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Cannes Film Festival Report: Michael Moore Steals Cannes Spotlight Again

May 17, 2008 | 4:45am EDT

Michael Moore was feeling much relief as he faced a room of waiting journalists at Cannes’ famous Carlton Hotel gathered there to hear about the just- announced “sequel” to his smash hit documentary, Fahrenheit 911. He’s been here many times before including Sicko last year and he actually won the Palme d’Or for Fahrenheit plus a special jury honor for Bowling For Columbine. When we suggested this might be his good luck town (the French like him almost as much as they idolize Jerry Lewis), he said he loves Cannes but was jubilant not to have to put on a tux and take a walk up the Palais steps.

“I’m happy to be here WITHOUT a movie this time,” he says. “There’s no pressure.”

Actually he blew briefly into town to meet with buyers about his new project , a co-venture between Overture Films and Paramount Vantage and is trying to downplay early word that it was a sequel. He says the film is really about what’s happened inside the U.S. while the Bush administration has been “asleep at the wheel”, busy waging war in Iraq. It sounds like vintage Moore and promises more of the kind of thing he delivered in Roger & Me as he is sure to go after some corporations he believes have had a free ride in the last eight years. Obviously he doesn’t want to give too much away at this point as he is just getting into production and knows these companies will be warning employees to stay away from him.

Chris McGurk, chair of Overture Films who worked with Moore on his Oscar winning Columbine when he was running MGM/UA is thrilled to be back in business with him on this movie he says is going to spotlight some of the potentially irreversible actions of the past decade. Although it’s early, the key players here agree it would be nice to return to Cannes with the finished film next spring. But will the results of the November election have an effect on box office?

“Absolutely not. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It goes way beyond that,” McGurk says.

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