The Fog of War, the Errol Morris-directed documentary featuring former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, is one of the most valuable works Morris has produced. While some might argue that McNamara’s history would have been better revealed through a set of forceful interviews rather than the Morris style of gentle prodding, the fact is that the film is a significant political and cultural document in which one of the prime architects of the Vietnam War reflects upon, and in some cases regrets his past.
Many comparisons have been made between McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld, who first became Secretary of Defense about a decade after McNamara left the office, and then was again posted to the position under President George W. Bush, in 2001. Rumsfeld was one of the chief faces in the response to the attacks of September 11, and his position on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq became a key point of argument amongst Bush’s detractors.
Rumsfeld achieved many other things over the course of his long career in both the public and private sectors. And evidently he recently sat for a series of interviews with Errol Morris, who plans to cut the footage into a new film that could well end up echoing The Fog of War. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2012 by David Chen
Director Errol Morris has made a career out of solving mysteries, which comes as no surprise since the man used to be a private detective. Whether he was exonerating Randall Dale Adams in The Thin Blue Line or unraveling a sordid sex tale in Tabloid, Morris has deftly used his subjects to provide gripping accounts of situations that have been wrapped in intrigue and ambiguity.
In his book, Believing is Seeing, Morris turns his attention to the art of photography. In a series of photographic whodunnits, Morris explores the truth-telling capacity of photos. His conclusion? “Photographs don’t have truth value.”
I had a chance to sit down with Morris in his Cambridge, MA office during his recent book tour and chat extensively with him about the nature of photography, the plausibility of re-enactments, and Joyce McKinney’s controversial reaction to Tabloid. After the break, read highlights of my discussion with Morris. Below, you can also download and listen to the entire hour-long interview I had with him. You can buy his book at Amazon or in bookstores. Tabloid is now also for sale on DVD.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 by Angie Han
Whether or not Kristen Wiig decides to do Bridesmaids 2, what’s obvious is that she’s not wanting for work. The actress-writer-producer is already involved with several intriguing projects, and she may soon be attached to one more.
Wiig, along with Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken, are circling roles in Errol Morris‘ Freezing People is Easy, based on Robert F. Nelson‘s memoir We Froze the First Man and a This American Life segment titled “You’re as Cold as Ice.” Paul Rudd has been set for the lead role of Nelson since last year. More details after the jump.
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What a treasure we have in Errol Morris. This year he already gave us Tabloid, a tremendously entertaining documentary that presents a wild, lurid story and uses it to sift for, if not factual truth, at least the perception of truth from a specific perspective. Truth and perspective have been two of the driving forces for Morris’ entire career as a documentarian, with both explored in detail through essays the filmmaker writes on a semi-regular basis for the New York Times.
The latest film from Morris is a six-minute short made for the New York Times. The Umbrella Man is a short interview with Josiah Thompson, a Kierkegaard scholar who also wrote Six Seconds in Dallas, the key book that argues for a three-gunman explanation for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
But this isn’t some conspiracy theory story. Quite the opposite, in fact. It is, as Thompson says, a cautionary tale, about the dangers of looking for evil where it might not exist. Read More »
Back in April of 2009 acclaimed documentarian Errol Morris announced his intent to make his second non-doc feature. The film was being written by Stranger Than Fiction scripter Zach Helm, based on two sources: Robert F. Nelson’s memoir We Froze the First Man and a This American Life segment called ‘You’re Cold As Ice,’ which jointly follow the story of Robert Nelson, a TV repairman who developed his own cryogenic preservation technology in the mid-’60s.
We haven’t heard much about the film in some time, but it isn’t dead. (Resist the puns. Resist the puns.) Now, while promoting his recent documentary Tabloid, Errol Morris has revealed that Paul Rudd will play Bob Nelson. Read More »
This is one of the best trailers I’ve seen so far this year. The Errol Morris documentary Tabloid chronicles a very strange subject: Joyce McKinney, who became a tabloid fixture in the UK in 1977 when accused of kidnapping and raping a Mormon missionary named Kirk Anderson. It was called ‘The Case of the Manacled Mormon,’ and now famed documentarian Errol Morris explores the story in his own polished style.
Tabloid appeared at Telluride and TIFF last year and SXSW this year, and Sundance Selects will release it in July. The trailer gives out an incredible amount of information in a very entertaining and, yes, tabloid manner. Check it out after the break. Read More »
A couple weeks ago, the Toronto International Film Festival announced their line-up of Galas and Special Presentations (aka the major films premiering at the festival). The list of films included Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator; George Hickenlooper‘s Casino Jack, The Bang Bang Club, starring Ryan Phillippe, Barney’s Version, starring Paul Giamatti, Darren Aronofsky‘s Black Swan, Ben Affleck‘s The Town, Alejandro Gonzalez Innarittu‘s Biutiful, Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, Kim Jee-woon‘s I Saw the Devil and Michael Winterbottom‘s The Trip.
Today the festival announced their documentary selections, which include Errol Morris‘ Tabloid, Thom Zimny‘s Bruce Springsteen doc The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, Kim Longinotto‘s Pink Saris, and Werner Herzog‘s 3-D cave drawing documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Hit the jump to see the full TIFF documentary line-up.
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If you follow Errol Morris on Twitter, you’ll know that he’s been finishing up a new film called Tabloid. For the most part, we haven’t known much about what the film covers, as he’s been quite oblique in referencing the project. But the simple fact of Morris making a new movie is exciting enough. The man hasn’t made a bad documentary (OK, his dramatic feature The Dark Wind isn’t so hot) and many of his films hold well-earned spots on best-of lists for the year of their release.
Now we know a bit more about Tabloid, and if the pieces are coming together as appears to be the case, then it might be one to please audiences who take more to the quirky, focused portraits Morris sometimes creates. Read More »