A couple years ago, Michael Moore suggested that “Capitalism: A Love Story” might be his last documentary work, and he was at the time writing two separate fiction screenplays. He also, in that 2009 doc, implied that he wouldn’t make another film, period, until others stepped up and joined him in the fight. Specifically, he stated, “I can’t really do this anymore — unless those of you who are watching this in the theater want to join me. I hope you will. And please, speed it up.”
Does the Occupy Wall Street movement count? A few days ago, Steve Pond interviewed Moore for The Wrap, and he brought up “Capitalism” then asked about the possibility of the Oscar-winning filmmaker directing a documentary on these events. Moore had already noted on his website that we “are about to witness the ending of ‘Capitalism: A Love Story.’” To Pond he admits that he didn’t expect anything like this to happen, believing it was really “unimaginable,” as is stated in the film.
But if this indeed is a sign that Moore can start directing again, it doesn’t mean he’ll go against his plan to quit documentaries. Nor is he specifically making a movie about OWS. When Pond asked if he’s going to do another movie, Moore responded, “Yes, I am. But I’m not making a film about this.” He wouldn’t say what he’s doing exactly, only that it will be about “something that’s not being addressed. It will be funny and shocking and hopefully will move the ball down the field.”
That could very well be a fictional comedy for all we know, something like his 1995 effort, “Canadian Bacon,” yet probably more to do with the economy.
Meanwhile, there probably will be plenty of actual docs on Occupy Wall Street. One is already known to be in the works titled “99 Percent: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film,” which sounds interesting enough to me, as I’m a fan of collaborative docs like Jeff Deutchman’s Obama election doc “11/4/08” and Kevin Macdonald’s YouTube-sponsored “Life in a Day.”
Contributors to “99 Percent” so far include Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites (“Until the Light Takes Us”), Michael Galinsky (“Battle for Brooklyn”), Bob Ray (“Total Badass”), producer Tyler Brodie (“Another Earth”) and some non-documentarians. Here’s what Ewell said to Film School Rejects about the need for the project:
We as filmmakers have the skills to take this unwieldy and constantly evolving thing and give it a shape and form that can eventually stand as a cohesive but wide ranging and diverse document of what is going on in the streets of America. Simply put, this feels like history, and as a media-maker, I feel that I almost don’t have a choice but to work with and in this moment.
As this movement continues we’ll likely hear about more projects, and maybe Michael Moore will even change his mind at some point. Or, perhaps he’d like to submit a segment to “99 Percent”?