A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Chad Rubel
Michael Moore has a new movie out in 2007. Yes, you say, "I've seen SiCKO." Well, good. But there's a new movie from Moore in 2007 that you probably haven't seen -- unless you were in Toronto earlier this month for the Toronto International Film Festival.
This film is called "Captain Mike Across America," and it's more of a highlights package from his concert tour of colleges leading up to the 2004 election. The theme throughout the film is the drive to get young people to register to vote, a theme that will also be necessary in 2008. Moore offers Ramen noodles and underwear to get young people to register to vote.
At the Saturday showing of the movie, Moore did say this movie is more about preaching to the choir, but sometimes the choir needs to be preached to. So don't expect it to be in the linear plane of "Bowling for Columbine," "Fahrenheit 9/11," and, of course, "SiCKO." You see a lot more of Moore in this film as opposed to "SiCKO." This is one for the fans.
There are musical performances from a number of artists, including Eddie Vedder, Steve Earle, Joan Baez, and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello.
Moore has learned a thing or two about adapting his films to a wider audience. "Captain Mike Across America" includes a significant amount of protest coverage of his tour, ranging from audiences interrupting his speech with a series of Hail Mary prayers to interviews with the protesters.
There is plenty of humor in the film: Moore shows the parodies of SwiftBoat ads. And there are poignant moments, hearing from relatives of those killed in Iraq. The 1,100 number of U.S. casualties quoted throughout the movie is particularly haunting, given that the number is now over 3,700.
There are moments in the film where, in press conferences for the tour, he chastises the media for not doing their job leading up to the Iraq war. Moore explained to the Canadian audience that his tour received no national coverage, only the local stations for when he was in their city.
To show a contrast between U.S. coverage and Canadian coverage, the CBC aired Fahrenheit 9/11 earlier this month in prime time. Moore noted that the movie hasn't been seen on any sort of TV deal in the United States.
As for the film's future, that remains undecided. Moore did point out that the Friday showing (the first showing) was the first time film producer Harvey Weinstein, the man who put up a lot of money for this and other Michael Moore projects, had seen the film. When asked about that, Moore said they weren't sure, and that the performance in Toronto might have something to do with what they do. Based on the Saturday showing, the second of 2 showings in the festival, a release would be forthcoming.
Logically, there would be either a theatrical release or possibly a straight-to-DVD release timed next year leading up to the election. After all, the message is still the same: there are problems and getting young people to come out and vote can make a difference.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS