lunedì 21 maggio 2007

20 maggio in musica

Ieri, 20 maggio, abbiamo tenuto un concerto. L'anno scorso, il 20 maggio, abbiamo tenuto un concerto. Singolare coincidenza, almeno per chi, come noi, non si esibisce dal vivo con particolare frequenza.

Certo, allora era il Belgio, oggi Baggio (poche lettere e un migliaio di chilometri di differenza), ma non ci si può certo lamentare, specie in questi tempi di magra.

Il concerto è andato bene. Abbiamo proposto quattro brani del nuovo album, che si spera inizieremo a registrare subito dopo l'estate, e il riscontro di pubblico mi è parso più che confortante.

Anche alcuni tra gli habitué dei nostri concerti (tra cui lo stimato Vanamonde), i cui giudizi mi stavano particolarmente a cuore, hanno dimostrato di gradire il nuovo materiale.

Se è vero che il buon giorno si vede dal mattino, direi che ci sono tutti gli elementi per un album riuscito. O almeno di cui essere soddisfatti.

venerdì 18 maggio 2007

Waiting for Sicko

Ricevo dalla mailing list di Michael Moore e volentieri diffondo.

"Sicko" Is Completed and We're Off to Cannes!

May 17, 2007


It's a wrap! My new film, "Sicko," is all done and will have its world premiere this Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival. As with "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," we are honored to have been chosen by this prestigious festival to screen our work there.

My intention was to keep "Sicko" under wraps and show it to virtually no one before its premiere in Cannes. That is what I have done and, as you may have noticed if you are a recipient of my infrequent Internet letters, I have been very silent about what I've been up to. In part, that's because I was working very hard to complete the film. But my silence was also because I knew that the health care industry -- an industry which makes up more than 15 percent of our GDP -- was not going to like much of what they were going to see in this movie and I thought it best not to upset them any sooner than need be.

Well, going quietly to Cannes, I guess, was not to be. For some strange reason, on May 2nd the Bush administration initiated an action against me over how I obtained some of the content they believe is in my film. As none of them have actually seen the film (or so I hope!), they decided, unlike with "Fahrenheit 9/11," not to wait until the film was out of the gate and too far down the road to begin their attack.

Bush's Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, launched an investigation of a trip I took to Cuba to film scenes for the movie. These scenes involve a group of 9/11 rescue workers who are suffering from illnesses obtained from working down at Ground Zero. They have received little or no help with their health care from the government. I do not want to give away what actually happens in the movie because I don't want to spoil it for you (although I'm sure you'll hear much about it after it unspools Saturday). Plus, our lawyers have advised me to say little at this point, as the film goes somewhere far scarier than "Cuba." Rest assured of one thing: no laws were broken. All I've done is violate the modern-day rule of journalism that says, "ask no questions of those in power or your luncheon privileges will be revoked."

This preemptive action taken by the Bush administration on the eve of the "Sicko" premiere in Cannes led our attorneys to fear for the safety of our film, noting that Secretary Paulson may try to claim that the content of the movie was obtained through a violation of the trade embargo that our country has against Cuba and the travel laws that prohibit average citizens of our free country from traveling to Cuba. (The law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their first amendment right of a free press and documentaries are protected works of journalism.)

I was floored when our lawyers told me this. "Are you saying they might actually confiscate our movie?" "Yes," was the answer. "These days, anything is possible. Even if there is just a 20 percent chance the government would seize our movie before Cannes, does anyone want to take that risk?"

Certainly not. So there we were last week, spiriting a duplicate master negative out of the country just so no one from the government would take it from us. (Seriously, I can't believe I just typed those words! Did I mention that I'm an American, and this is America and NO ONE should ever have to say they had to do such a thing?)

I mean, folks, I have just about had it. Investigating ME because I'm trying to help some 9/11 rescue workers our government has abandoned? Once again, up is down and black is white. There are only two people in need of an investigation and a trial, and the desire for this across America is so widespread you don't even need to see the one's smirk or hear the other's sneer to know who I am talking about.

But no, I'm the one who now has to hire lawyers and sneak my documentary out of the country just so people can see a friggin' movie. I mean, it's just a movie! What on earth could I have placed on celluloid that would require such a nonsensical action against me?

Ok. Scratch that.

Well, I'm on my way to Cannes right now, a copy of the movie in my bag. Don't feel too bad for me, I'll be in the south of France for a week! But then it's back to the U.S. for a number of premieres and benefits and then, finally, a chance for all of you to see this film that I have made. Circle June 29th on your calendar because that's when it opens in theaters everywhere across the country and Canada (for the rest of the world, it opens in the fall).

I can't wait for you to see it.


Michael Moore

P.S. I will write more about what happens from Cannes. Stay tuned on my website,

lunedì 14 maggio 2007

Il giorno della famiglia

Anzitutto chiedo scusa se rinuncio alla tanto in voga esterofilia nel nominare l'evento dello scorso 12 maggio.

In verità sono un po' stanco e non ho una gran voglia di commentare. In ufficio hanno acceso l'aria condizionata e non vedo l'ora di andarmene a casa, cercando di evitare (o rimandare) la quasi inevitabile sinusite estiva.

Fortunatamente c'è questo articolo che sintetizza perfettamente il mio pensiero sulla questione.

martedì 8 maggio 2007

Ipocrisie primaverili

A una settimana esatta dal concerto del Primo Maggio credo di poter finalmente fare un commento a freddo sulle sterili polemiche che ne sono seguite, senza correre rischio alcuno di alimentarle o dar loro più importanza di quanto non meritino.

Si è tanto parlato delle battute fatte da Andrea Rivera sul Vaticano e sulla Chiesa Cattolica, dimenticando che, appunto, di battute si trattava, di satira. A quanto pare l'insofferenza della politica e delle lobby (religiose e non) verso questa forma di comicità non è cambiata col governo.

Ho sentito giudizi gravissimi, dall'autoridicolizzante accusa di "terrorismo" lanciata dall'Osservatore Romano al blando "scriteriato" del Presidente del Consiglio, ma quello che nessuno ha evidenziato a sufficienza, neanche i Radicali che subito si sono schierati a difesa di Rivera, è che quanto espresso con quelle battute aveva una caratteristica fondamentale: era tremendamente vero, innegabile.

Sinceramente mi sarei aspettato ben altra indignazione.

E invece no: tutti a correre a dissociarsi, sindacati e organizzatori in testa. Evidentemente siamo di fronte all'ennesima ipocrisia di un paese in cui anche i vetero comunisti ormai votano per i democristiani.

Signori miei, il re è nudo e non è additando il buffone che ha il coraggio di ammetterlo che gli rimetterete i vestiti.

Per l'ennesima volta, vi supplico, recuperiamo uno straccio di laicità.

giovedì 3 maggio 2007

Il vaso si è rotto

Oggi ho ricevuto la seguente e-mail dal supporto di Pandora.

Dear Pandora listener,

Today we have some extremely disappointing news to share with you. Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply, deeply sorry to say that we must begin proactively preventing access to Pandora's streaming service for most countries outside of the U.S.

It is difficult to convey just how disappointing this is for us. Our vision remains to eventually make Pandora a truly global service, but for the time being, we can no longer continue as we have been. As a small company, the best chance we have of realizing our dream of Pandora all around the world is to grow as the licensing landscape allows.

Based on your email address, we believe you may be listening from a country outside the U.S. If you are in fact listening from the U.S., please disregard this email.

Delivery of Pandora is based on proper licensing from the people who created the music - we have always believed in honoring the guidelines as determined by legislators and regulators, artists and songwriters, and the labels and publishers they work with. In the U.S. there is a federal statute that provides this license for all the music streamed on Pandora. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent license outside the U.S. and there is no global licensing organization to enable us to legitimately offer Pandora around the world. Other than in the U.K., we have not yet been able to make significant progress in our efforts to obtain a sufficient number of international licenses at terms that would enable us to run a viable business. The volume of listening on Pandora makes it a very expensive service to run. Streaming costs are very high, and since our inception, we have been making publishing and performance royalty payments for every song we play.

Until now, we have not been able to tell where a listener is based, relying only on zip code information provided upon registration. We are now able to recognize a listener's country of origin based on the IP address from which they are accessing the service. Consequently, on May 3rd, we will begin blocking access to Pandora to listeners from your country. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

We will be posting updates on our blog regarding our ongoing effort to launch in other countries, so please stay in touch. We will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you. We deeply share your sense of disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.

È finita la pacchia.