Daily Archives: October 5, 2017

Nihilism for the Masses [ROGER & ME]

From the Chicago Reader (February 2, 1990). — J.R.



*** (A must-see)

Directed and written by Michael Moore.

roger-and-me eviction

There’s no question that you should see Roger & Me if you haven’t already. Michael Moore’s comic documentary about the devastation of Flint, Michigan, resulting from General Motors’ massive plant closings and job layoffs is the most entertaining American documentary to come along in years. Better yet, Roger & Me is radical in its angry critique of the Reagan era — its legacy of corporate greed and its cheerful heartlessness — in a way that makes contemporary Hollywood movies seem cowardly and conformist.

The story of how Michael Moore, a journalist from Flint with no prior filmmaking experience, financed his first feature is an American success story with an inspirational value all its own. Moore sold his house and furnishings, organized local bingo games, invested his settlement from a wrongful-discharge lawsuit against Mother Jones (where he briefly served as editor), and collected hundreds of small investments from Michigan residents to raise his $160,000 budget. After the film became a popular hit and prizewinner at several film festivals last fall, it was picked up by Warners for $3 million and is already well on its way to becoming an independent sleeper.… Read more »

Are We Having Fun Yet?

From the Chicago Reader (June 7, 1996). — J.R.

Mission: Impossible

Rating * Has redeeming facet

Directed by Brian De Palma

Written by David Koepp, Steven Zaillian, and Robert Towne

With Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Henry Czerny, Emmanuelle Beart, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott-Thomas, and Vanessa Redgrave.

The Phantom

Rating * Has redeeming facet

Directed by Simon Wincer

Written by Jeffrey Boam

With Billy Zane, Kristy Swanson, Treat Williams, Catherine Zeta Jones, James Remar, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.

My Favorite Season

Rating *** A must see

Directed by Andre Téchiné

Written by Téchiné and Pascal Bonitzer

With Catherine Deneuve, Daniel Auteuil, Marthe Villalonga, Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Chiara Mastroianni, Carmen Chaplin, Anthony Prada, and Michèle Moretti.


I think that one never grows up emotionally. We grow up physically, intellectually, socially, and even morally but never emotionally. Recognition of this fact can be either terrifying or deeply moving. Everyone handles it in their own way. — Andre Téchiné

The principal pleasure of the Cannes festival for me was a two-week vacation from the “fun” of American movies. Maybe this fun — which points to our inability to grow up emotionally — would seem less oppressive if it didn’t also inform the American experience of news, politics, fast food, sports, economics, education, religion, and leisure in general; this kind of fun is less an escape than an enforced activity, a veritable civic duty.… Read more »