NYFF27: Michael Moore’s “Roger & Me”

Posted by Daniel Rubinton on 4.23.2012

With each screening in our year-by-year survey of the history of the New York Film Festival, we get even closer to the 50th edition of the festival this fall. This week we are looking back at 1989, and we have a special guest to help us. Michael Moore, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker behind Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and more, will be at Film Society to discuss his debut feature Roger & Me (NYFF '89) tomorrow night at 8:00pm

The film focuses on Flint, Michigan, Moore's hometown, in particular the once-thriving General Motors community there. Moore, America's favorite muckraker, is on a quest to speak with GM chairman Roger B. Smith, but finds some other interesting people to engage along the way. Told with Moore's signature sincerity and sarcasm, Roger & Me was a clear sign of the work that was to come in later years. And since the American automobile industry has, unfortunately, continued its steady decline, the film is just as relevant today as it was when it was released over two decades ago.

As with any Moore film, you will leave the theater feeling entertained and enraged, but first you'll be able to discuss your feelings with the creator, himself. Help commemorate one of the NYFF's greatest documentaries at this singular event! Also make sure to check out the other great offerings in our 50 Years of the New York Film Festival lineup, including Gus Van Sant's New Queer Cinema touchstone My Own Private Idaho (NYFF '91), Jane Campion's The Piano (NYFF '93) featuring an Oscar-winning performance by a young Anna Paquin, and seminal baskeball doc Hoop Dreams (NYFF '94) with director Steve James in person!

Below is a list of the films that played alongside Roger and Me at NYFF '89:
Too Beautiful For You
Bertrand Blier, France, 1989
Shown with No More Disguises, Tom Sigel and Boryana Varbanov, USA

A Short Film About Killing
Krzysztof Kieślowski, Poland, 1987
Shown with The Mourner, Helene Dabrowski-Torres, Poland

The Plot Against Harry
Michael Roemer, USA, 1969-1989 (NYFF Retrospective)
Shown with Pas A Deux, Monique Renault and Gerrit van Dijk, The Netherlands

Strapless
David Hare, Great Britain, 1988
Shown with The Soulful Shack, John Roberts, Great Britain

My Left Foot
Jim Sheridan, Ireland, 1989
Shown with J.P. Somersaulter’s Dot To Dot Cartoon Cartoon, J.P. Somersaulter, USA

Ariel
Aki Kaurismaki, Finland, 1988
Shown with London Suite, Vivienne Dick, Great Britain

A Tale of the Wind
Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan, France, 1988
Shown with Rain, Joris Ivens, The Netherlands

Black Rain (Kuroi Ame)
Shohei, Japan, 1989

Roger and Me
Michael Moore, USA, 1989
Shown with A Western, Laurie Dunphy, USA

The Mahabharata
Peter Brook, France/Great Britain/USA, 1989

Mystery Train
Jim Jarmusch, USA, 1989
Shown with The Black Tower, John Smith, Great Britain

Speaking Parts
Atom Egoyan, Canada, 1989
Shown with Under the Sea, Paul Glabicki, USA

Thelonius Monk: Straight, No Chaser
Charlotte Zwerin, USA, 1988
Shown with Ostensibly, Rudy Burckhardt, USA

The Documentator (Der Dokumentator)
István Dárday and Györgyi Szalai, Hungary, 1988

Avant-Garde Visions
USA, 1989
Mercy, Abigail Child
Friendly Witness, Warren Sonbert
Water and Power, Pat O’Neill

Looking For Langston
Isaac Julien, Great Britain, 1988
Shown with Book of Days, Meredith Monk, USA
Also, Black-Eyed Susan (Portrait of an Actress), Stuart Sherman, USA

Intolerance
D W Griffith, USA, 1916 (NYFF Restrospective)

Life and Nothing But, La Vie et Rien D’autre
Bertrand Tavernier, France, 1989
Shown with Please Don’t Stop, Stephanie Maxwell, USA

Confession: A Chronicle of Alienation (Ispoved: Khronik Ot Chezhdenia)
Georgi Gavrilov, USSR, 1988
Shown with The Inspector, Artur Omar, Brazil

Yaaba
Idrissa Ouedraogo, Burkino Fasso, 1988
Shown with Kakania, Karen Aqua, USA

Monsieur Hire
Patrice Leconte, France, 1989
Shown with C’mon Babe (Danke Schoen), Sharon Sandusky, USA

A City of Sadness (Bei Chyng Cherng Shyh)
Hou Hsaio-Hsien, Taiwan, 1989
Shown with Super Soap, Ah Da and Ma Kexuan, People’s Republic of China

Sweetie
Jane Campion, Australia, 1989
Shown with Kitchen Sink, Alison MacLean, New Zealand

Near Death
Fred Wiseman, USA, 1989

Current Events
Ralph Arlyck, USA, 1989
Shown with Dreams From China, Fred Marx, USA

Dancing For Mr B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas
Anne Belle and Deborah Dickson, USA, 1989
Shown with This Time Around, Jane Aaron, USA

Breaking In
Bill Forsyth, USA, 1989
Shown with Animated Self Portraits

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