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Wed Dec 18, 2013, 11:14 AM

Thank You, Library of Congress: 'Roger & Me' to Be Added to National Film Registry Michael Moore



Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Friends,

This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been placed on the National Film Registry -- the official list of films that are, according to an act of Congress, to be preserved and protected for all time because of their "cultural and historical significance" to the art of cinema.

It is, to say the least, a huge honor that for me ranks right up there with the Oscar and the Palme d'Or at Cannes. The National Film Registry is a slightly rarefied list of movies in the history of cinema. Of the tens of thousands of films that have been made since the 1890s, only 600 are on the preservation list. Today, in addition to 'Roger & Me', the films that were announced selection to the preservation list include 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?', 'Mary Poppins', 'Pulp Fiction', 'Forbidden Planet', 'The Quiet Man', 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'Judgment at Nuremberg'.

These films plus 'Roger & Me' now join 'Citizen Kane', 'The Graduate', 'Dr. Strangelove' and a host of other classics that make up the National Film Registry.

The news comes at just the right moment for 'Roger & Me'. The upcoming year, 2014, is the 25th anniversary of the film's debut. But last year I learned that there was not a single print of 'Roger & Me' in existence. Anywhere. I was stunned. I had received a call from the New York Film Festival asking if I knew where they could find a 35mm copy of the film. They were told there were no usable prints in North America -- all of them had been damaged or destroyed or had faded in color. How could the largest grossing documentary of all time in 1989 just have vanished? Poof. Gone. And if this could happen to 'Roger & Me', what kind of shape are other films -- especially documentaries -- in?

I called up the good people of Warner Bros. to help me fix the problem -- and they did. In the end ten new prints were made and are now being donated to archival vaults at UCLA, the Motion Picture Academy, the Museum of Modern Art and the George Eastman House.

But now, with the protection offered by the Library of Congress, 'Roger & Me' will be in good hands and around for a long time to come.

You should know that there is a serious film preservation crisis afoot and I've volunteered to help do something about it. I often hear of other films whose prints are all gone. I have personally paid to have new prints made for a number of films ('Hair' by Milos Forman, the old Roy Rogers classic 'Don't Fence Me In', etc.) where not a single print exists. I have donated them to one of the above archival houses and I plan to keep doing this for other movies (Next up: Dalton Trumbo's 'Johnny Got His Gun').

As for 'Roger & Me', if you haven't seen it, check it out on iTunes or Amazon or (for a few hours for free) here. This movie, as most of you know, was my first chapter in a series of eight films that, in part, explore (often satirically) the crazy stupid thing we call "capitalism" -- a never-ending quest by the wealthy to take as much as they can, while leaving the crumbs for everyone else to fight over. Today, according to the polls, more young people say they favor the ideals of socialism over capitalism. I hope to God I played a small role in making that happen, and I look forward to the day when the rich are forced to share the wealth created by their employees. It will happen. In our lifetime.

I thank the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board for this honor. And I encourage all of you to watch my film, a film that, sadly, is every bit as relevant today as when I made it 25 years ago.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying this holiday season. There is much work to do in 2014!

Yours,

Michael Moore
[email protected]
@MMFlint
MichaelMoore.com

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Reply Thank You, Library of Congress: 'Roger & Me' to Be Added to National Film Registry Michael Moore (Original post)
Mira Dec 2013 OP
Blue_Tires Dec 2013 #1
Mira Dec 2013 #2
Blue_Tires Dec 2013 #3
madfloridian Dec 2013 #4
madfloridian Dec 2013 #5

Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2013, 12:37 PM

1. kick

not all people realize just how radical and "out there" it was at the time to not only call out greedy, brain-dead asshattery on a corporate board of directors, but to *directly* illustrate how it affected loyal employees and the community as a whole...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 18, 2013, 12:56 PM

2. As I remember, and I suppose I could google for veracity,

Michael Moore made that film with a hand held camera and sold his house to get the money to produce it. When it played in theaters he specified that one seat in the house had to be kept free for Mr. (was it) Smith the head of GM
whom he was trying to find an audience with. He showed us Flynt Michigan, the deterioration, poverty and desperation by walking the streets, talking to the people, looking for a meeting with Mr. Smith.

The film made an incredibly deep impression on me at the time, and now, a career later, Michael Moore kept giving us truth in film after film using many of the same ways to do it that have become characteristic of his work. I am so happy he became successful and found acceptance and laurels. To me he is one of the heros of the last and this century.

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Response to Mira (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 18, 2013, 01:04 PM

3. In 1993 I was 17

and my first car was an '87 Chevy S-10 Blazer...The owner's manual had a VIN decoder in it and I saw that it was of course assembled in Flint...

It REALLY hit home with me that I was driving around in a car built when the storm clouds were on the horizon (although the film was released in 1989, the bulk of filming took place through 1987, iirc)

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2013, 10:47 PM

4. Was just going to post this...found yours on a search. Kick and rec.

More from the Hollywood Reporter:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/michael-moores-roger-me-enters-666357

Roger & Me (1989)
After decades of product ascendancy, American automakers began facing stiff commercial and design challenges in the late 1970s and '80s from foreign automakers, especially the Japanese. Michael Moore's controversial documentary chronicles the human toll and hemorrhaging of jobs caused by these upheavals, in this case the firing of 30,000 autoworkers by General Motors in Moore's hometown of Flint, Mich. As a narrative structure, Moore uses a comic device sometimes found in political campaign commercials, weaving a message around trying to find the person responsible for a wrong, in this case GM chairman Roger Smith. Roger & Me is take-no-prisoners, advocacy documentary filmmaking, and Moore makes no apologies for his brazen, in-your-face style -- he would argue the situation demands it. The themes of unfairness, inequality and the unrealized attainment of the American Dream resonate to this day, while the consequences of ferocious auto-sector competition continue, playing a long-term role in Detroit's recent filing for bankruptcy protection.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Dec 19, 2013, 02:11 AM

5. Kicking again. Deserves more attention than this.

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