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Roger & Me (1989) Poster

(1989)

Trivia

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This is the only movie where there has been a successful lawsuit against Michael Moore - filed by former friend Larry Stecco who successfully argued that his portrayal in the movie was not an accurate reflection of his character ("False light invasion of privacy" is the legal term) and won. Stecco was interviewed attending a society fund raising ball and was made out to be a high-society rich pig who partied while people where starving outside. He was actually a lawyer who worked pro-bono for the poorer residents of Flint.
Moore was collecting $98 per week on welfare at the time of this production shoot.
During the early screenings, an empty seat was reserved for Roger B. Smith. Smith never attended.
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By 1989, all movie theaters had closed in the city limits of Flint. The premiere was held at Showcase Cinemas, 5205 East Court Street, Burton, MI a small town next to Flint.
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In a radio interview, Michael Moore felt this film was a failure, since it did not stimulate any interest in development or investment to the town of Flint.
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The unnamed San Francisco left-wing magazine that Moore goes to work for at the beginning of film is Mother Jones. Moore worked for the magazine for three months in 1985 before being fired for putting his friend on the cover. Moore sued the magazine for contract breech, and used the money he won in the settlement to partially fund Roger & Me (1989).
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Partially funded with $50,000 revenue generated by bingo games. Moore sold his house and held two yard sales. Edward Asner was sent a letter requesting support and sent a check. His name appears in the credits.
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When Michael Moore decided to start a documentary about Flint, Michigan and General Motors in the mid-1980s, he knew very little about the technical side of filmmaking (camera-work, lighting, etc.). He met a fellow low-budget documentary filmmaker, Kevin Rafferty, who helped him learn this side of the director's job on the project, and served as one of the cinematographers.
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According to the documentary Manufacturing Dissent (2007), Michael Moore falsely implied that he could not get General Motors' CEO Roger B. Smith to respond in front of a camera. The makers claim that Moore actually had two interviews with Smith, but chose to leave these out of the documentary to create the illusion that Smith refused to answer for his actions. Moore has denied these claims, saying that if he had consciously held back such footage, General Motors would have undoubtedly used that fact to discredit him.
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This documentary exposes the reality of corporate downsizing and outsourcing - General Motors opening facilities in Mexico and shuttering their facilities in Flint, Michigan has became a trend during the mid-1980s where the Rust Belt employment sector has declined - the use of automation where Detroit's Big Three implemented the use of industrial robots resulted in the decline of the blue collar factory worker. When GM initiated this, they were consolidating their vehicle lines by sharing bodyshells which became known as platform sharing in the automobile industry. The Flint, Michigan assembly plants that GM shuttered - the corporate downsizing and outsourcing trend has influenced GM's rival Ford Motor Company with The Way Forward during the mid-2000s (Ford shuttered its Wixom, Michigan assembly plant and in late 2011, its St. Thomas plant in Canada). At the same time the film was in development, consumerism towards Asian automakers e.g. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan also resulted in the decline of motor vehicles produced by union labor where only one Asian automaker (Honda) had a manufacturing facility in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio - the other two Asian automakers Toyota and Nissan chose to build their assembly plants (known as transplants) in non-labor union states e.g. Tennessee, Texas, and California to produce mass-market vehicles as a result of the 1981 Voluntary Export Restraints imposed by the U.S. Government. The Asian (Japanese) Big Three, Nissan, Toyota, and Honda, in response to the VER, launched their respective luxury brands - Infiniti, Lexus, and Acura.
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The robot featured in the "My Buddy" segment from Autoworld is located in the Sloan Museum, 1221 E. Kearsley Street, Flint, MI. The Roger and Me premiere banner and original cardboard stand up sign are located just a few feet from the robot but no connection is mentioned.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Michael Moore combined his political beliefs and some PR objectives when he announced that unless Israeli authorities allowed the film to be shown in the West Bank and then-occupied Gaza, he would not agree to the film being released in Israel itself. The film ultimately did play in all the markets, because Palestinian officials authorized its showing in cinemas and Israeli officials said they were fine with it being screened, also pointing out that they did not have any issues with importing American films that weren't anti-Israel and that "Roger & Me" did not bother them.
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Director Trademark 

Michael Moore: [flint] Most of the film takes place in Flint, Michigan.
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