The documentary filmmaker talks about his latest film, the new footage on the DVD, future projects and more
Michael Moore has certainly changed the face of documentary filmmaking in the 20-plus years since his first film, Roger and Me was released in 1989. Since then he's built a reputable library of documentaries such as The Big One, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko. His most recent film takes us into the nation's financial woes with Capitalism: A Love Story, which will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 9. I recently had the chance to speak with Moore over the phone about this new DVD release and here's what he had to say.
I was at the screening of the film that you had in Westwood before the theatrical release and I thought it was really interesting that you said you had an offer out there that you'd give someone $10,000 if they could find a fact that was wrong in the film. I was wondering if anyone took you up on that offer?
Michael Moore: Yeah. For the last two films, I have said that if you can find something where I purposefully did not state the truth, I would write them a check for $10,000. For the last two films, nobody has done it. I mean, a lot of people disagree with my analysis and it's not about if I'm right or wrong. I think I'm right, but no one has been able to prove that I have intentionally not told the truth. It's odd that after 20 years of filming I have been sued twice and only one time did I ever have to pay anything out, $1,250. A lot of people try, but they can't because my films are airtight, when it comes to the truth.
This DVD has quite a lot of extra footage on here. Can you talk a bit about this extra footage and why it couldn't fit into the film itself?
Michael Moore: Oh my god. Well, this was a difficult film to make because there's so much to cover and I don't think a movie should be more than a couple of hours long. There is 80 minutes more of other stuff that wasn't in the movie, that I filmed along the way that I think people would like to see.
So what do you think is the most important segment on these bonus features?
Michael Moore: On the bonus features? Man, that's a tough one. There's a speech by Jimmy Carter on there, from 40 years ago almost and he basically warned us about everything that ended up happening.
I'm actually from Minnesota so I was curious about the Wisconsin taxi drivers one on there.
Michael Moore: Oh yeah. There's a taxi company in Madison, Wisconsin that they're running as a co-operative. Everybody owns the company. I don't mean own like they own shares of stock, they literally own the company. They make decisions democratically and I want to show people how the workplace can operate where everybody has a say and everybody is equal in the process. By doing that, they end up, all in all, making more money out of it.
Do you have any idea what your next film might be yet? I know you talked about an Obama film at the screening, if he didn't come through with his promises. Is that something that you're developing or will you go in another direction?
Michael Moore: I was thinking the other day that I want to make happy movies (Laughs). No more problems, only solutions. Just things, in my travels around the world, that I've seen that works. I get ideas every day though, you know.
Finally, what would you like to say to those who didn't catch the film in theaters about why they should pick it up on DVD?
Michael Moore: Well, when you get this movie and you pop it in, I'm telling you, you're going to see stuff that no one has shown. You're going to see stuff that no one even knew was going on. Your jaw will hit the floor. You're going to have to have somebody there to prop up your jaw, you know. You're going to laugh your ass off, then two minutes later you're going to start crying, then you're going to laugh your ass off again. It is a roller coaster of emotions and it's unlike anything you've seen this year. I am so proud of this film. To me, it's my favorite film I've made.
I really enjoyed the film as well, so I have to say congratulations.
Michael Moore: Oh thank you very much for that.
Well, that's about all I have for you, Michael. Thanks so much for your time and best of luck with your new projects.
Michael Moore: OK, thank you. Bye.
You can watch Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story when it hits the shelves on DVD and Blu-ray on March 9.