The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Michael Moore and Oprah: 'A Love Story'?

When it comes to the most eagerly anticipated movie showing at next week's Toronto Film Festival, the hands-down winner has to be Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story." Arriving 20 years after the debut of "Roger & Me," it is being billed as Moore's magnum opus on the horrific impact of corporate dominance on the lives of everyday Americans, which means that the film should spark a conflagration of debate between Moore's always ferocious advocates and detractors.

Moore But when I called Overture Films, which is releasing the film later this month, eager to set up an interview with Moore, I got bad news. The filmmaker was willing to do interviews after the film premieres in Toronto on Sept. 16, but Overture said that all interviews were embargoed until Sept. 23, the day of the film's release in New York and Los Angeles. Why? Because Moore is doing a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, which won't air until Sept. 22. And if Oprah wants an exclusive, she gets it, since when it comes to books, movies or music, no one offers a better promotional platform than La Winfrey.

Of course, this being the modern-media age, the embargo isn't quite as tightly shrink-wrapped as it first sounded. It turns out that the New York Times has a big Sunday feature interview with Moore scheduled to run on Sept. 20, while Jay Leno has booked a Moore appearance a few days earlier. Since both of those interviews were booked pre-Oprah, they've been allowed to wiggle out from under the embargo.

This puts a reporter-blogger like myself in a tricky spot. Like most journalists, I want to run my stories as competitively as possible. But if I agree to an embargo, my story would definitely lack a lot of sparks, having to come after both Oprah and the New York Times. I've also never held a story from a film festival. The whole idea of covering a festival, especially for a blogger, is to provide timely reaction and analysis to the big events of the day.

I'll be huddling with my editors, figuring out how we plan to cover the movie. But I'd be curious to hear from readers: Is it worth the wait to hear from Michael Moore? Or should I just see the film and offer my own thoughts in a more timely manner? What do you think?

  

 
Comments () | Archives (90)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I can't believe I'm saying this -but - this instance I would ask that you hold off. The media conglomerates and corporations have so much money to counter voices like those of Michael Moore that I say let him have the biggest bang for his marketing buck albeit Oprah.

media maven

I now only hold disdain for Oprah Winfrey..

If your goal is to talk directly to Michael Moore, then agree to the embargo. If your goal is to be first to press with your review, then skip the embargoed interview.

"Moore's magnum opus on the horrific impact of corporate dominance"

"And if Oprah wants an exclusive, she gets it, since when it comes to books, movies or music, no one offers a better promotional platform than La Winfrey."

I guess O knows little about dominance

Go ahead and tell us what you think of the film. You can speak with moore afterward and tell us about that too. I would prefer your initial comments to be fresh and free of mitigation anyway.

Kat

Your own thoughts, please.

Good question...I have no idea...

Thanks for the heads up. Now I'll just read the NYT article since you mentioned it. It's like saying do you want to watch it live or on tape delay.

For an interesting article, follow-up with the people Moore will expose in the movie. Their reactions will be priceless.

My vote is for....just go see it and let us know what you think. :)

go ahead bro. see the movie and write about it-thats what u do-do it. best of luck-i cannot wait.

 
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