It has been four days since the New York Times published this article on the Michael Moore in Cuba controversy, but by Saturday I had already written on the story three times, and I figured I'd wait awhile before commenting more. The article doesn't report much that hasn't already been covered here -- Moore is in trouble with the U.S. Treasury Department because of a trip he took to Cuba for his latest film, SiCKO -- and it was actually written before Moore's rant-as-defense letter, but it does feature a response from Harvey Weinstein, whose The Weinstein Co. is distributing SiCKOthis summer. Weinstein appears to be grateful for the extra publicity that the government is giving to the film, but he also addressed some concerns. He thinks the Treasury Dept. might try to have the Cuba footage removed from the documentary, and he mentions that if so, he has the resources to fight them on this.

Speaking of resources, Chris Lehane was also quoted in response to the controversy. The spin doctor, who was hired by TWC last week to provide PR assistance for the film, states that the company feels comfortable with the terms in which Moore went to Cuba. So basically it seems that TWC and Lehane are backing Moore 100% on the issue, despite the fact that the trip seems obviously to have been in violation of the law. I think that if these guys really do want more publicity for SiCKO that they should just let Moore tackle this himself. He'd probably be struck with a huge fine, which he would then publicly reject. He would be put in jail for a short sentence, and while he's behind bars, millions of curious individuals will go see his movie. Sounds good: Weinstein gets his box office and we get to rid society of Moore for at least a month or so.

In other news, Moore has issued a letter to Presidential candidate, and actor, Fred Thompson, in which he addresses the former senator's hypocritical purveyance of Cuban cigars. He also challenges Thompson to a debate, which the winner of could be decided on television a la American Idol. Moore points out that he won a big debate award in Michigan 35 years ago. Hopefully Thompson will respond to the request, at least to decline. Stay tuned for more on Moore this weekend, when he will premiere SiCKO at the Cannes Film Festival.

Oh, and just to clear up any bias I have against Moore or the film before you guys leave me more assuming notes: I think Moore is irresponsible and foolish; I don't have any right-wing agenda in thinking this (I don't feel the need to give out my actual political affiliation here); I have for the most part enjoyed Moore's movies, even when I've disagreed with them or found them to be manipulative; I very, very much look forward to seeing SiCKO.
categories Cinematical