Coming Redaction: Michael Moore's Blurb

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Adventures in Movie Marketing, Part 1: That Michael Moore is so controversial, The Man's always trying to silence him -- even when it's not his movie!

The "Fahrenheit 9/11" director merely offered up a blurb to promote "The Road to Guantanamo," a documentary about three British men imprisoned at the U.S. prison -- calling it "a film every American should see."

That quote was slated to run in newspaper ads for the movie, which opens Friday. But the Motion Picture Association of America told distributors they can't use that line: Since the film's rated R, not "every" American can see it!

It's the second such slap-down for the film: Last month, the MPAA vetoed a poster depicting a man hanging from handcuffed wrists with a burlap bag over his head. Ho ward Cohen , of distributor Roadside Attractions, laughed at the objections to the Moore quote. "Who would see that and think we were trying to lure children, next to a picture of handcuffs and a discussion of a serious political film?" MPAA spokeswoman Gayle Osterberg said that statements in ads "must be consistent with the rating." Compromise: They'll amend the quote to "every adult American."

Adventures in Movie Marketing, Part 2: One can imagine the challenges ahead in flacking a new documentary about a certain four-letter word. We can't even print the name of this documentary, featuring interviews with Ice-T , Ben Bradlee , the late Hunter S. Thompson and Pat Boone , which was screened at the American Film Institute's Silverdocs festival last week.

But executive producer Bruce Leiserowitz is bolder than we. At a Silverdocs reception for new movie star Al Gore , Leiserowitz walked up to the former veep and shook his hand: "I'm one of the producers of '[that word].' "

Gore paused and his face went blank before he found his manners. "Well . . ." he said. "That's quite an accomplishment."

Andy Card, Hoisted to the Top at a Tender Age

Never tell your embarrassing secrets to your boss -- or even your ex-boss! Former White House chief of staff Andy Card returned yesterday to his old school, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where President Bush delivered the commencement address. And -- oh, yeah -- Card made it into one of the jokes: "When he was a plebe, he was stuffed in a duffel bag and run up the flagpole."

Really? It's true! Card told pool reporters later that hazing was rampant during his year ('66-'67) at the Kings Point, N.Y., college. One night he ran afoul of upperclassmen when he grabbed a front-row seat on movie night. They tried to punish him with a harsh quiz of seafaring trivia, but he knew all the answers. So instead, they shoved him in a bag and hoisted him high.

"Yes, I was scared," said Card, who later transferred out. "They would torture you and see whether or not you'd break."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

  • Tim Russert and Wolf Blitzer , getting heckled by a Yankees fan at Friday's Nats game. The newsmen, sitting separately in prime seats behind home dugout, endured calls of "Hey, Wolfman!" and "Hey, Timmy!" all night from a gentleman with an outer-borough accent several rows back. When Blitzer pecked a young girl on the cheek: "Hey, Wolf, get a room!" When Russert stood up, revealing his suit and tie: "Hey, Tim, loosen up! You're at a baseball game!"
  • Yankees star pitcher Mariano Rivera , having a subdued dinner downtown Saturday at the Oval Room after failing to halt the Nats' amazing comeback from a seven-run deficit. Wait staff kept autograph-seekers at bay; Rivera's party of four drank iced tea; he had a Caesar salad, and no one had dessert.
  • "Law & Order" star Sam Waterston , with a small coterie that looked like family, catching a performance of "Love-Lies-Bleeding," starring longtime pal John Heard , at the KenCen Sunday.
  • LOVE, ETC.

    Tying the knot: After a low-profile courtship (no couch-jumping, no red-carpet canoodling), actress Nicole Kidman and country music star Keith Urban announced that they have returned to Australia to get married. No details, but Aussie papers are staking out a Catholic church in her home town near Sydney. The couple, who only recently acknowledged dating, are now on track to beat her ex, Tom Cruise, to the altar nearly a year after his splashy engagement to still-fiancee and now-babymama Katie Holmes . Maybe that'll light a fire under him.


    © 2006 The Washington Post Company

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