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Cannes' Palme d'Or goes to Michael Moore 1856

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wonder-when-we'll-get-to-see-this-movie dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Palme d'Or of the Festival de Cannes was presented this year by Charlize Theron to Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore. I don't know if it's the first time this prize is awarded to a documentary, but I guess it's rare enough to be mentioned, especially given the problems this film encounters."
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Cannes' Palme d'Or goes to Michael Moore

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  • Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by That's Unpossible! (722232) * on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:19AM (#9229372)
    Is it a "documentary" like Bowling for Columbine [hardylaw.net]?

    His movies would be more credible if he didn't try to present them as documentaries. They're not documentaries. They're commentaries.

    Nothing wrong with that at all, but let's just be clear about it. Up front.
    • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ilgaz (86384) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:22AM (#9229393) Homepage
      IMHO In fact, every political documentary is a "commentary".

      Watching History Channel in Istanbul, sometimes it amazes me. You know what I mean...
    • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RyanFenton (230700) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:33AM (#9229494)
      Meanwhile, "Fox News" is still called news, and few people complain about the classification.

      Ryan Fenton
      • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:48AM (#9229634)
        NBC, CBS, and ABC are not much more "news" than fox. When I see BBC or Canadian TV, it's clear ALL American news outlets are propaganist pussies. Let's not question anything that might offend the patriotic masses. No tough questions that get to the core of America and what real freedom means. Beacause tough questions lead to thinking and don't fit into nice little soundbites or induce the fear that gets the soccer moms to tune in at 11. Fox may be pathetic, but you are deluding yourself if your think the rest of American media is any better.
        • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @11:33AM (#9230050) Homepage
          I agree that the BBC does a great job. I agree that the major networks are wimps who are leaving out important parts of the story. But FOX really is different. They rabidly publicize the administration party line. It works for two reasons. First, 20% of Americans voted for Bush and actually want to hear the party line. Second, high ranking officials are willing to give exclusives to FOX because they know they're preaching to the faithful and they'll get the kid gloves treatment from reporters. It's the same relationship that leaders of other countries have with state owned stations.

          -B
        • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pudge (3605) * <slashdotNO@SPAMpudge.net> on Sunday May 23, 2004 @12:12PM (#9230385) Homepage Journal
          What's clear is that you don't watch a wide range of American news. Try watching NewsHour, Meet the Press, This Week. Those questions of US officials are far better than anything you find on the major network and cable nightly news, and anything you find on British or Canadian news.
      • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by That's Unpossible! (722232) * on Sunday May 23, 2004 @11:07AM (#9229812)
        FOX News is a favorite target of liberals.

        Even though I feel CNN is slanted to the left, I normally read CNN.com. However, with all the jokes pouring in about FOX News, I decided to start reading their news articles. I have yet to find a news article or see a news cast from them that appears biased. Can you please locate a biased news article and point it out to me?

        They have biased commentary shows on FOX, no question. The no-spin-zone my ass. But all the NEWS I have seen and read from them has been spot on.

        Now let's talk about bias. When the story broke about the bomb going off that was hooked up to a sarin gas shell (Sarin is a nerve agent, a weapon of mass destruction), for that day and the next, you could find no news story on CNN.com about it. Not one. It was covered on FOX News and MSNBC's websites. Nothing on cnn.com. On the third day, I did manage to find an article that was discussing something else about the war, and at the bottom it mentioned the sarin bomb found.

        I wonder why that is.
        • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Informative)

          by ctid (449118) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @11:29AM (#9230017) Homepage
          Fox went to court over the issue of whether a news organization had the right to lie or distort news stories under the First Amendment. Fox won in the end, at the third or fourth attempt. This blew up over a reporter Jane Akre, who argued that her bosses at Fox had pressured her to change a story about the effect of some hormone treatment on cattle - her report was to say that milk from these cows was dangerous for humans. There is a link to the story here [foxbghsuit.com]. This is why people say that Fox isn't about news.

        • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Informative)

          by OldSchoolNapster (744443) <[oldschoolnapster] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Sunday May 23, 2004 @12:06PM (#9230339)
          When the story broke about the bomb going off that was hooked up to a sarin gas shell (Sarin is a nerve agent, a weapon of mass destruction), for that day and the next, you could find no news story on CNN.com about it. Not one. It was covered on FOX News and MSNBC's websites. Nothing on cnn.com. On the third day, I did manage to find an article that was discussing something else about the war, and at the bottom it mentioned the sarin bomb found.

          I have seen several stories about WMD being found in Iraq since the war began (or ended if you like sticking your head in the ground)and so far not one has turned out to be actual WMD. Still these stories played prominantly on the 24 hour news cycle. Invariably, several days later, the true identitiy [rense.com] of the "WMD" is found and oubviously not as widely publicized, especially on fox. Ever since the WMD mobile lab with canvas sides (that sounds like a sterile environment) which was paraded around as "proof" of WMD, I have taken every such story with a large grain of salt. Especially when it comes from fox. WOLF!

          I can't say for sure that this "sarin" is not real, but I can say that so far 100% of the WMD news stories have been fabrications by either the government [go.com] or the "news" [foxnews.com] media.
    • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Informative)

      by arvindn (542080) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:43AM (#9229591) Homepage Journal
      Moore's supporters, of course, feel the parent's link is a pack of lies and a (small part of a) smear campaign launched by right wing conservative fanatics.

      You may want to read:

      Michael Moore responds to the wacko attackos [michaelmoore.com], in which he debunks most of this nonsense.

      • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LaBlueCow (768184) <rdragone@adelphia.net> on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:52AM (#9229679)
        This is absolutely hilarious. On the one hand, we have people who don't like Moore and his films, and they cry "YOU"RE ALL WACKO LEFTIES!", and on the other hand, we have people who do like Moore and his films, crying "YOU"RE ALL WACKO RIGHT-WINGERS!". What's the deal with this? Can't we have a discussion about something without throwing political buzzwords into the mix? How 'bout I say "I think Bush is a crook and a cheat" rather than saying "I'm an extreme ". It makes much more sense to run a debate or discussion with real words rather than directions, unless you're debating over which way is west on the map.
        • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by BandwidthHog (257320) <inactive.slashdo ... icallyenough.com> on Sunday May 23, 2004 @11:12AM (#9229872) Homepage Journal
          We've been tricked/conditioned into reducing everything to left/right|liberal/conservative dichotomies with not the slightest notion of what these generalizations even mean. I try to mostly ignore those who would rather debate these fictional compass points instead of the actual issues, but it's like some sort of supernatural Pavlovian thing or something. I actually consider myself conservative in most ways, but I find myself diametrically opposed to those in power who call themselves conservative, and I agree strongly with many (but certainly not all!) of the ideas espoused by those tarred with the epithet "liberal."

          Hell, I don't even have a suggestion as to how to work around this issue. I think that's exactly the goal of the division, too. Get people so bogged down in shouting people down for being "red" or "blue" without ever touching a real issue. Very clever of them, isn't it?
    • Re:Documentary? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jilles (20976) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @01:27PM (#9231054) Homepage
      Most documentaries have a message and are therefore not documentaries according to your definition. I've noticed that many americans who don't agree with mr. Moores work choose to attack his journalism rather than the extremely valid points he makes (which would be harder presumably). Micheal Moore is very frank about his work and even goes as far to qualify it as commedy. His political views are no secret either. So you are sort of kicking in an open door.

      But this movie is not being censored by those in power (which in the US are the oil billionairs and the two media conglomerates) because it is a commedy but because it raises valid issues that threaten them and are hard to counter. The truth about the republican party's ties with terrorists is embarrasing and in retrospect even more foolish than it was then. But it is the truth that Donald Rumsfeld was personally involved in making sure Saddam Hussein gained access to US produced WMDs (which is why he was so sure Iraq had them). Also during that time, US money flowed to such noble characters as Bin Laden. In fact Rumsfelds career started with his political involvement during the Vietnam war (another of the US long list of military triomfs). Very embarrasing indeed and well known & documented. We don't need Micheal Moore to prove these points but just to bring them to the attention to those who need to decide on the political future of the politicians involved. And that is why he is being censored. This message is exremely dangerous to Bush and his associates.

      Bush needs stupid, misinformed, ignorant fools to vote for him. There are plenty of those left in the US so IMHO he shouldn't be worried, yet. Despite massive evidence to the contrary there is still some 40% of the electorate who figures that this Bush character is doing a fine job. Witness the power of the media.
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:19AM (#9229376)
    Last time Charlize Theron presented me with something it was a restraining order.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Muad (11989) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:22AM (#9229399) Homepage
    I haven't seen the thing and I am sure it is politically biased, but certainly I would like to make that determination myself rather then seeing Buena Vista kiss presidential ass and decide that it is not gonna distribute it for fear of losing tax breaks in Florida...
    • Re: Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:28AM (#9229442)


      > I haven't seen the thing and I am sure it is politically biased, but certainly I would like to make that determination myself rather then seeing Buena Vista kiss presidential ass and decide that it is not gonna distribute it for fear of losing tax breaks in Florida...

      Disney's veto of the Miramax distribution has probably made it 10x the political bombshell it would have been otherwise.

  • Predictable (Score:5, Funny)

    by cpu_fusion (705735) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:23AM (#9229408)
    Finally we know step #2 of the formula:

    1. Steal underpants.
    2. Paint anti-bush slogan on underpants, sell to Hollywood/Indie industry.
    3. Profit!

  • by SmellsLikeFish (640407) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:29AM (#9229457)
    four of the nine jurors were American: Mr. Tarantino, Kathleen Turner, the director Jerry Schatzberg, and the Haitian-born novelist Edwidge Danticat. one juror, the actress Emanuelle Béart, is a French citizen, British actress Tilda Swinton, Benoit Poelvoode, a Belgian actor; Peter von Bagh, a Finnish critic; and the Hong Kong director Tsui Hark made up the rest of the jury. taken from here [nytimes.com]
  • Art OR politics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xenna (37238) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:30AM (#9229465)
    I really hope that this is a good documentary, because I'd really hate it if the Cannes festival has become nothing more than a vehicle for politics.

    • Re:Art OR politics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by digitalhermit (113459) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:53AM (#9229687) Homepage
      The judges, IIRC headed by Tarentino, did add that the film won on the basis of its artistic merits...

      And maybe Jimmy Carter won the Nobel on the basis of his Habitat for Humanity and election work throughout the world.

      Problem is that I'm not sure if you're kidding or not. I think you're being facetious... :D Art is about politics. From Guernica to the Medici tributes to the famous bust of Apollo it has been about politics. Film, as an art form (no snickers, please) consumes and regurgitates the politics of the era. "F9/11" does so. It was the "Injuns" first. Then the aliens. Then Nazis. Then Russians. Recently it's been Arabs. I wonder why "Enemy of the State" gets played so infrequently while movies with Arab bad guys have been on broadcast television over twenty times in the past three months. Conspiracy? Probably not, but the fact alone does speak volumes.

      I'm a big fan of science fiction; detractors of SF always say that the ideological elements are too raw, too much on the surface. But it is precisely because of this that I enjoy it so. When China was perceived as a threat there was a huge upsurge in the number of "hive mind" bad guys in SF. "Enemy Mind" looked at the same issues as a recent winner that talked of two enemy combatants in the Middle East that were thrown together. The rawness is, in an odd sort of way, reminiscent of Kafka's "Metamorphosis".

      But on to documentaries... The party line is that Moore is full of falsehoods and is creative with the truth. Hmm. So are the administration's recent Medicare ads (the ones which the GAO decided were illegal). I want to see this movie. I want to see "Passion of the Christ". I want more coffee. It's probably time for some. I'm just rambling anyway. I think my foot is asleep.
  • by imrdkl (302224) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:30AM (#9229466) Homepage Journal
    This guy is like one of 3 people in our great nation who's truly willing to get up in the collective face of the administration, and still we have hand-wringing "reasonable" liberals who advise "caution", and fret about him being a provocateur.

    Fuck that. Until the rest of the 150 million or so people who haven't been utterly brainwashed by this administration find the gonads to say something more than, "But, he has no exit plan..", Moore is the mouthpiece of the home of the brave, as far as I'm concerned.

    • by arcanumas (646807) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:53AM (#9229690) Homepage
      In fact, in the interview on the DVD of Bowling for Columbine he says very clearly that he is not the right person for the job, and that he expects journalists and more educated persons to do this criticism. But, since nothing like that happens, and almost all journalists are too afraid or too comfortable to criticize and tell the truth, he has taken it upon himself to do this.
      I don't live in the US, so i can verify his claims. From what i read and hear, however, it does seem that criticism against Bush is generally regarded as not a wise move, and is to be avoided.

      So, saying that Moore's works are not documentaries is not really a revelation that 'uncovers his true face', since he himself admits that there are flaws in his works.

  • More info (Score:5, Informative)

    by arvindn (542080) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:32AM (#9229482) Homepage Journal
    Farenheit 9/11 [wikipedia.org]
    Michael Moore [wikipedia.org]

    In particular,

    ...it was the first documentary to win that award since Jacques Cousteau & Louis Malle's The Silent World in 1956.

  • Message or Money? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by joeytsai (49613) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:37AM (#9229527) Homepage
    Moore currently doesn't have a US distributor because of the Disney/Miramax situation, but Moore feels so strongly about the the content of Farenheit 911 and that American voters especially need to see the movie before the November election.

    I'm personally not a fan of Michael Moore at all, but I will give Moore a lot of credit if he does what seems to be the best option right now: release the movie online, for free. If he does that, he shows that he isn't being a hypocritical war profiteer - he cares more about people hearing the message than the paycheck.

    The petition to release the movie is here [moorewatch.com].
  • by DanBrusca (197887) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:45AM (#9229608) Homepage
    Even if Moore wanted to release the film for free online it's by no means certain that he could, given that it's owned by Miramax, not Moore himself.

    While it's made by Moore's company, Dog Eat Dog Productions, the actual copyright resides with Miramax who are effectively paying Moore to produce a film for them.
  • by a.ferrier (104147) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @10:48AM (#9229638)
    and, by God, America needs more of them.
  • by shanen (462549) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @11:02AM (#9229768) Homepage Journal
    Well, I agree there is a mocking tone in a lot of his comments, but they are definitely documentaries. The central aspect is always the hard facts. Actually, the only one I've seen in it's entirety was Bowling for Columbine , but it was very clear there which parts were facts, which parts were his opinion, and which parts were head games.

    A lot of people claimed that movie was very anti-gun, but it was hard for me to conclude that. I'm basically kind of neutral on guns, and I didn't feel like the movie really said anything one way or the other on that part of it. I think it did try to make the point that Americans were too violent, even fond of violence, and that guns allow for more serious consequences, but I think we all know that. He clearly didn't like the NRA's political activism, but he didn't really go after the Second Amendment. At least I didn't notice it, and I certainly should have. (I think the Second Amendment was exactly what the Civil War was about--and it lost. Thanks and a tip of the hat to that great Republican Abraham Lincoln.)

    It's going to be interesting to see how BushCo tries to spin their way out of this one. It sounds like he's just collected the facts and shown them in an ugly light--but very artistically. Dubya was probably not amused. Maybe it contributed to his little accident over the weekend? If so, BushCo better watch out for the klutz label. It certainly didn't help Ford in his campaign. (Interestingly enough, I never bought it at the time, and still don't. I don't know how a couple of clumsy stumbles got taken so far out of proportion.)

  • The linked article was a little slim on details, but I found the AP article [ap.org] that says that Tarantino was the president of the jury for Palme d'Or, and actress Kathleen Tuner [imdb.com] (of Baby Geniuses fame) [imdb.com] sits on the panel as well. Plus in other cool news, the AP article says that an edited-together 4-hour complete version of Kill Bill was shown. Can't wait for the special edition DVD on that one.
  • by Mad Man (166674) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @11:04AM (#9229792)
    Michael Moore's commitment to "free speech" ends when people do unto him that he does unto others.

    A few years ago, Moore had an ex-employee arrested, when said employee tried to get an interview with him.

    http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/regio nal/061700ny-col-tierney.html [nytimes.com]

    June 17, 2000

    THE BIG CITY
    When Tables Turn, Knives Come Out
    By JOHN TIERNEY

    Michael Moore made a name for himself pointing cameras at cruel corporate executives and other enemies of the people. He stalked the chairman of General Motors, sent people in Puritan costumes to Ken Starr's home and set up a Web site with a camera trained on a window of Lucianne Goldberg's apartment.

    But Mr. Moore does not appreciate being bothered himself, as Alan Edelstein discovered. After he was fired by Mr. Moore, Mr. Edelstein tried borrowing the technique Mr. Moore had applied to G.M.'s Roger Smith in the film "Roger & Me": showing up uninvited with a camera and trying to get an answer from a boss who has decided to downsize.

    Mr. Moore responded by filing a complaint with the New York police accusing Mr. Edelstein of aggravated harassment, menacing and criminal trespassing. As a result, Mr. Edelstein was arrested in March and spent nine hours in a cell at the Midtown North police station.

    The district attorney's office later dropped the case. Now Mr. Edelstein is suing Mr. Moore, alleging malicious prosecution.

    Mr. Edelstein, who is 39 and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, was hired in 1998 as a producer on "The Awful Truth," Mr. Moore's show on the Bravo network. He was fired by a subordinate of Mr. Moore's after seven weeks.

    "I was told that there was a budget crunch," he said, "but I don't think that was true. I later learned there were questions about my competence, which no one had ever raised when I was there. So I was angry at the way I was dealt with."

    He had another reason for pursuing Mr. Moore with a camera. Mr. Edelstein, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1985 for a documentary about a musician, was making a documentary incorporating scenes from his own life. "I thought footage with Michael explaining why I'd been fired would be useful for my own documentary," he said.

    During a speech by Mr. Moore at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mr. Edelstein stood up with a camera and a bullhorn, a tool used by Mr. Moore outside the offices of executives. Mr. Edelstein demanded to know why he had been fired but didn't get an answer.

    Mr. Edelstein twice showed up with his camera at the office of Mr. Moore's production company on West 57th Street near 11th Avenue. He filmed some employees but didn't manage to reach Mr. Moore. Later, he took his camera for a few more unsuccessful attempts to engage Mr. Moore at public events outside the office.

    Mr. Moore says he complained to the police because he thought Mr. Edelstein had become a stalker who was a threat to Mr. Moore's family as well as his employees.

    "If all he was doing was making his little film about me, I wouldn't have cared," Mr. Moore said. "But other people were at risk. This is a disgruntled employee who is a bit off his rocker. Everyone in the office felt there was considerable risk. The women in the office felt frightened for their own safety. Ask them. They'll tell you."

    I asked several women, including one recommended by Mr. Moore, and none sounded scared. They said they found Mr. Edelstein a bit obsessive but otherwise mild-mannered and harmless.

    "No one was remotely in fear of Alan in any shape or form," said Kyra Vogt, who was the office manager at the time Mr. Edelstein showed up with the camera. "Most of us thought the situation was comical. The only person who was paranoid was Mi

  • by mabu (178417) on Sunday May 23, 2004 @04:02PM (#9232203)
    I'm not a flaming liberal that thinks Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky necessarily have their finger on the dynamics of our society by any means. But if anything, the unbridaled vitriol he elicits from factions of the populace should warrant careful consideration of his work.

    I have seen all his movies and some parts I think are incredibly illuminating and others are obviously embellished or distorted, but one thing is for sure: Debate on these issues is productive and there aren't enough outlets for the types of messages he's promoting in our media today, and even if you don't like what he stands for, it's probably incredibly important, even if you disagree with him, that you support his right to express himself. That you recognize that he is passionate about what he believes in and shouldn't be cut down by pedantic, ignorant, sweeping judgements. Otherwise, you will inevitably find at some point, you'll be in his situation as well.

    The fact of the matter is that Moore documents his work exponentially better than his ideological rivals in most cases. His underdog status necessitates this, and that's good for everybody. It's also worth noting that the majority of Moore's critics prefer to criticize Moore, the fallible, sometimes-inconsistent MAN (as if any of us are standards by which others should be judged), and completely disregard his work and the issues he raises.

    To dismiss him is to bury your head in the sand whether you agree with his agenda or not.

  • Moore's prominent presence in the news brings to light some serious questions, such as 'Can't he at least try to look presentable?


    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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