Cannes ‘08: Michael Moore’s new movie: ‘Dangerous’

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The tentative title for Michael Moore’s next documentary is “While America Slept.” It’s not a movie about Ambien.

Returning to the Cannes Film Festival, where the riled-up filmmaker launched “Sicko” a year ago and won the festival’s top honor for 2004’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Moore outlined on Friday the broad ideas for his next film, which he says should be released in 2009.


While short on specifics — “I can’t obviously tell you what I’m really up to, because I want to be able to finish,” Moore says, adding that early details about “Sicko” gave health care companies an advantage — the filmmaker promises that his next movie will be “dangerous.”

Moore was quick to say that the film is not a sequel to “Fahrenheit,” Moore’s broadside against President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rather, the new movie will offer a withering look at America’s global conduct and reputation. “We have a big, big mess, and I don’t know if it can be cleaned up. The toxicity of the spill is just that great,” Moore says. “Since I made ‘Fahrenheit,’ our standing in the world had depleted to an even worse state.”

Even though he says the new film “isn’t about Bush,” the president is clearly a central target.

“He and his cronies and his supporters literally got away with murder,” Moore says. But it is also obvious that the country’s citizens share some of the blame, he says, which explains the proposed title being considered by distributors Paramount Vantage and Overture Films.

“I am going to take a look at the empire we’ve created and ask the question, ‘How did we get here?’”

Moore says Hollywood’s fictional Iraq films came out too late, and that is why most of them failed. Because “Fahrenheit” was early and debuted when the war still had support, he says, it was a hit. “I think the moviegoing public wants a sense of danger,” Moore says. “They want something where they are on the edge of their seats.”

He says his new film is intended to make people squirm, and will ask the question, “Are we at the points where the Romans were?” We’ll have to wait a year to hear his answer.

--John Horn

Related: Cannes ’08: Michael Moore plots sequel to ‘Fahrenheit 9/11'