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Fahrenheit 911
March 31, 2003 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Michael Moore is making a deal with Mel Gibson's Icon Prods. to finance "Fahrenheit 911," a documentary that will trace why the U.S. has become a target for hatred and terrorism. It will also depict alleged dealings between two generations of the Bush and bin Laden clans that led to George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden becoming mortal enemies.
posted by archimago (37 comments total)

 
That's not going to be offensive at all /sarcasm

Everyone who thinks the Jews or the US Gov't. did it, send in your scripts to Mr. Moore for review...
posted by clevershark at 7:27 AM on March 31, 2003


damn hippies
posted by tiamat at 7:28 AM on March 31, 2003


Hmm... this wouldn't be terribly suprising, but on the other hand rense.com isn't exactly a reputable news source. I'd be interested in seeing this movie since there is a history between the two families.
posted by substrate at 7:30 AM on March 31, 2003


I think the debate about this movie is going to be equally amusing. THe suggestion of this topic as a film subject will likely raise discussion about the issue in general, while the rabidly anti-Moore types will try to dispel the entire story as a complete lie just because Michael Moore said it.

Personally, I can admit that Moore's biggest fallacy lies in the fact-checking department: if he really wants to make this movie, he'd better take a cue from the axe jobs a lot of people did to Bowling and strengthen up the research staff.

subtrate: I agree with the veracity issue, considering my source story was (eek) UPI. But I posted this to my site, and a reader already e-mailed me saying Moore said he was doing this personally at a lecture on the reader's campus last month. Take that as you will.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:38 AM on March 31, 2003


Forget your personal opinion of the guy, at least someone still has the balls to exercise our right to free speech (while we still have one)!
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:39 AM on March 31, 2003


A related thread at Warfilter.
posted by Ljubljana at 7:41 AM on March 31, 2003


Doesn't Mel Gibson hate Michael Moore and all he stands for? I wouldn't put too much trust in this report, myself.
posted by jokeefe at 7:42 AM on March 31, 2003


If Moore really had balls, he'd make a documentary about the history of the fabrications in the Koran that justify the insanity of so-called martyrdom.

Or even more appropriately, about the Wahabbi thugs, who like bin Laden, terrorize the rest of the Muslim world into almost-complicit silence with their Islamofascist depravity.
posted by reality at 7:45 AM on March 31, 2003


I'm just not sure how the topics are related, really. I mean, yes, many Arabs hate the US, and yes, the Bushes and bin Ladens have had shady business dealings in the past no doubt, but what's the link? Unless Moore's going to claim that Bush used Al Qaeda as a front group to destroy the Twin Towers for some unstated Nefarious Purpose, it just seems to be guilt by association.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 7:46 AM on March 31, 2003


Satire alert:


Michael Moore Making Next Film: 'Saddam and Me' (via Scrappleface)

Academy-award winning filmmaker Michael Moore said his next documentary will chronicle how Iraq's lax gun-control laws have turned a peaceful Islamic republic into a cauldron of death and destruction.

The film, "Saddam and Me," will capture Mr. Moore's misadventures and witty banter as he attempts to ask the Iraqi president to ban personal ownership of firearms.

"Every nation that allows individuals to own guns will eventually wind up like Iraq," said Mr. Moore. "The gun culture encourages violence. Most Iraqis own personal firearms, and look what's happening over there. Children are dying. It's just like Columbine."
posted by Karl at 7:50 AM on March 31, 2003


Also, what reality said.
posted by Karl at 7:51 AM on March 31, 2003


The UPI carried this story on Saturday, quoting industry "bible" Variety for the link to Icon Productions (Variety's article requires subscription, so those of us outside "the business" will just have to take the UPI's word for it...). Personally, I'm with jokeefe - I find it difficult to believe Gibson would finance Moore given their diametrically opposed political views.
posted by JollyWanker at 7:52 AM on March 31, 2003


It's good to see that Michael Moore has found another tragedy to profit from. If he wasn't so opposed to the 2nd Ammendment, maybe he'd show us a smoking gun. Instead, he'll have to resort to unsound facts.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:58 AM on March 31, 2003


Whatever that film turns out to be, it'll achieve its creator's dearest wish -- to be on everyone's lips.

No one does obnoxious, callous self-publicity like Michael Moore.
posted by clevershark at 8:13 AM on March 31, 2003


Frank: He's opposed to the 2nd ammendment?

And I doubt he'll be using unsound facts from 'bowling for columbine' in a documentary on an unrelated topic.
posted by ODiV at 8:27 AM on March 31, 2003


Whether this story is true or not, you know Moore will get his funding. Particularly after he used a large public platform as an opportunity to pitch the project.

Of course, that's not why he did it - since he is from the left and critical of "big business" he must be pure of heart right?
posted by soulhuntre at 8:29 AM on March 31, 2003


It's a catch-22 for lefties. If they make money on their project, they're attacked for being self-serving. If they do it for free, they won't reach a wide audience and they won't be able to do it for long. Do other filmmakers get attacked like Michael Moore for self-promotion? It's the film business...it runs on promotion!
posted by pb at 8:40 AM on March 31, 2003


That last bit was a joke, by the way.

Anyone who expects documentaries to be accurate is completely fooling themselves. Ever since the first documentary, techniques such as those described in Frank's link, and much worse, have been used.

Not that I don't think it's important to share this information and to know the truth. I just find it the tone of the piece (and the tone of those pointing to it) to be hilarious in the shock it portrays.
posted by ODiV at 8:44 AM on March 31, 2003


OK, Frank, I bit on the link to Moore's unsound facts. If Moore twists facts to his cause, this guy does as well.

Claiming the Buell shooter shouldn't be felt sorry for being disturbed because he stabbed a kid with a pencil, or that his uncle ran a crack house. His right-wing bent exposed itself there.

Clearly, he is poor and it's better he's in jail now anyway. /sarcasm

And then the email rebuttals he receives get shot down by a rather standard right-wing dismissiveness I've certainly come to expect.
posted by mortimer at 8:44 AM on March 31, 2003


you guys watched the academy awards.
posted by Satapher at 8:47 AM on March 31, 2003


pb- it's like Tom Tomorrow once said in a cartoon- if people treated everyone the way they treated Michael Moore, then we'd have a vast shortage of doctors: "why the hell am I doing helping all these sick people? I'm healthy as a horse!"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:52 AM on March 31, 2003


Karl-

You're remarkably clever. The satirical juxtaposition of "Bowling for Columbine", with the geo-adaptation "In Iraq" was devastatingly potent. You must get all the ladies with such surgical wit.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:58 AM on March 31, 2003


"It's a catch-22 for lefties."

Of course it is - and its usually just as silly and unfair to do it to them as when they do it to "expose" the right.

The point is that this sort of thing is exactly what M. Moore would scream about as "proof" of some conspiracy or other.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:09 AM on March 31, 2003


You must get all the ladies with such surgical wit.

It's not my satire, O Condescending One. It's attributed to Scrappleface, which I linked to. Sheesh.
posted by Karl at 9:12 AM on March 31, 2003


Techno is to music as Moore is to documentary.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:18 AM on March 31, 2003


If Moore really had balls, he'd make a documentary about the history of the fabrications in the Koran that justify the insanity of so-called martyrdom.

Ok, I'm confused. Are you upset that Moore isn't "with us" or something? I thought he just likes to present things he's passionate about. As an American, he's supposed to be able to. But I'll play with you... W is supposed to be a spiritual man, no? "Hmmm..."

I don't see the relation either, but this kinda fun!

/sarcasm
posted by LouReedsSon at 9:19 AM on March 31, 2003


i could be completely wrong, but the snippet i read about this in a paper today (forget which) made it sound like these were two different projects. the first (about bush sr and bin laden) will be ready for next year's cannes. the other, which Icon is behind, is his followup project to that.

as for why Gibson would be interested. Um, $.
posted by dobbs at 9:36 AM on March 31, 2003


"It's a catch-22 for lefties. If they make money on their project, they're attacked for being self-serving. If they do it for free, they won't reach a wide audience and they won't be able to do it for long."

Nope.

When you make films that criticize corporations for their pursuit of profits, while you are doing just the same thing, is called hypocrisy, not catch-22.

There are lots of documentarians making lots of great films and showing them on PBS and lots of others venues. But no one doing that gets rich. And, they have these pesky things called journalistic standards, which Moore's films could never met.

Why make a modest living telling the truth when you can get rich telling lies? Of course, just like any profit making corporation, you have to promote your brand. Thus his speech at the Oscars ...
posted by Jos Bleau at 9:52 AM on March 31, 2003


Techno is to music as Moore is to documentary.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:18 AM PST on March 31


What's that? Progressive and forward-thinking?
posted by Espoo2 at 10:26 AM on March 31, 2003


Unless Moore's going to claim that Bush used Al Qaeda as a front group to destroy the Twin Towers for some unstated Nefarious Purpose, it just seems to be guilt by association.

Or he might look into whether or not Bush interfered with investigations into bin Laden through his family, not for a nefarious purpose, but out of simple complacency and greed. I'm not a fan of Moore's, but no one has looked into this since Greg Palast first brought the possibility to light. Unfortunately, I don't think Moore is the right man for the job.

"FBI and military intelligence officials in Washington say they were prevented for political reasons from carrying out full investigations into members of the Bin Laden family in the US before the terrorist attacks of September 11."
posted by homunculus at 11:11 AM on March 31, 2003


Jos Bleau: Moore doesn't criticize the corporate pursuit of profit in general; he's all for successful American businesses. It's when they do it at the expense of his fellow Americans that he gets upset.
posted by ODiV at 12:32 PM on March 31, 2003


ODiV - !
"Moore doesn't criticize the corporate pursuit of profit in general; he's all for successful American businesses."

For his views about big business & profits I suggest you see the films Roger & Me, The Big One and read the book "Downsize This!"

Of course, it's not just big corporations that are evil.

From the legendary Arcata Eye:

"Fuck all these small businesses - fuck 'em all! Bring in the chains. The small businesspeople are the rednecks that run the town and suppress the people. Fuck 'em all. That's how I feel."

From the same article:
"Moore dismissed criticism over his purchase of a million-dollar home. "I'm a millionaire, I'm a multi-millionaire," he proclaimed. "I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi-millionaire? 'Cause multi-millions like what I do. That's pretty good, isn't it? There's millions that believe in what I do. Pretty cool, huh?"

So, to review, other people's profits bad, from the biggest corporations to the smallest mom & pop store, but Moore's profits good.

That's not Catch-22, but hypocracy. And quite mean sprited, too.
posted by Jos Bleau at 12:59 PM on March 31, 2003


Jos Bleau: He's not against people making money, he's against people making money in oppressive ways - and small businesses can do that as easily as big corporations, which is why they shouldn't be romanticized as they have by the anti-chain crowd. I believe that more support for small businesses is warranted in today's environment, but they're not somehow inherently more noble. (See: Many, if not most, small businesses in the Jim Crow south v. Sears, which only cared about the color of one's money.)
posted by raysmj at 1:17 PM on March 31, 2003


"He's not against people making money, he's against people making money in oppressive ways"

If you haven' read the linked story, please do so. His "fuck small business" quote isn't about small business making money in oppressive ways, but in their doing bad things with the money they do make - like sign petitions to recall him from the schoolboard back in the day.

Could you please find examples of his approval of people who aren't him making money? I haven't seen them.
posted by Jos Bleau at 1:47 PM on March 31, 2003


There are lots of documentarians making lots of great films and showing them on PBS and lots of others venues. But no one doing that gets rich.

Once again I think it's the catch-22. If Moore would be a good liberal and keep his leftist beliefs in the tiny public spaces we have provided for leftists all would be fine. But the minute he makes a wildly popular film using many of the tactics of popular filmmaking (right or wrong) he is condemned. Michael Moore is not a corporation, and there is a difference between him and Disney. I think he can criticize without being a hypocrite. Granted, the Arcata Eye article is pretty damming. The guy may be a jerk, but he makes some necessary arguments in his work.
posted by pb at 2:57 PM on March 31, 2003


I don't think he meant that every single small business person ever should be "fucked."
posted by mcsweetie at 3:19 PM on March 31, 2003


What's more's problem with the bin laden family?
posted by delmoi at 10:31 PM on March 31, 2003


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