May 22, 2007

The louder they come
The bigger they crack
Come now, sweet cream
Don't forget to flash

Bridget Riley, Blaze 3, 1963

* US Government trying to seize new Michael Moore film. excerpt:

"Cannes is smacking its lips in anticipation of filmmaker and provocateur Michael Moore's latest jeremiad against the US administration, which receives its premiere at the film festival today. Sicko, a documentary tackling the state of American healthcare, focuses on the pharmaceutical giants, and particularly on health insurers.

"The film has already caused Moore - who won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2004 with Fahrenheit 911 - to clash with the American authorities. Now, according to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Company is behind the film, the US government is attempting to impound the negative.

"According to Weinstein, the US Treasury's moves meant 'we had to fly the movie to another country'- he would not say to where. 'Let the secret service find that out - though this is the same country that thought there were weapons of mass destruction, so they'll never find it.' He added that he feared that if the film were impounded, there might be attempts to cut some footage, in particular the last 20 minutes, which related to a trip to Cuba. This, said Weinstein, 'would not be good.'

"In March, Moore travelled to the Caribbean island with a group of emergency workers from New York's Ground Zero to see whether they would receive better care under the Castro regime than they had under George Bush. He had applied for permission to travel in October 2006 and received no reply.

"In a letter dated May 2, the treasury department notified Moore that it was investigating him for unlicensed travel to Cuba, or, as the missive put it, engaging in 'travel-related transactions involving Cuba.'

"Now team Moore is hitting back. Weinstein has hired an attorney, David Boies, who has lodged a request under the US freedom of information act to find out what motivated the treasury to begin its investigation. 'They have to tell us why they did it and what they did,' said Weinstein. 'And they are not too happy about it.'

"Weinstein believes the investigation has a political agenda. 'We want to find out who motivated this. We suspect there may be interference from another office,' he said. 'Otherwise, I don't understand why this would have come about.'"
"Moore's underlying thesis in Sicko relates to the structure of American society. 'Others see themselves as a collective that sinks or swims together,' he told Variety.

"'It's important to have a safety net and free universal health care. In America, unfortunately, we're more focused on what's in it for me. It's every man for himself. If you're sick and have lost a job, it's not my problem. Don't bother me.'

"The insurance companies are a negative force, he believes. 'They get in the way of taking care of those who are ill. They make it worse. We don't need them,' he said."

* The release event for Soft Targets v.2.1., a handheld journal of poetry, artwork, theory, and fiction will be held at:

The Kitchen, NYC
512 West 19th Street
Wednesday, May 30th
7pm, FREE

Please join the publishers for readings and performances by Kalup Linzy, Gary Lutz, Ariana Reines, and Mick Barr as Octis.

SOFT TARGETS v.2.1 features contributions from Alain Badiou, John Waters, Zoe Leonard, Yto Barrada, Jean-Jacques Schuhl, James Tate, Alexander Kluge, Christian Marclay, Tatiana Trouvé, Paris-based political collective TIQQUN, Chris Marker, Ben Lerner, Arno Schmidt, Roberto Bolaño, Lisa Jarnot, and RAQS Media Collective, among others. 256pp, w/ color illustrations throughout; dusty pink cover.

* The greatest long tracking shots in cinema.

* "Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." -- Thomas Jefferson


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