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Edward Douglas on: Pierson to Moore: "Get Out of the Damn Way"


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The Reeler Blog

Pierson to Moore: "Get Out of the Damn Way"

Here at The Reeler, we've already come to terms with our feelings for Michael Moore: Unparalleled propagandist and entertainer. Feeble truth dodger. Alleged movie leaker. But our knowledge of Moore, like most people's, has nothing on that of John Pierson, the former producer's rep who sold Roger & Me to Warner Bros. for $3 million almost 20 years ago (and recapped the whole thing in his seminal indie chronicle Spike Mike Slackers & Dykes). And today over at indieWIRE, Pierson takes a deep, cleansing breath on the occasion of Sicko's wide release to offer one last bit of advice:

(In) Bowling For Columbine, you NEVER advocate handgun control in that movie. You advocate a change in the violent, racist American character. Thus once again I'm not sure how you imagine your voice in the wilderness could've stopped school shootings or changed the VA Tech slaughter where the kid had two handguns, was obsessed with his media image, and was also certifiably unbalanced.

On Iraq, you were both right -- and just about the first person this side of Noam Chomsky -- to speak out publicly in the US -- though not the world, or even Canada. Then of course in a fit of delusion, you took Fahrenheit 9/11's blockbuster box office as a sign that you could personally alter the course of the 2004 election. Three years later, you conveniently describe that campaign as "the BEGINNING of the end" for Bush. But it looks like your ego got quite the better of you.

And that brings us back to the present. You're on the side of the fucking angels with SiCKO and no lapses, omissions or oversimplifications can detract from its contribution to the greater good. But please baby please, let the movie, which you have so beautifully made, do the talking. ...

Spike (Lee) always credited Errol Morris for saving one man from a life in prison in The Thin Blue Line. And you yourself have saved individual lives, past and present, by focussing on a specific person's health insurance crisis. Historically the national policy debate has been impacted by meticulously researched and passionately argued books like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring or Ralph Nader's Unsafe At Any Speed, not by your iconic infotainment or any filmmaking stunts. And yet, and still SiCKO has a great chance to galvanize debate. But this time the debate should not be about YOU.

And this is just a few paragraphs; angry students, smear campaigns, the Clintons and Manufacturing Dissent all pop up herein. While your way into the weekend and click here to read the rest.

Posted at June 29, 2007 3:57 PM

Comments (1)

Wow, great rant! I gotta see that Manufacturing Dissent movie... but as far as other docs that have made a difference, how about "This is Not Yet Rated." The MPAA certainly reviewed their policies and seem to be making headway into the world of indie films as far as having representation in the appeals. You still have crazy shit like 'Die Hard' getting a PG-13 despite heavy violence and "Once" getting R merely due to language, but it does seem that Kirby Dick's doc got people thinking.

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