Sunday, March 6, 2016

805. Roger & Me

Roger & Me
Directed by Michael Moore

I am distantly related to Michael Moore, which really isn't that glamorous of a connection.  If anyone leaves a comment saying there is a physical resemblance, I will come out of your screen Ringu style and attack you.

Roger and Me follows Moore's attempts to get an interview with Roger Smith, the CEO of General Motors.  Well, "interview" might be the wrong word. "Ambush" might be more accurate.  In any case, we learn about the economic devastation of Flint, Michigan after General Motors closed several auto plants.

People always talk about how manipulative Michael Moore is with his filmmaking.  That is true, although that can be said of any director, particularly documentary filmmakers .  They are trying to present facts in a way that lead the audience to a planned emotional reaction.  Perhaps Moore's problem is he gives the viewer too much credit.  Any smart person would realize this isn't going to be an objective piece, with each side allowed to fully articulate their arguments.

Disregarding the blatant propaganda, it is still a moving film, although I could have done without the bunny scenes.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Moore was living off welfare checks at the time of filming.


  1. I have been a huge fan of Michael Moore, watching he TV shows late at night back around this time and even seeing him live on stage about a dozen years ago. On the other hand, it does frustrate a little to discover how he can twist things some times. For example, apparently he got his interview right at the start of this process but it isn't shown in the film. All subsequent clips of Roger Smith avoiding him are because the guy's thinking "I've already given you your interview and now you're just harassing me".

    Perhaps I've grown out of him a little bit, even though I am gratefully respectful for his assistance in getting me that far in my own development.

    All of which may or may not be relevant to rating the film itself. A bit like the examples of high art in the list, our own viewpoints and knowledge of the subject matter may disqualify us from passing judgement on the movie in the same confidant way we would all the others.

  2. Don't like him. I think he is obnoxious.

  3. I agree Diana, he can be pretty annoying. I didn't know that he did get an interview with Roger Smith! I figured he was just going about getting one in such a ridiculous way on purpose so he never would.

  4. Yes, this is a trick Russell Brand has perfected nauseatingly. Try to wind the bad guy up and then jump back and cry foul or act like you've proved a point when they react.

  5. Oh dear .. sometimes I feel Michael Moore is a bad case of 'with friends like this, who needs enemies'.
    I gather this is not the only case of him twisting things to make his point. The thing is, when he does that .. the real bad guys (Fox news, am I looking at you?) can , with some justification, hold up their hands in mock horror and blacken all liberal commentators and ideals with Moore's occasional falsehoods.
    He first came to our notice in Europe with 'Columbine'. Oh how we roared with laughter in the cinema at the bank handing over guns to people -IN THE BANK. Oh those crazy Americans and their guns. OK, we may have felt a little disquiet about the treatment of an aging Heston, but we chose to ignore that at the time - I mean, he was the poster boy for the gun nuts wasn't? Deserved all he got, right?. Now? I'm afraid I'm having doubts about him.

  6. Ray, he actually had his own BBC TV series as early as 1994. But late-night BBC2, so, well, easy to forget.

    I give him credit for fighting the good fight when he was more or less alone and it wasn't fashionable (yes, Brand, I do mean you), for presenting it originally (again, Brand) and for achieving real albeit minor results (once again...).

    Just a shame that he chooses to undermine himself by taking liberties with the truth when, presumably, he feels that the end justifies the means.

  7. I actually just watched Columbine for the first time. It was entertaining, although I did feel sorry for some of the people he was interviewing (like the police officer who described the dog with the gun) as they seemed well meaning but he made them out to be complete doofuses.

  8. DEssie .. Thank you .. gosh, I was totally unaware of the BBC series. Similar sort of stuff eh?
    We share a strong dislike for Russel Brand, who I agree is an objectionable git.

  9. Yes, similar sort of stuff. Not unlike Esther Rantzen's That's Life, if you can imagine such a crossover, but more provocative. Would often win some minor battles such as embarrassing a health insurance company to stop using a loophole to avoid giving life-saving treatment to a customer. Or convincing an entire Welsh village to give up their passports to become Argentinian. It was pretty funny stuff, to be fair.

    I'm sure Amanda doesn't want to turn her blog into a politics debate, but...
    My biggest objection to Russell Brand is that I've actually voted left or centre all my life so it frustrates me to see idiots like him / Bradley Manning or charlatans like Julian Assange do so much damage to the cause by appointing themselves as unelected figureheads for their own purposes. That said, he did used to write a very good football column in The Guardian many years ago which goes to show that no one is all bad.

  10. Oh heck .. I'm afraid that sounds .. a weird mixture of intriguing and absolutely dreadful. I've got an awful image of Michael Moore waving suggestive genital shaped vegetable about, and I don't like it.
    I will beg to differ that writing a good football column is a saving grace, but I get your point.. And whilst agreeing that this is a film debate site, I will very briefly agree about Bran and Assage. Sorry Amanda.. back to films

  11. We're probably OK to dip into politics on the Michael Moore page, as long as we don't try and dissect free trade history on the Toy Story review

  12. Hey I don't mind if we talk politics on this. And seeing how we are all liberal it's not much of a debate!