Cannes: What would you ask Michael Moore?

It’s Friday and the festival is starting to smoke.Leonardo DiCaprio showed up last night with his global warming doc The11th Hour — or as Missy and I have been calling it, Inconvenient TruthII: Convenience’s Revenge. In case you’re wondering, yes we are allstill going to die.

Zodiac had its red carpet gala, and Lord if thatisn’t the best American movie of the year so far, I don’t know what thehell is. (And the first person who says Shrek 3 gets a big, fat Frenchslap upside the head.)

Missy and I bumped into the heads of no fewerthan three major studios at dinner last night, all eyeing each otherwarily. And brace yourself: Because here comes Monsieur Michael Moore withhis new doc Sicko. I’m sitting down with the big man himself over theweekend, so I ask you PopWatchers: What do you want to know?(Disclaimer: All questions with the words “fat,” “traitor,” “Americanhero,” and/or “I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” will begiggled at and then summarily discarded.)

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • whol

    You didn’t fall asleep during Zodiac? I’m so proud…

  • tiamria

    My question: How does he choose the topics for his films? Does he look at what he thinks is the most under-reported issue? Does he choose what he thinks will be the most controversial at the moment? Or does he get some sort of “Aha!” moment, where he sees something on, say, “Oprah” and thinks, “This would make a great topic for a documentary?”

  • Ron Mexico

    I am a HUGE Michael Moore fan, but I would like to ask him one question based on criticism.
    I don’t remember if it was in “Fahrenheit 911″ or “Bowling for Columbine”, but he made it seem like the show “Cops” was racist entertainment for white people.
    I would ask him why he did that? I have seen more episodes of that show than I care to admit, and I think it’s a fairly equal mix of white, black, and latino.
    Why claim racism where there is none? That’s my only question for him. And then I would thank him for everything else he has done.

  • Emperor Norton

    For Michael Moore:
    As a person, how do you deal with the hatred that’s thrown at you? What you’re doing is important and quintessentially American in the older sense of the word (the newer being “unquestioning, warmongering butt monkey for the extreme right,”) but do you ever just think, “Oh hell, I’m making films about fluffy bunnies next.” Fluffy, fluffy bunnies.

  • Albatross

    Question for Michael Moore:
    Considering you’ve taken on several of the more motivated (to put it mildly) interest groups in the country, is there any group that you’ve thought about looking into, or maybe started working on, and then realized “these people are too complicated, even for me”? In other words, have you ever said, “Guns, the government, health care, big business, all fine, but keep me away from those Clay Aiken fans”? And, add my thanks for courage and genius.

  • Emperor Norton

    Hi Ron,
    Good point.
    Cops is just the strangest form of street theater, but I find it gut-wrenching. I don’t see it as racist, but it is certainly classist. We’re definitely being asked to look down upon the poor and revel in their punishment. If Carl Marx were alive today, he’d be all over Cops like white on rice. When you step back and look at it objectively, it’s truly one of the most cruel shows – on the level of Bum Fights.
    It’s also a way to spin the image of police as heroic protectors, and reduce our sensitivity to the suffering and grinding poverty in America by making a public tragicomic spectacle of people who aren’t making it.
    Racism is a massive factor in American culture, but what’s more insidious is our classism and unthinking hatred of the poor.

  • Bridget

    I have a question: Does Moore occasionally feel that the outrageous stunts in his documentaries bring his points home more, or do they actually allow him to be more easily discredited by opponents who dismiss them?
    I’d love to hear his perspective.

  • mikey

    Question for Mr. Moore:
    Given the cultural/political lightning rod that you’ve become, do you worry about marginalizing yourself and what you have to say by allowing people to be immediately dismissive of the messenger, and hence the message?

  • John K

    For Michael Moore,
    I’d ask him if he really does mean the elitist tone he seems to exude in his films at times towards common people. He often has bits in his films where he talks to the “ordinary” American and edits it in such a way that it is basically ridiculing that person’s language/education/intelligence etc. I agree that there are quite a lot of dim people, in America and elsewhere, but it comes across often as meanspirited and, as I said earlier, elitist.
    The other question I would have would be on the genre itself. Moore’s taken documentaries more so away from factual presentations to more of an unabashedly editorial piece. There’s obviously nothing inherently wrong with message-based films, but does he think his success, and that of others, has changed documentaries forever and now they will often be political mouthpieces (nothing wrong with that) as opposed to movies that were more neutral in presentation?

  • Ron Mexico

    It’s a fair point, Emperor. I never thought about it like that.
    Considering I grew up pretty poor, and considering I always argued that America’s real problem is “haves vs. have-nots” and not race, you figured I would have made the connection.
    Maybe there is some deep-rooted frustration (and fascination) with those that end up on “Cops” because I know plenty of poor people that walked the line, legally speaking.
    Nevertheless, you are right that it is exploitive. That said, maybe I was watching the show from a subconcious high-horse all those years.
    I’ll never watch again.

  • Sleeper

    I would ask him why he set up Charlton Heston to look like some gun toting ‘from my cold dead hands’ freak. And why he manipulates his editing to make sure the people he doesn’t particularly like, look like idiots. I don’t find anything great about his ‘documentaries’… it’s kind of like watching that old show Hardcopy. Sensationalism and manipulation bugs the @#$% out of me.

  • Jeff

    Ask him why he allows so much debate about his credibility to exist without a response from him?
    I know he can only respond to this kind of baiting to a certain extent, but it would be nice to see him address the challenges directly once in a while.
    Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Zodiac had its red carpet gala, not “it’s red carpet gala.” Why is that so hard to get right?

  • ANON

    Grammar and punctuation freaks…… go away! Back to your Nerd 101 class.

  • Middento

    Hey ANON — I, for one, am glad someone’s pointing it out. Now, if only someone can change the original posting…

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