in the forthcoming U.S. election and risk alienating customers of different political views.
[ May 19, 2004: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Thomas Paul
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ME: The allegations I have read amount to complaining that Moore's editing of Heston and others amount to distortion. That is, they complain that Moore only leaves in the parts of their speeches or interviews that make them look bad. And the point is.....what? That these people didn't say the things that make them look bad in the film? That Moore failed to give a balanced perspective?

No, it's more complicated than that. Moore cuts and dices several speeches together to make it sound like they are part of the same speech. He accuses Heston, for example, of saying things at the conference in Colorado that he actually said months later in South Carolina. He does this to make Heston look like he has no sympathy for the people of Columbine.

This site has some details:
http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html

As far as the Academy goes, do you really think they research each "documentary" for accuracy?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
If it has a property that can make money -- and every indication points to Moore's work being profitable stuff -- where does Disney get off trying to suppress that property by a) refusing to distribute it and b) seeking no buyers for stuff it doesn't want to be associated with?
So should Disney open a porn site since they do so well? Where does Disney get off not making X-rated movies when they could make a fortune making them?
Tim West
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Where does Disney get off not making X-rated movies when they could make a fortune making them?


A few years ago, a visit to www.bambi.com might lead you to believe Disney was making a fortune with them ;-). I haven't checked recently and given that I'm at work, I'm not about to now...I do remember a lawsuit of some kind though.

Anyway, this point hardly seems to need rebutting - if Disney was associated with porn, the American public would abandon them as fast as they abandoned the Dixie Chicks when they were anti-war, or Janet Jackson now we have proof she has at least one nipple. Disney would hardly make money in this manner. I don't think 911 is in the same category, but perhaps that's open to debate.

On another note, I agree that distorting information is bad, but to demonise Moore individually for that is a little unfair - I'd have said Colin Powell's WMD speech to the UN is an order of magnitude worse (though I don't want to make this into an Iraq debate...). I can't think of where I saw an article that rebutted every major point he made in that speech, but I did see it.

Cheers,


--Tim
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
So should Disney open a porn site since they do so well? Where does Disney get off not making X-rated movies when they could make a fortune making them?

Change that word "making" to "distributing" and I think we'd have an interesting point of contention. If Disney found out one of its contact partners for distribution wanted Disney to handle pornography, you can bet Disney would ice the contract and get out of the way.

Disney and porn don't mix. Disney and edgy material is another matter.

Seems like a moot point, though. Clearly Eisner has been tracking my opinions and understands that business is just business.
Marcus Green
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"In "Bowling for Columbine" he approaches some hollywood star for money and he portrays the star as being insensitive when he slams the door of his van in Michael's face."

I've seen this movie a couple of times and I don't recall this scene, who was the hollywood star? The only Hollywood star I can recall is Charlton Heston, and during the scenes with him I do not recall anything that relates to a van door being slammed.


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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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ME: Seems like a moot point, though. Clearly Eisner has been tracking my opinions and understands that business is just business.


I think this was always Disney's intention. They didn't want to stop the movie from being distributed, they just didn't want to be associated with the movie. Disney doesn't want people refusing to go to Disney World because Disney released a movie that offended them.
Joe Ess
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    7

Originally posted by Marcus Green:
who was the hollywood star?

Dick Clark. Michael Moore was persuing Dick because a restaurant franchise Clark owns was participating in a Michigan welfare-to-work program which gave tax breaks to employers if they offered jobs to the "less fortunate". One of the emloyees was the mother of the kid who found a stolen firearm which had been traded for drugs in his uncle's crack house. The child took the firearm to school and shot another student. This entire incident is, in Moore's mind, the fault of Charlton Heston. The final scene of BFC has Moore placing a picture of the child in front of Heston's home after ambushing him with questions about the incident.


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Marcus Green
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I remember the scene with Dick Clark, but I didn't know he was a Hollywood Star, and Michael Moore did not seem to be approaching him for money (in the sense of asking him to give him money).
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Joe Ess:

Dick Clark. Michael Moore was persuing Dick because a restaurant franchise Clark owns was participating in a Michigan welfare-to-work program which gave tax breaks to employers if they offered jobs to the "less fortunate". One of the emloyees was the mother of the kid who found a stolen firearm which had been traded for drugs in his uncle's crack house. The child took the firearm to school and shot another student. This entire incident is, in Moore's mind, the fault of Charlton Heston. The final scene of BFC has Moore placing a picture of the child in front of Heston's home after ambushing him with questions about the incident.


I dimly remember the movie. Too lazy to put it on the player right now, but as I recall, Moore asked Heston why the NRA chose to hold an important meeting in or near the town where this incident took place. I'm guessing Heston appeared at that meeting. Moore's questions, if memory serves, really pointed to Heston's a) lack of sensitivity to appearances; and b) apparent lack of awareness of anything but where the NRA tells him to go and speak.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I dimly remember the movie. Too lazy to put it on the player right now, but as I recall, Moore asked Heston why the NRA chose to hold an important meeting in or near the town where this incident took place. I'm guessing Heston appeared at that meeting. Moore's questions, if memory serves, really pointed to Heston's a) lack of sensitivity to appearances; and b) apparent lack of awareness of anything but where the NRA tells him to go and speak.


The point was that the bulk of the meeting (which was held in Denver) was cancelled. The only part that was held was the executive session which, by law, could not be cancelled. The NRA is a non-profit and under law meetings of the executive committee can only be cancelled with 10 days notice. Since Columbine occurred 11 days before the NRA meeting it was obviously impossible to get the cancellation notice out to every member of the executive committee in one day.

Moore then heavily edited a speech that Heston gave at that executive committee meeting and spliced it with another speech that he gave a year later in South Carolina to make it look like Heston was insensistive to the families of those that were killed.
Warren Dew
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Marcus Green:

I remember the scene with Dick Clark, but I didn't know he was a Hollywood Star, and Michael Moore did not seem to be approaching him for money (in the sense of asking him to give him money).

Well, Moore could have edited out the "asking for money" part. Not that any film director would ever edit anything out that made himself look bad, but it's at least theoretically possible.
Marcus Green
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He could have sucked his toes and espoused the virtues of Java whilst dancing a samba, he could have done all sorts of things and then edited them out.
Michael Ernest
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Well, if you're Michael Moore, part of your entertainment value is walking up to people you know will slam a door in your face to get away from you. Then you put it on film to make the other guy look like a putz. Standard media guerilla tactics.

No one else ever pulls stuff like this, of course. It's just Moore.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
No one else ever pulls stuff like this, of course. It's just Moore.


Moore has made himself into a millionaire by being funny and pretending that he is just a regular guy. More power to him, I say. But let's not pretend that what he is doing is serious journalism or even close to being a documentary. He is an entertainer. And he is damn good at it.
John Smith
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Latest news: Fahrenheit 9/11 wins the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival
Paul McKenna
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Did the movie really deserve the Golden Palm award? Thats another question.. I'm pretty sure the movie won the award for its Bush Bashing rather than actual content. Its France we are talking about.. and I am not one bit surprised that beating Bush actually gets you money and fame there.
Bert Bates
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Interesting that he would say this preemptively:


P.S. When you hear the wackos on Fox News and elsewhere refer to this prize as coming from �the French,� please know that of the nine members of the Festival jury, only ONE was French. Nearly half the jury (four) were Americans and the President of the jury was an American (Quentin Tarantino). But this fact won�t stop the O�Reillys or the Lenos or the Limbaughs from attacking the French and me because, well, that�s how their simple minds function.
Jason Menard
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It's not a surprise simply because anecdotally it seems that the film and art-house crowd, those who give such awards for example, are Moore's type of people. European or not isn't the issue, but it should be obvious that Michael Moore will always be recognized by his type of people, no matter what he does. Hell, he could blow his nose, stick the used tissue to the wall, tell people it represents the evil of conservatism, his fans will call it art and he'll get an award for it. He speaks a language they like to hear and they will use every opportunity to applaud him for it, regardless of any merits his work may or may not have standing on its own.
[ May 23, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Hell, he could blow his nose, stick the used tissue to the wall, tell people it represents the evil of conservatism, his fans will call it art and he'll get an award for it.


I can think of a number of public figures who similarly can blow their figurative nose, display the result, and to the utter astonishment of the other "kind of people," be praised for it by their "fans." There are certain fundamental differences between Moore's fans and the fans of these other nameless public figures, and it seems to me that the chasm is far too wide for rational debate to bridge. So let's all take a breath and try not to provoke one another needlessly. Thanks.


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Damien Howard
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
It's not a surprise simply because anecdotally it seems that the film and art-house crowd, those who give such awards for example, are Moore's type of people. European or not isn't the issue, but it should be obvious that Michael Moore will always be recognized by his type of people, no matter what he does. Hell, he could blow his nose, stick the used tissue to the wall, tellll people it represents the evil of conservatism, his fans will call it art and he'll get an award for it. He speaks a language they like to hear and they will use every opportunity to applaud him for it, regardless of any merits his work may or may not have standing on its own.

[ May 23, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


There are conservatives out there that can do the same thing. People support their kind regardless of what there kind is.
Michael Ernest
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On that note, I hope some future scholar will do to Howard Stern what he so richly deserves, and study him.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Damien Howard:
There are conservatives out there that can do the same thing. People support their kind regardless of what there kind is.


Are there conservatives out there also making similar types of movies playing off of the tragedy of others and seeking to advance a political agenda? I certainly haven't seen them (not that i have any desire to). In any event, I don't believe any of Michael Moore's peers of the opposite political persuasion have received any prestigious awards lately recognizing their political works as "art". Who knows, maybe it is art? :roll:
 
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