Rob VanAlkemade’s SXSW 2007 premiere documentary, What Would Jesus Buy?, has become a solid grassroots hit during its limited theatrical release across the nation. This weekend, the holiday-consumerism documentary opens in Denver, San Diego, Sacramento, Indianapolis, and Norfolk. In Austin, the film will have a special engagement at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Plus, VanAlkemade is scheduled to be in attendance for Q&A’s at the Saturday and Sunday night shows. As part of the film’s continued expansion, I asked What Would Jesus Buy? producer Morgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock to answer a few questions via email. Spurlock is busy himself these days, finishing his second directorial effort (Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?) in time for its Sundance premiere next month. Here’s what Spurlock (pictured below, with VanAlkemade at SXSW 2007*) had to say:
Q&A with MORGAN SPURLOCK
Me: Some people may think What Would Jesus Buy? is anti-consumerism but it’s not, really. I mean, then how else would someone buy a ticket to go see it?
Spurlock: You’re absolutely right, but at the end of the day, paying 8 or 9 bucks to watch a movie that may keep you from maxing out your new Visa card may just be the best thing you purchase all Christmas!
Me: As a new father, what is it like for you around this time of year when it comes to shopping and gift giving?
Spurlock: My whole family has decided not to give gifts to each other (at least to the adults), instead we are all meeting at a cabin in the mountains where we can eat, play games, hang out and have fun. That’s what the holiday is all about for me anyway, my family.
Me: What’s Reverend Billy like to hang out with, when he’s not protesting or marching down Times Square?
Spurlock: Billy is a pretty thoughtful guy, and his wife Savatri really keeps him grounded. I think he’s hilarious and even when you’re just hanging out, you can tell those gears are turning like crazy… plotting and planning something revolutionary.
Me: What was harder: distributing this film nationwide or finding Osama Bin Laden for your next film?
Spurlock: HA! You can’t trick me with your Jedi mind tricks, Dentler! You’ll have to wait til Sundance like everyone else!
*Photo courtesy of indieWIRE. What Would Jesus Buy? plays in theaters nationwide through the holidays. Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? is due to open in theaters next Spring.