Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
Is BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE appropriate right now? Or perhaps the question is, is BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE essential right now?
All I know is that readers can’t stop talking about it. For example, here’s “j9 and her lime” with a review of BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, for example:
Hi Moriarty, Harry and fellow Geeks. This is my first review...
Lastnight I saw Bowling for Columbine at the Sunshine theatre in the East Village of NYC. There have already been a number of reviews posted so I am going to for go the synopsis and just cut to reactions.
I'm definitely a fan of Michael Moore. I've seen Roger & Me, read Stupid White Men and regularly click on michaelmoore.com. In my case anyway, this film is 'preaching to the converted' as they say. I got the feeling it was the same with much of the audience I saw it with. There was laughing and cooing, and tense silence at all the right moments, and most everyone applauded at the end. All this makes me can't help but wonder what it would be like to see this movie with an audience in... oh I don't know - West Virginia? or Florida... or Texas.
Moore deftly uses humor to seize our attention on to a subject which is actually quite sad and often horrifying. One of the bits that hit me the hardest was a montage of scenes of violence perpetrated by the US. on others, followed by an image that we have all seen many, many times since Sept. 11.
The film asks the question 'why are there so many gun deaths in America?', and explores a few possible explanations, but ultimately it doesn't find an answer. I think the comparisons with Canada will no doubt be used as an argument AGAINST stricter gun control in the US. (Apparently they have a lot of guns too, but they dont shoot each other.)
That brings me to why I think this movie is so important. It starts conversations. Necessary conversations. Its a 'must see", but not just for the high entertainment value. Moore was on Charlie Rose the other night - he said something about the reason why he does this is because he doesnt want the American Dream to just be a dream.
I like that. Yeah. Me too.
Our next spy is reporting in from the Mill Valley Film Festival, where Michael Moore held a Q&A that sounds like it was pretty remarkable. Check this excellent report out:
Hey gang, this is Lola Burns, your NoCal Platinum Blonde reporting in from the MVFF. Last night a screening of Arisman was swapped with the festival’s third showing of Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine.” As the site already has some thorough reviews of this hysterical and important film (PLEASE everyone, honor the director’s request and take 10 of your friends to see it this weekend) I’m here to fill you in on the unbilled Q and A with Michael Moore after the screening.
Before the start of the movie, a staff member announced that Michael Moore was in NoCal at an NRA convention, doing his thing, and was going to try to join us after the movie. That electrified the crowd, which responded enthusiastically throught the film with claps, boos, and other displays of unity. When the lights came up, the Anti-Man Himself walked to the front of the movie theatre and received a long standing ovation. He thanked us graciously and let us in on the fact that he had been in the back of the screening for the last half of the movie and really appreciated our reaction to his work. As to why we were the ones graced with his presence at the festival, MM figured the “slacker audience that waited to buy tickets should see him, not the people that get up at 6 am to buy tickets. The slackers who always get stuck with the shitty tickets, that’s my crowd.” This, of course, went over huge. Many of you may not be familiar with Mill Valley in Marin County, but it is an affluent white town outside of San Fran. The yuppies rule the MVFF and flaunt it tirelessly throughout the festival in their couture suits and Gucci sunglasses (really, how does one eat buttery popcorn in that get up?). They thrive on stealing all the good tickets, making pretensious remarks in the upscale lobbies, and filling all the good parking spaces near the festival with their Volvos and Beemers. So it was a nice nod to genuine film lovers/scrappy poor liberals who thought they were seeing a doc on the brilliant and artsy Arisman to instead be rewarded by Moore with an hour and a half of his much-in-demand presence.
I’m not sure how the other reporters do this, but I happened to have a notepad on me. I scribbled furiously during Moore’s Q and A (I only looked up to see the man twice, which wasn’t too much of a loss because I was in the last row of the theatre next to the projectionist).. Since I was an A student, I think I transcribed pretty accurately (see, us geeks are good for something!). Much of the following will be direct quotes from the Man Himself. The parenthesis are my editing to help you follow the conversation. The first question of the evening was to how long he had been working on the project, and why he chose to make “Bowling for Columbine.”
Moore replied that “It took three years to make the film. It became about much more than school shootings. It’s our feelings about why we have violence locally and then we export it. The last thing I want…is for people to leave the theatre with despair, paralyzed by a lack of hope. Hopefully, humor is a tension reliever and helps people leave wanting to do something about it.”
Moore stated that there is a petition on the michaelmoore.com website to Democrats saying that the 81 Democrats that voted with Bush for war should be removed from office. 50,000 people signed the petition in three days, and MM himself delivered it. He believes the majority of the USA is against the war, especially when polled about American casualties as a result of military involvement.
When asked how the film is doing, Moore said that “UA has been very supportive of the film. But of course it’s about the opening weekend. I need you to tell 10 people to see this film. It opened in LA and NYC today against 18 films, which is a crazy business strategy for the studio, but unfortunately is the way things are done now. Every screening in NY today sold out. (In LA,) Encino (‘hood-ish) is outselling Westwood (upscale yuppies), which is important. Ultimately, we need Encino to see this film if we’re going to effect change. In the first six hours today the MichaelMoore.com site has had 3 million hits…blew out the server.” (Much higher number than in January, which I think MM said was around 18,000 hits a day? Not sure.) “There is no liberal progressive leadership right now, no way to make your voice heard at the polls. You in Marin need to know you’re not alone. You are in the majority, and if it (the movie) does good this weekend, UA promised 700 prints of it will be shipped to malls across America.”
Then he said something about Nova Scotia funding the film. Next some nitwit asked him why Moore thought Americans behaved so violently, which caused a really uncomfortable silence. He started to say he had just explained his views in the film, but then launched deeper into the argument.
“Collective responsibility is the Canadian ethic. Go down the whole list: French, German, British, it’s what people believe. The American ethic is “Fuck Everybody.” Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, me me me me me.”
A Canadian woman in the audience then piped up with “I don’t find Americans to be that way.” Which he had a really funny refute to, that of course I forgot to write down (sorry!).
Someone asked where we could go on the web to be proactive BESIDES his website, which was phrased rudely and got a big eye roll from MM. Then a combo of MM and show-off liberal audience members came up with the list:
Z-net, alternet, Guardian in London, Common Greens, Not in My Name.net, the Nation, BBC.
Someone (ironically riddled with fear) asked what else we can do.
MM: “Turn off the tv. Stop getting your news from tv. They’re appealing to our basic instincts. We will watch to see where the sniper goes next.”
Then he was asked what response he has received from the NRA. He said he got a call from USA Today (the audience tittered at that), so he got to hear the NRA’s spin. They are very nervous about Heston’s mixed ethnicity comment (which is priceless, and worth the price of admission).
Apparently the NRA told USA Today that MM did some funny editing to get Heston to say that. MM replied that he will “just put the whole interview on his website if that is what happens.”
Moore launched into a pretty bemusing story for the folks in Marin about how he should have put together a special edit for us including Heston’s comments about Marin. MM had asked him why Heston suddenly switched from being a Democrat to a Republican back in 1964. (MM imitated Heston as he told the story). “I was driving in Marin County… (that got a HUGE laugh) Goldwater had a billboard that said, “In your heart, you know that I’m right.” And he (Heston) knew it. He had a conversion by billboard, which is why billboards should be outlawed.”
An audience member asked if K-Mart did stop carrying ammunition, to which MM replied affirmatively and said “We’re going after Walmart next. If these two kids can do it, imagine what you can do.”
Someone said they thought high school students should see the movie, which MM totally agreed with. “High school students should see it. I’m very sorry they rate it an R rating. We exceeded the F word rate by two.” So of course an audience member shouted out “Fuck that!” which was a huge clap trap. Someone else asked if Heston signed a release, which MM said “he did not because he is a public figure. I take out a lot of insurance, 300,000 premium, because we get sued.”
Someone else asked about his creative process, whether this was the movie he intended to make. MM said he went up to Canada initially to prove that they have less firearms, “which they fucked us up on.” He explained that he never went to college, so there’s no thesis or outline to his movies. He just goes on a journey, and “I know you’re on the journey with me.” He wanted to ask this question since he was a kid. “We live in a violent country, so why us? Never made sense since I was a kid. I never liked that dark aspect of our society.”
When asked about the music (he’s a fan of Cracker) and MM told us the version of “What a Wonderful World” was sung by Joey Ramone from the end of his last album. Of course, the audience ate that up.
A lady made the comment that she knew very little about Marilyn Manson, but felt differently about him after viewing “Bowling for Columbine.” MM said that he and his wife were initially concerned about his daughter’s Manson records. They snuck into her bedroom to listen to them. MM agreed that Manson was the most eloquent speaker in the movie.
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, the other MM comes off as brilliant, savvy, and compassionate. He doesn’t whine about his treatment in the press. Instead he simply states the honesty of why he was chosen as the scapegoat. It’s really great, because instead of acting put upon (which he deservedly could have), he empathizes appropriately with the shooters. When big MM asks him what he would have said to the shooters beforehand, Marilyn quickly replies something along the lines of “I wouldn’t have said anything. I would have listened to what they had to say, which is obviously what wasn’t going on.” Truly a jawdropping cinematic moment. Juxtaposed with Heston’s callous insensitivity, it really makes you question why one man is considered a pillar of society while the other is demonized. Manson gives the disenfranchised youth a safe outlet for their frustrations, while Heston arms them. Yet who is banned from Colorado?
MM said that after listening to the records, he and his wife began to wonder “what else have we been lied to about? We start to believe that crap. We (he and his wife) don’t have a better filter than any other Americans. If we believed that (about Manson), what else are we believing that is a lie?”
Moore was then asked why he was a member of the NRA. He explained that as a kid he was a marksman, but that as an adult he had a master plan to run for the NRA presidency, beat Charlton Heston and dismantle the organization. That comment was a crowd pleaser. MM said he only needed 5 million votes, which he thought he could get. But then he discovered you have to have been an NRA member for five years to be qualified to vote. So “it seemed like too much work. I decided to do a movie instead.” He has heard that an NRA branch is trying to have his membership revoked.
Someone asked about his blaming of Lockheed and Martin for some responsibility at Columbine. He replied that he was really trying to say something about the larger picture. Maybe it was connected, maybe it wasn’t, but it was interesting.
MM was asked about Iraq. “What we are doing to Iraq is totally immoral. The kernal of truth here is that Saddam is a very bad guy. That helps sell the lie that has weapons of mass destruction. This is all a ruse to get the focus off Bush and his cronies… I’m far more concerned about weapons of mass distraction.”
Then he launched into the 2000 election debacle, how he knows people are tired of hearing about the election, but it was stolen from the black voters.
He feels Democrats cave because they don’t have the courage of their convictions. “The majority of Americans are consistently liberal in issues like pollution, women’s rights, pro-choice, but they don’t vote liberal because liberal leaders are an oxymoron. There is no choice on the ballot.”
His next project is tentatively titled “Fahrenheit 911” He didn’t say what it was about, although the title got a big laugh. Judging from his startling 911 call expose in “Bowling for For Columbine”, I would guess is about the news community’s insensitive bloodthirst.
For the most awkward moment of the evening, some long-winded French woman stood up and ranted softly enough that half the audience couldn’t hear her. Moore summed up her comments as “Americans say Fuck Everybody.” That was a pretty funny moment. Then Moore responded to her with “The reason this film is doing so well in France is because your country is becoming like ours.” He went into some political talk about the French president that I am not equipped to follow. Then he said that politicians and news reports are the becoming the same as ours, feeding on fear. “They (the French) embraced the film because it’s a warning they’re becoming like us. It’s not too late for them, but it might be too late for us.”
Then something incredibly cool happened. Ed Asner, a MVFF honoree, stood up and told Moore that loved the film, it was the second time he had seen it, and that he loves his work. He agrees about why other countries are different than us is social welfare, wishes Moore could have said that point even more. Mr. Asner thinks this war is “the death knell to democracy.”
Then Ed went into a political speech that I am again not equipped to report back (sorry I’m so sadly unaware of politics, but I don’t get my news from tv). Asner asked Moore “Is the reason we differ from the rest of the world because we are so stupid?” Moore responded that “We have almost an enforced ignorance in this country…40 million adults can’t read or write above a fourth grade level, which means they can’t process information. The majority of Americans can’t place Iraq on a map.”
Then Moore embarassed the hell out of Asner by telling us all that while making “Roger and Me”, living on welfare, a nobody selling everything he had to make the film, he sent out a slew of letters to strangers asking for funding. He got one letter back from someone who didn’t know him. He got one letter back and it was from Ed Asner with a check enclosed. Of course, the audience went nuts clapping. Moore was really emotional telling Asner “What you did for me was far beyond the value of the check. The recognition…” Moore explained how it kept not only him going, but everyone that was working on the film. Then he spoke to Asner’s very public political demonstrations (while he was the president of the Screen Actors Guild, etc.). ”You have been such a courageous individual over the years and I’ve never had a chance thank you publicly.”
Asner got as gruff as Lou Grant and said “If you want to thank me, put me in the billing of the movie!” Moore said “You’re in the credits!” Asner seemed really embarrassed and humbled by their whole interchange. He doesn’t appear to be someone who wants to be acknowledged publicly. Asner ended the conversation with “And I’ll never ask you another question again!”
Moore was asked about his book “Stupid White Men” which he stated was the largest selling nonfiction book in America in 2002.
One unpopular comment Moore made was “…and I think if Al Gore was the president right now, actually he is, he won, he’d be doing the same thing right now (as Bush). Hillary voted for the war, Feinstein voted, Boxer did not (the last two are NoCal’s democratic leaders).
The next question was whether Moore would still support Nader, knowing the outcome of the election. He replied emphatically yes, because Nader wasn’t pushing in swing states. But that he wouldn’t now because the important thing for 2004 is to get Bush out. If the Green Party, Independents, etc. won’t do the work, then he wants “Jimmy Carter to run for one term. He could defeat Bush, just come back and clean up the mess as a man of conscious. There will be Bush removal in 2004.”
Someone else asked if Moore personally locks his front doors, which will make a lot more sense to you after you all see the movie. “I’d like to live in a world where I don’t think I have to lock my doors.”
Someone else asked what they could do when they were so afraid of the consequences. Moore got a little steamed and said he wasn’t afraid to make this movie, not afraid of the big bad NRA. “This film is like Toto, pulling the curtain on the wizard. Heston is just a man. Everyone is so afraid of the NRA….I was surprised at the turn (the interview with Heston) it took, and that he left me alone in the house (Heston leaves the interview in a huff). Two hours later after we raided his fridge…They wouldn’t let us out of the house.” We were standing at the bottom of the driveway with this “12 foot high gate with cameras following us, and they wouldn’t open it. Finally I took the film out of the camera and lobbed it over the gate to the kid in the car outside and told him to meet us at the corner of Santa Monica and Wilshire. Once the cameras saw the tape gone, the gates opened.”
Moore explained that the Heston interview wasn’t planned at all. He had tried for two years to get an interview. On the way to LAX, some kid in the van starts whining about getting a star map to find Heston, and it turned into a challenge that Moore was an old man who had lost his stuff, just wanted to get to LAX in time to get a good seat. Moore finally bought a Star Map and was trying to prove it was no good because it still had the house of Brooke Shields and Andre Aggassi on it, who were long divorced. But everybody in the car kept whining. So on a dare, they “run up the hill, ding dong, out of the box comes the voice of Moses. If you see the film again you’ll hear my voice shaking. Holy, what do I do now? We had no contact. We show up the next morning, and sure enough they let us in.”
Someone asked if Moore chose the location of the interview. He said that Heston actually asked to be in front of the “Touch of Evil” poster, a French version that actually translates as “Thirst for Evil.” Moore was wondering if any audience members would get it.
When asked about the varying mediums in the film, Moore explained that 24 frame high definition came out while they were in the middle of shooting. He thinks that looks the best, but that it has to be transferred to film and then projected. “Lucas is wrong to try to get theatres” to switch from projectors (that’s a bold statement to make in Marin County).
Moore said he got the Columbine footage just by asking for it (isn’t that amazingly weird?). The Sheriff’s Office gave him all the security footage. The 911 calls were encoded to hid the press calls tying up the lines. The CD-ROM was decoded by a programming geek. “Pretty chilling.”
Moore said he got into movies because he always loved seeing movies, but there were fewer and fewer he wanted to see. He decided to make his own. He doesn’t think the technical part is hard. He started learning and surrounded himself with people who were learning. He wasn’t afraid to make mistakes. “In school, you make mistakes and you’re flunked. It’s actually the best way to learn.”
Someone asked how the NRA convention crashing went before he got to our screening, which really confused Moore. He told us he was actually in San Francisco doing press junkets for the movie, which come to think of it was a lot like being at an NRA meeting.
Regarding the PR tour for “Stupid White Men” while it was on the Bestseller List, only two networks allowed him on air, and the interviews were aired at 1 am. He’s been on four shows promoting “Bowling for Columbine”, including “The View” and a half hour on “The Charlie Rose Show.” He has refused all offers this week to go on shows that want to do a tie in to the sniper. He told them “forty people a day are killed by guns, why are their death any less important? Cover them every day. The sniper, as bad as it is, distracts us from the real issue.”
Some knucklehead in the audience piped up with how he was scared to speak up at times, “what do you say to us to do every day?”
This question seemed to irritate MM. He talked about doing something small everyday, and that democracy “requires all the citizens to be active. It is a participatory sport.”
This amazing Q and A session ended with a lady in the audience congratulating Moore on an accessible and wonderful film, and thanking him for his humility, compassion, and integrity.
Moore told us if we wanted to do something, we should show up on October 26th at the San Fran Plaza for an anit-war demontration. Then he shook a few hands and escaped out into the alley, no doubt looking for more white male asses to kick.. The audience was all abuzz afterwards, despite the fact that the 9:30 pm screening officially wrapped at 1:30 am. Even the jaded socialite MVFF volunteers were referring to it as a “Magical Evening.”
Here’s another somewhat awed review:
Got to see the New Michael Moore film last night at the Jacob Burns Film Center In good old Pleasentville New York, and my God. Moore was sent to this planet to save America. Bowling for Columbine is simply the most important film to be released this year. Michael Moore has done what he did with "Roger and Me", only about fifty times more effective and a hundred times more entertaining (and I loved Roger and Me).
When Michael Moore set out to make Bowling For Columbine, he wanted to make a documentary about simply columbine. He ended up with something much more. Moore has become a master at invoking different emotions. Three minutes into the movie your laughing your ass off, ten minutes later you want to cry. Repeat this process for about two hours and you have "Bowling For Columbine".
There are two particular scene in the film that are particularly amazing. I'm not going into detail to spoil them. Them first is a animated history lesson Michael Moore style (I'm pretty sure Trey Parker and Matt Stone had something to do with it). "I love's my gun" is going to enter every geek vocabulary within a few weeks. The second involves Charlton Heston and Michael Moore locked in a room, enough said.
Moore approaches the delicate material of "Bowling For Columbine" in just the perfect way. He doesn't make it to sappy but he doesn't take it to light hearted, but he doesn't make it sappy. Just right. "Bowling For Columbine" is an amazing film. Go see it.
Chance The Gardner
October 10, 2002
Caught a pre-release screening of Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine at The museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, followed by a Q & A with Moore. After showing picture I.D. and having the trunk of our car searched, we went through metal detectors before settling in at the museum's plush theatre. The security nicely set the tone for the film - a caustic and hilarious skewering of gun culture, media-induced fear of crime and American foreign policy (past and present). Per usual, Moore allows celebrities to hoist themselves on their own pitard of ignorance and/or arrogance. This time around, Dick Clark and Charleton Heston get to come off like asses. On the other hand, Marilyn Manson ends up looking like a genius. Whether you are on board with Moore's politics or not, you will probably enjoy the film as entertainment, as it is fast-paced and very clever. It is also clearly more agit-prop than balanced documentary, with Moore up to his usual truth bending edting tricks (watch carefully as Charleton Heston is filmed walking away from Moore, as Moore implores him to take a look at the photo of a little girl recently killed by a handgun, remember that the film was shot with only one camera, and decide for yourself if Moore is being fair). Also, you may share my queasiness about the way Moore appears to manipulate two Columbine survivors into joining him on one of his corporate confrontation missions.
if you want balance and fairness, look elsewhere. If you want a masterfully assembled piece of entertaining persuasion, then check it out.
The most revealing part of the Q&A was just how self-absorbed the Westside Lib audience was. "Questions" alternated between gushing praise for Moore( "I just want to thank you for this film...") and long diatribes about this or that, after which Moore was asked, basically, to validate the speaker. We did learn that Moore has no plans to do any television ("it's too much work") adn that Bowling for Columbine was bought by MGM BEFORE it's first screening (at Cannes) because the Canadian backers were too nervous the film wouldn't be well received.
Moore also shared a great story about how he was elected to the local school board at age 18, almost by accident. He said that his next book project will be aimed at teenagers, and be called How to Get Involved Without Giving Up Your Slacker Ways.
Moore stayed for along time after the film to answer questions, even though he was being not too subtly pressured to wrap it up by the event coordinators. Moore explained that he was avoiding his next obligation - a party at the house of an MGM bigwig. He also confirmed, after someone shouted it out, that he is a scofflaw from a speeding ticket he received the last time he was in Los Angeles. Finally, he reported that his book (Stupid White Men) has become the number one best selling non-fiction book of the year.
If you find this is of enough interest to print, please call me The Mummer.
And who better to appeal to you directly in an effort to get you to see the film than Moore himself?
Michael Moore's website put out this letter written by him today, and I thought it'd be cool if you could let everyone know by posting it on your website. Movies like this need all the support they can get.
October 9, 2002
My Film, "Bowling for Columbine," Opens This Friday
Dear friends, fans, and fellow evildoers:
I am very happy and excited to tell you that this Friday, October 11, my new film, "Bowling for Columbine," will open in New York and Los Angeles.
It is, I promise, the last thing the Bushies want projected on the movie screens across America this week. The film is, first and foremost, a devastating indictment of the violence that is done in our name for profit and power - and no one, in all the advance screenings I have attended, has left the theatre with anything short of rage. I truly believe this film has the potential to rock the nation and get people energized to do something.
This is not good news for Junior and Company. Not when they are trying to drag us into another war. Not when a crazed sniper is exercising his constitutional right to own a high-powered rifle. Not when John Ashcroft is still prohibiting the FBI from looking through the gun background check files to see if any of the 19 hijackers or their associates purchased any weapons prior to 9/11 - because THAT, we are told, would "violate" these terrorists' sacred Second Amendment rights!
Yes, I believe this movie can create a lot of havoc - but I will need ALL of you to help me do this. Are you game?
Last February 5th, I wrote to tell you about a book I had written and how the publisher had decided to dump it because they were afraid to publish anything critical of Bush after 9/11. I appealed to you to save "Stupid White Men" from the shredder and to go out and buy it. I promised you would not regret it, and that the book would not only be a great read but an important organizing tool in gumming up the plans of George W. Bush.
Within 24 hours, the book went to #1 on the Amazon best seller list. By the fifth day, the book was already into its 9th printing. The publisher was torn between its desire to kill the book or make a wad of money. Greed won out, and this Sunday the book enters its 31st week on the New York Times best seller list - and its 32nd printing. This is all because of you, my crazy and loyal friends. You made this happen, against all the odds.
Now I would like to ask you again to help me with my latest work, "Bowling for Columbine." It's a movie that many critics have already called my best film to date. They may be right. It is certainly the most provocative thing I have ever done. I have spent three years on it and, I have to say, it cuts deeper, harder and funnier that anything I have given you so far.
The movie opens this Friday in New York and Los Angeles, and then in 8 more cities next week. How it does in these first ten cities wil l determine whether or not the rest of the country gets to see it. That is the nutty way our films are released. If it doesn't have a big opening weekend, you can kiss the film good-bye. Therefore, this weekend, this film must be seen by millions of Americans. Can you help me make that happen?
"Bowling for Columbine" is not a film simply about guns or school shootings. That is only the starting point for my 2-hour journey into the dark soul of a country that is both victim and master of an enormous amount of violence, both at home and around the world. With this movie I have broadened my canvas to paint a portrait of our nation at the beginning of the 21st century, a nation that seems hell-bent on killing first and asking questions later. It is a movie about the state sponsored acts of violence and terrorism against our own poor, and how we have created a culture of fear that is based on the racial dilemma we continue to ignore. And it's a devastating comedy.
This film is going to upset some pretty big apple carts. No film has EVER said the things I am saying in "Bowling for Columbine." I expect to be attacked. I expect certain theatres will not show it for fear of retribution. I expect that this movie will be a bitter pill for many to swallow.
This is why I need your help. Movies live or die based on what happens at the box office the first weekend of its release. I need you, if you live in the New York or L.A. area, to go see "Bowling for Columbine" this Friday and Saturday - and take as many family members and friends with you as possible. I guarantee you will not be disappointed - and you may just see one of the best films of the year.
Monday night in Times Square, "Bowling for Columbine" had its premiere. The crowd was amazing, as it was this past Saturday night at the Chicago Film Festival. The audience kept laughing or hooting or applauding so loud throughout the film that it was hard to hear the next line.
The hate mail, the threats, the promises of retribution have already started to roll in to the distributor of this movie, United Artists. They are not backing down. But how long will this last? I need all of you in the New York tri-state and southern California areas to go see "Bowling for Columbine" THIS weekend - the rest of you can see it in a couple of weeks when it comes to your town. A strong opening not only means that the rest of America will see this film, it means that a good number of people who see it are going to leave the film angry enough to get active and get involved. If it does poorly, I will have a difficult time finding the funding for the movie I want to make next - a film about 9/11 and how Bush is using that tragic day as a cover for his right-wing agenda.
Don't let that happen. Don't let the NRA have one more success by stopping the wider distribution of this movie. And, together, let us not remain silent in our opposition to Bush's phony war against Iraq.
If you live in New York, you can see it at the Lincoln Plaza, the Sunshine and the Loews 19th St. In L.A., you can catch it at the Sunset 5, the Westwood Regent, Laemmle Sunset, Laemmle Towncenter (Encino), Landmark Rialto (Pasadena), and Regal University (Irvine). Also, please forward this to your other friends and tell them to go see "Bowling for Columbine" this weekend.
And finally, don't miss our new website BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE.com.
Thank you for your help with this. I feel so honored and privileged to have so many people interested in my work. Last January I was getting 70,000 hits a month on my website. Last month, I got 17 million hits. This alone speaks volumes about the vast majority all of us belong to who are sick and tired of what is going on and are longing for an alternative source of information.
I hope that you enjoy "Bowling for Columbine."
Thank you again...
I know he implored you to see it this past weekend, but just because we’re posting these reviews late, don’t penalize the film. I’ve been swamped, but I’m going to get out to see this movie as soon as I can. Any film that can inspire strong conversation about a topic as important as this is worthwhile, no matter where you stand on the issue.