Some of the most entertaining moments in the movie business come about when one overbearing personality gets a chance not just to be a total dick to another, but to be relatively justified in doing so. Harvey Weinstein is a master of these moments. When thinking about talking crap about the responsibilities of Mr. Weinstein, you should be prepared for a scathing response.
In 1988, Errol Morris got a taste of Weinstein’s ability to dress down filmmakers in his employ when Morris complained about Miramax’s efforts to promote his film The Thin Blue Line. The movie’s place in history is well-known by now (as the subject of the film, convicted killer Randall Adams, was exonerated after its release) but at the time Morris thought Harvey needed to do more to sell the film. As it turns out, Harvey thought exactly the same thing about Morris, as a letter sent to the director demonstrates.
How’d you like to receive a missive that begins with the following? “Heard your NPR interview and you were boring. You couldn’t have dragged me to see THE THIN BLUE LINE if my life depended on it.” Check out the full letter after the break. It is glorious, even if you’re a devoted Morris fan.[via Gordon and the Whale] Read More »
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Any pop culture writer today worth a scan online has a unique opinion on Chuck Klosterman. The renown American author and journalist made a name for himself in the aughts with witty, hyper-informed contributions as a former senior writer and columnist at SPIN. In 2003, he released a bestselling book of essays about “low culture” under the title, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, that dissected, exploded, and—in the case of Saved By the Bell—meta-ized topics ranging from internet porn to why there’s only “one important question a culturally significant film can still ask: What is reality?” To readers with an eye on the future, Klosterman signaled not only the arrival of an adored critic amongst hipsters, TV junkies, and geeks; he was the aware embodiment of the modern intellectual turned as voracious consumer of entertainment. And ever since many a beer has been consumed by writers arguing over or coveting this appointment.
Post-Cocoa Puffs, Klosterman’s bibliography has grown to include several works of non-fiction as well as last year’s Downtown Owl, a well-received debut novel benefiting from word-of-mouth, not unlike how Puffs did (but with Tweets on top). His latest book, Eating the Dinosaur, is a characteristic essay collection that can be burned through in a night but also raises several troubling philosophical questions. In the first part of Klosterman’s interview with /Film, he elaborates on the role feted director Errol Morris played in a few of Dinosaur’s themes. We also discuss his opinion of movie junkets, the accelerated culture of movie blogs, and the film most comparable to Guns N’ Roses‘ Chinese Democracy. For the second round of the interview, click here.
Hunter Stephenson: Hi Chuck. So, are you in California to speak about the book?
Chuck Klosterman: I’m doing The Jim Rome Show on ESPN, and it’s in Huntington Beach, California. And I gotta say, it’s creepy as fuck out here man.
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Update: I have been quickly corrected. This is not Errol’s first non documentary film. He directed a mystery film called The Dark Wind in 1991.
One of the best documentarians in the history of cinema has announced that he will be making his first second fictional feature film, kinda. Errol Morris, who won an Academy Award for Fog of War in 2003, has signed on to direct the Untitled Cryonics Project for Mandate Pictures. The film isn’t entirely fictional. Based on Robert F Nelson‘s memoir “We Froze the First Man” and a story which aired on NPR’s This American Life titled “You’re as Cold as Ice,” Stranger Than Fiction screenwriter Zach Helm was brought on board to pen the adaptation.
The dark comedy, set in the 1960′s, tells the true story of a television repairman who who joined a group of enthusiasts who believed they could cheat death with a new technology called cryonics. But as Variety puts it, “freezing dead people so scientists could reanimate them in the future turned out to be harder than Nelson thought.” You can listen to the story which ran on NPR on thisAmericanLife.org. I’m very interested to see how Morris does with a non-documentary narrative feature.
Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 by David Chen
Errol Morris is one of the most talented documentarians alive. Few people possess his ability to draw out informative and emotional responses from fellow human beings, a talent we’ve seen on display from films as diverse as Gates of Heaven all the way to Fog of War.
Small wonder then that his 8-minute short film Survivors, created for the Stand Up To Cancer benefit, is by turns gripping, humorous, and powerful. The film is comprised of reflections from people who have survived cancer, as well as their friends and loved ones, with the ever-elusive Morris occasionally heard interacting with them in the background. You can download the movie on iTunes by clicking here. To learn more about Stand Up To Cancer and to support their cause, make sure to head on over to their website.
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Random Notes from the Editor:
Errol Morris’ short film which opened the Academy Awards show was fantastic. If you didn’t see it, you can check out the video at Oscar.com.
Ellen DeGeneres is not funny (with exception of the Jennifer Hudson/Al Gore joke, but I have a feeling someone probably wrote that for her).
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