||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Michael Moore To Speak on |
The Forum Series Nov. 25
MAILED: Oct. 31, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- Michael Moore, one of America's freshest and funniest independent voices, will hold forth on contemporary American politics at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Tuesday, Nov. 25.
The Forum will present the satirist, author, filmmaker and television personality at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.
As host and executive producer of "TV Nation," Michael Moore redefined the newsmagazine for a new generation. His film debut "Roger and Me" remains the highest grossing documentary in history. Last year Moore's book "Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American" spent four weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List; now in its sixth printing, the book is on the bestseller list again in its paperback incarnation. "The Big One," a documentary Moore shot last year while on his book tour, is currently in previews and will be released nationwide by Miramax Films early next year.
Michael Moore was born in Flint, Mich., where his father and most of his relatives worked in General Motors automobile factories. His uncle participated in the great sit-down strike of 1937, which led to the founding of the United Auto Workers Union. Michael Moore quit his first day at Buick.
In 1972, shortly after the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave 18-year-olds the right to vote, Moore, still in high school, decided to run for school board -- "so I could fire the principal." He won, becoming one of the first 18-year-olds elected to public office in this country. The principal was "reassigned." At 22, Moore founded and began 10 years of editing the Flint Voice (later the Michigan Voice), one of the nation's most respected alternative newspapers.
Michael Moore first received national and international recognition in 1989 when he produced and directed the landmark documentary "Roger and Me." The political satire documents Moore's quest to convince General Motors Chairman Roger B. Smith to visit Flint, Mich., and witness the devastation wrought by the GM plant shutdown.
The largest-grossing nonfiction film of all time, "Roger and Me" appeared on more than 100 critics' Ten Best Films of the Year lists -- including those of Vincent Canby, Janet Maslin and Caryn James (all of The New York Times) and Gene Siskel (Chicago Tribune). A number of critics named the documentary one of the Ten Best Films of the Decade. The movie's profits enabled Moore to establish the Center for Alternative Media, a foundation dedicated to supporting independent filmmakers and social action groups. To date, the foundation has dispersed more than $400,000 in grants.
Moore made an epilogue to "Roger and Me" -- "Pets or Meat: Return to Flint" -- in 1992, and directed John Candy in "Canadian Bacon" (1995). He also appeared on the Fox TV special "Rock the Vote," and participated in the critically acclaimed documentary "Blood in the Face," about the rise of right-wing citizen militias based in Michigan in the 1980s.
Perhaps what Moore is most widely known for, however, is his groundbreaking series "TV Nation," the satirical newsmagazine broadcast on the NBC (1994) and Fox (1995) television networks, and rebroadcast to incredible ratings this year on Comedy Central. Featuring Moore as host, writer, director and executive producer, "TV Nation" won an Emmy Award as Best Informational Series. The Wall Street Journal wrote that "'TV Nation' is that rarest of species -- a television program both funny and important."
Columbia Tri-Star will put two "Best of TV Nation" anthologies on video shelves in early November. Meanwhile, the BBC has raised money for a third eight-episode season of the show from networks in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France, and Moore is searching for an American network to broadcast the show.
Filmed over the course of three months in late 1996, "The Big One" shows a side of America's economic recovery that is not seen on the evening news.
"The reasons for the roly-poly Moore's travels are to promote his new book, a tirade against lay-offs in times of plenty," writes The Hollywood Reporter. "His book publisher, Random House, is not aware of Moore's hidden agenda of making a documentary about his trip, and the perky media 'escorts' -- assigned by the publisher to keep him on track -- are constantly tested by his on-the-road sidetrips to corporate USA ... 'The Big One' crackles with belly laughs as Moore pokes fun and articulates low-key resentment at the contradictions of big business, namely, corporations laying off workers in times of huge profits and hiking off to such expanses as Mexico and Indonesia to maintain their 'competitiveness.'"
Moore says he made the film "to address certain truths about what millions of Americans are going through these days. Wall Street has been throwing a party and millions of people have not received an invitation."
After acquiring "The Big One" in September, Miramax Films immediately gave $100,000 to community programs in Flint, Mich., and announced that it will donate half its net profits from the film to various charities in Moore's hometown. Moore has called the deal a "perfect example of what corporate America should be doing."
Tickets are $7 for the public; $5 for those age 62 and over, and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $3 for those age 17 and under, and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, and will be sold at the door.
The Forum is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 31, 1997