Roger & Me
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In 1989 Michael Moore winner of 2002's Best Documentary Feature Academy Award and Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Bowling for Columbinetriumphantly burst upon the American moviemaking scene with Roger & Mea hilarious penetrating forerunner of the independent film movement to follow. Moore doggedly and hilariously tried to do what every working stiff dreams of: talk to the man at the top. His efforts to meet General Motors Chairman Roger Smith and persuade him to visit Flint Michigan frame a film that uses humor to devsatating effect. Roger & Me champions people over profits and slyly lampoons corporate America as it shows how the Flint folks cope with economic setbacks.Running Time: 90 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. UPC: 085392764525
Roger and Me is a loose, smart-alecky documentary directed and narrated by Michael Moore, an everyman host with a devastating wit and a working-class pose. When his hometown is devastated by the plant closure of an American corporate giant (making record profits, one should note), the hell-raising political commentator with a prankster streak tries to turn his camera on General Motors Chairman Roger B. Smith, the elusive Roger of the title, and the film is loosely structured around Moore's odyssey to track down the corporate giant for an interview.
While Moore ambushes his corporate subjects like a blue-collar Geraldo Rivera, a guerrilla interviewer who treasures his comic rebuffs as much as his interviews, his portraits of the colorful characters he meets along the way can be patronizing. The famous come off as absurdly out of touch (Anita Bryant appears for some can-do cheerleading, and hometown celebrity Bob Eubanks tells some boorish jokes), and the disenfranchised poor (notably an unemployed woman who sells rabbit meat to make ends meet) all too often appear as buffoons or hicks. But behind his loose play with the facts and snarky attitude is a devastating look at the victims of downsizing in the midst of the 1980s economic boom. This portrait of Reagan's America and the tarnish on the American dream comes down to a simple question: what is corporate America's responsibility to the country's citizens? That's a question no one at GM wants to answer. --Sean Axmaker
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In the first documentary, you can see how Michael Moore's film style came about with a mixture of popular culture and realism. His documentary about Moore trying to meet and talk with Roger Smith, the head of General Motors, is more like a goose chase around Michigan, Chicago, and New York City. Roger Smith doesn't want to meet and talk with Michael Moore. Moore wants Smith to come to Flint.
For most of the documentary, Michael Moore meets the people including an African American sheriff whose job was to evict people from their homes even on Christmas Eve while Roger Smith is celebrating in downtown Detroit. There are plenty of comparisons between the haves and the have-nots. Michael Moore has become a champion of the have-nots with his documentaries.
Since "Roger & Me," Michael Moore keeps making films. Twenty five years later, he provides a commentary about his film. I usually don't listen to commentaries since they distract me from viewing them. I hated the scene where a woman skins and kills a rabbit. As a rabbit lover, I just can't watch. It's the once scene where I want to fast forward.
I don't usually care for Michael Moore movies (hated Canadian Bacon), but this was an early and earnest little film, and I think he did a good job. Forget Moore's way left leaning and Trump-hating for a while, and catch this little gem.
Thanks to Michael Moore for taking them on, and for getting his independent films into the mainstream.
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