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Thursday, July 08, 2004  

EW interviews Michael Moore

Relax, Republicans. This entry is about an interview of Michael Moore that apppeared in Entertainment Weekly. That is right, entertainment. Where y'all say Moore (pictured) belongs. So, put away those 'Fahrenheit 9/11 is entertainment, not information,' talking points right now. First, some information. It has become popular among Right Wingers to say F9/11 is a failure. The facts suggest otherwise.

The surprise was that Fahrenheit won the Palme d'Or in Cannes. That it survived a bruising fight between Disney and Miramax. And most of all, that it soared to the top spot at the box office with $24 million and broke all kinds of records. By June 28, Fahrenheit was the highest grossing non-concert, non-IMAX documentary of all time, (besting Moore's last movie, the Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine), and the only one to ever win a box office weekend.

That's right, F9/11 is the only documentary, or 'mockumentary' if you prefer, to ever gross the highest receipts for a weekend. The film is not a failure. So, one wonders why it is a smash. A person with an opinion about its success is Michael Moore. He offers three reasons why the movie is popular.

Fahrenheit 9/11 humanizes the people involved, including the Iraqis.

•One side of the invasion and occupation of Iraq has already been told by Big Media. He is telling the other.

•The film provides the first opportunity to see casualties in Iraq, getting past the cleansing imposed on footage and still photos from the occupation by the government.

But what of the hatred? How does it feel to be held in contempt to the extent that people try to make a living from criticizing you? Moore says he can handle it.

The way I learned to deal with this is that there are two Michael Moores. There's the one the rightwing lunatics have created. The fictional Michael Moore. The one that they just make stuff up about. And then there's me. So whenever I read something about me, I have a good laugh. I enjoy reading the exploits of the fictional Michael Moore who has a penthouse on Fifth Avenue and has, in the Daily News today, a hot tub on his balcony. Did you know that? I read that and I thought, That would feel good. (Laughs.)

While reading the several pages of the interview, I found myself really connecting with Michael Moore for the first time. I have appreciated his objectives as a film maker on an intellectual level throughout his career, but remained emotionally distant. That changed. In EW, Moore seems bewildered by some aspects of people's behavior that also bewilder me. For example, the lying -- often for no identifiable purpose. Why would someone want to claim the film maker has a hot tub on a balcony? Why not a gold toilet? Or a calvacade of call girls, on, well, call? Or, better yet, no lie at all? The film is said to humanize the not so collateral damage in the invasion of Iraq, both for Americans and Iraqis. The interview humanizes Moore.

Read the post Fahrenheit 9/11 Michael Moore interview, touted as the most thorough yet, in this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly.

10:00 PM