OpEdNews Op Eds        6/19/2004

Sending a Message with Michael Moore's Movie, Fahrenheit 9/11

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Use Michael Moore's Movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 to Help Fire Bush

The film could make a real difference in November, helping send Bush back to Texas.  But it's important you go see it this weekend, not later

The way the movie business works nowadays, there's one number, more than any other, that grabs attention in the movie business. That's the first weekend's sales of the movie. If it's big, it grabs headlines. If it takes first place for the weekend, that grabs headlines. More important, if those big, first weekend numbers bring in a first place, the movie will tend to have stronger, longer "legs" meaning it will be offered by movie theaters for a longer period of time.

That's why it is so important that progressives and democrats fork out their $8 to $10 a seat to see Michael Moore's movie about George Bush on the first weekend. Don't wait. Making this movie a hit is important. It will send a message that the mainstream media will not be able to ignore. It will create a halo effect, so that regular moviegoers who might have ignored it will see it out of curiosity. The big first weekend box-office will open doors in more theaters, so the number of screens airing it will increase, making it accessible to more people.

A few weeks ago, the movie, The Day After, did very well, and that sent a message. Already it is one of the top 160 grossing movies in the US . But, according to www.imdb.com it is already 116th among top grossing movies when worldwide gross sales are included. This suggests that the negative reviews that the right wing media gave it hurt this movie, directed by Roland Emmerich, who also directed Independence Day,  the number 10 top grossing movie in world sales. Of course, The Day After has only been out a few weeks, and it's sales will continue.

The point is, Michael Moore's newest movie has a shot at hitting numbers strong enough to keep it visible, to make it more controversial. If it makes serious money, that will put Moore in an even better position to get financing to make further muckraking, hard hitting movies, and it will show Hollywood that there's money to be made telling the truth about corrupt politicians, that there's a profit in funding movies that take on tough issues.

We want to see ten more Michael Moores out there creating hard-hitting films with a political edge. Some of them may have already made straight entertainment films. Who knows, maybe even superstar directors and screenwriters may be dying to do a movie that can make a difference. Maybe, instead of making movies about planetary catastrophes like earthquakes, tidal waves and ice ages, they'll take on the real threats to the planet-- extreme right wingers, megacorporations, massive religious fundamentalist movements, ecological monsters wiping out thousands of species... Hey, if Moore 's movie shows that there's a profit in it.... why not?

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And let's not forget Disney. I've long been a fan of Disney. They've had a hard time of it with fundamentalists for making movies that the religious nuts don't approve of. So it's not like they've just come out against the left wing. Also, they could have played hardball and tried to kill the movie altogether, or dragged out the fight to release it so it didn't come out until after the November elections. And they did fund the movie. So I'm not going to boycott them. But I will take a close look at the movie chains that run the movie and the ones that do not.

I expect that the smaller artsy theaters will carry the film first and I usually support my local small theater, rather than the big chains. But remember, part of attending this movie, in addition to great entertainment, is to send a message. If you go to a multplex, large commercial theater, and they do well with the Moore film, they 'll be more likely to take progressive message films from other film-makers, and the next time Michael Moore makes a film, it might open in 2000 theaters instead of 500.

If they're smart, the DNC, MOVEON.org, and other democratic and left wing communications organizations will get the word out to people to see it on the first weekend, using email and maybe even running ads supporting the movie. (I wrote this on June 9th. Move on started sending out messages supporting the movie on the 17th. Way to go Moveon!)

After all, the movie tells the story about a corrupt political dynasty. The more people know about George Bush, the less likely they are to fall for his crinkly smile and folksy demeanor. Bush is a sociopath and his family is a cancer on the planet.  This movie tells the truth about the Bush's and we should all do what we can to get that word out.. If it tops the box office in its first weekend, there 's a good chance more theaters will pick it up and that millions of people will go see it just because it 's so hot.

So .... treat your friends, your kids, your parents to free passes to the movie. Organize your club, church, synagogue to go. Plan a party afterwards to discuss it. Moveon.org suggests that supporters wear blue shirts so people can tell who 's got the Moveon.org connection.

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You can order your tickets on-line. Do it early, a whole week ahead. Send a message to the theaters that they 'll need to set the film up in the big screen theaters. Maybe we can set a record for pre-sold tickets for a film.

See you at the movies.

Rob Kall rob@opednews.com  is publisher of progressive news and opinion website www.opednews.com and organizer of cutting edge meetings that bring together world leaders, such as the Winter Brain Meeting and the StoryCon Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached.  Over 100 other articles by Rob Kall

 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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