Philadelphia Inquirer | 06/06/2004 | Hollywood revs up in effort to beat Bush
: "Movies with political ambition will be playing on the big screen, too:
Michael Moore's Cannes-conquering Fahrenheit 9/11; John Sayles' Silver City, in which Chris Cooper plays an inarticulate president from a right-wing dynasty; at least two Kerry-celebrating documentaries; and an environmental horror flick already playing the red states, The Day After Tomorrow.
Does any of these have a chance of changing minds? There's little precedent, says Kathleen Hall Jamieson, communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Many predicted The Right Stuff would guarantee the presidency for former astronaut John Glenn in 1984, she notes.
But in a tight election, anything might tip the balance, says Rob Richie, executive director of the Center for Voting and Democracy.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich says watch out for Fahrenheit 9/11, which charges that Bush has bungled the terror war and sent U.S. troops to Iraq for specious reasons.
The film feasted on free publicity when Disney blocked its subsidiary Miramax from distributing it. Miramax's co-chiefs, the Weinstein brothers, since have bought the film on their own and are teaming with Lions Gate and IFC Films for a June 25 release.
'The more fighting there is about the film before its release, the more publicity, the more it becomes that kind of show-business phenomenon where people just feel they have to see it to have an opinion, even if it's to hate it . . .,' Rich says.
The Day After Tomorrow may make people think about global warming, but if it doesn't have a tipping effect, it won't be for lack of trying by MoveOn
. The group held a rally last month at the New York premiere, where 500 members heard speakers including former Vice President Al Gore, who lit into the Bush record on the environment.
Last weekend, MoveOn dispatched 8,000 volunteers to leaflet moviegoers leaving theaters across the country.
Richie predicts that the film will preach to the converted: "What it will tend to do is harden beliefs of those who think it is important to do more - like MoveOn"
Note: Last week, I contacted the public relations firm for MoveOn to find out if the national organization would launch a national campaign for F911 that was simliar their "The Day After Tomorrow" effort. Below is their unedited reply:
No plans yet but we'll let you know if something changes.
Senior Account Executive
FENTON | communications