Some points of interest regarding Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore's new movie about the United States after September 11, 2001:
fahrenheit911movie.com originally pointed to the campaign URL of one George W. Bush, although it has since been repointed to www.mooreexposed.com. This is apparently not courtesy of the President's administration itself, but of Alex Emes, the executive director of Freedom Village, a series of faith-based homes for troubled teenagers.
It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle to reclaim the name for its proper purpose, given that the name Fahrenheit 9/11 has almost certainly been trademarked, but it's nonetheless a particularly underhanded thing to do. I would have thought this would also invite litigation due to loss of profits.
Speaking of loss of profits, it's now common knowledge that Moore had a dispute with both Mel Gibson's Icon Productions and The Walt Disney Company. Gibson is a fundamentalist Christian conservative, while Disney chief Michael Eisner is an idiot; neither one is quite in line with Moore's liberal ideology. So both decided to pull out their funding.
However, the Weinstein brothers, monarchs of Disney's Miramax subsidiary, announced a plan to continue distributing the film. Rather than being an official Disney/Miramax film, they stumped up $6 million of their own cash in order to repay the parent company for all costs involved in making it, and:
The brothers formed the Fellowship Adventure Group, described as "a new special-purpose company," to personally acquire all rights to the film, according to a joint press release from Disney and Miramax.
They also reached a settlement so that Disney does not benefit from the movie it turned its back on. Any profits from the film's distribution that go to Miramax or Disney will be donated to charity.
The charity in question is unspecified, but it'll be a bit of a slap in the face to the House of Mouse if the film usurps its predecessor as the most profitable documentary ever made. Although it wouldn't exactly come as a great surprise, given Eisner's valiant attempts to sail the corporation triumphantly down the plughole.
One of the people interviewed for the film was Nick Berg, the American businessman who was unfortunately beheaded in Iraq:
Moore confirmed Thursday that he had footage of Berg - shot for his film "Fahrenheit 9/11," which is critical of President Bush - but said he would share it only with the family.
"He recognized it was a concern, and he kind of pointed out that he'd worked in difficult situations before," Sara Berg said from her home in Virginia. "It's definitely something that he didn't shrug off."
"He went to Iraq because he had certain beliefs about helping people in messed up situations, but it's not like he was trying to help the Bush administration," David Berg said.
When the film won the Palme d'Or, there were criticisms that of course it would win at a French film festival. However, the majority of the voting panel were Americans, including Quentin Tarantino, who whispered into Moore's ear:
"I just want you to know it was not because of the politics that you won this award. You won it because we thought it was the best film that we saw."
Fahrenheit 9/11 will be released in the United States on June 25. It's supposedly less incendiary and far more thoughtful than Bowling for Columbine; although some people have described it as a two hour long, cinematic campaign leaflet for anyone but Bush, is that necessarily a bad thing? Even if you're pro-Bush, presumably you have the intelligence to filter through any bias and examine the film from your own perspective. I think it could well be the most exciting film of 2004.