Did Michael Moore get his due on 'Fahrenheit 911'?
For many filmgoers, Michael Moore has been pretty much absent this film season. He hasn't directed a new documentary, as he has in two of the last three years, and he wasn't ubiquitous the way he was during the presidential election cycle two years ago.
But the filmmaker hasn't exactly disappeared.
The provocateur documentarian was back in the news Monday with a lawsuit he filed against Harvey Weinstein in which he alleges that the indie-film mogul didn't pay him nearly $3 million he alleged he's owed from "Fahrenheit 911," Moore's 2004 blockbuster.
Our sister blog Company Town reports that Moore is seeking damages for what the suit alleges are "classic Hollywood accounting tricks and financial deception perpetrated by" Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who released the movie.
Among the tidbits to emerge: Moore earned $19.8 million from the controversial political documentary (at least according to the Weinsteins' lawyer) and that, also according to Harvey Weinstein, they'd been trying to work out a settlement for months. (The attorney, noted Hollywood rabble-rouser Bert Fields, intimates that Harvey Weinstein's award-season enemies may have "put [Moore] up" to the suit.)
This is hardly the first time the movie, which examines the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration and the alleged corporate complicity in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, has been the subject of a controversy; the Weinsteins famously broke with Disney, which owned their company at the time, to release the movie. Given how it could be years before this even gets close to a trial, we suspect it won't be the last either.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Michael Moore in 'Fahrenheit 911.' Credit: Fellowship Adventure Group