Michael Moore Plays a Trick on Movie Theater Audiences?
by Alex Billington
June 12, 2009
What the heck is going on? I was told that there was a trailer for the new Michael Moore documentary that would be attached to showings of Taking of Pelham 123 this weekend. It'll be online in a few hours, but not all audiences will see it. SlashFilm has a report of a showing in Washington DC that had a message from Moore. Apparently signs saying that they were being recorded were plastered all over. Instead of a trailer with footage, Moore appeared on the screen and asked the audience to give their money to "needy banks and corporations." Ushers then entered the theater with buckets literally asking for money from the audience.
Yes this actually happened. Here is the full message from Moore that played before the ushers came in.
"Hi, I'm Michael Moore. Instead of using this time to tell you about my new movie I'd like to take a moment and ask you to join me in helping our fellow Americans. The downturn in the economy has hurt many people, people who have had no choice but to go on government assistance. Yet our welfare agencies can only do so much. That's why I'm asking you to reach into your pockets right now and lend a hand. Ushers will be coming down the aisles to collect your donations for Citibank, Bank of America, AIG, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and a host of other needy banks and corporations. Won't you please give generously? Now, I know what you're thinking - I already gave at the bailout. And I know you did, but even if you've given in the past, give some more. It will make you feel… good."
If you don't believe it, you can actually hear an audio recording of the message over on SlashFilm. In my post about his new documentary a few weeks ago, I joked, "it's ironic that Moore is asking people to spend money to see a movie that's about our lack of money." Now it's barely a joke after all. I have a feeling Moore is recording this and going to include it in the documentary (which is due out on October 2nd). He may even take the money he collects and present it to those companies and film their reaction. I don't know if this is viral marketing or just one of Moore's sneaky new documentary techniques - but it's pretty damn crazy.
Don't expect to see this happen when you go to your theater. Apparently it only occured at select theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington DC. The real trailer should be online a bit later tonight.