Saturday, September 19, 2020

Errol Morris: Documentary Filmmaker/Journalist

Perhaps no filmmaker has shaped the art of contemporary documentary storytelling more than Errol Morris, a director-detective whose portraits of everyday oddballs and cultural icons alike are investigations into the human condition and the elusive nature of truth. Establishing his offbeat vision immediately with his first two documentaries Gates of Heaven and Vernon, Florida—wry and loving looks at all-American eccentricity—he went on to redefine the possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking (and free a man from death row) with The Thin Blue Line, a gripping account of miscarried justice told with the verve of a film noir. Since then, Morris has continued to tackle stories both big (the Oscar-winning The Fog of War) and charmingly small (Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control), bringing the same idiosyncratic perspective and philosophical insight to whatever subject piques his ever-restless curiosity. (Source)
"Believing is seeing and not the other way around." -- Errol Morris


American Dharma (USA/UK: Errol Morris, 2018) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online Archive)

Burchett, George. "Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett." Counterpunch (January 12, 2018)

Butler, Isaac. "Errol Morris on His Movie—and Long Friendship—With Stephen Hawking." Slate (March 16, 2018)

Eggert, Brian. "The Thin Blue Line." Deep Focus Review (June 4, 2017)

Errol Morris (His personal website)

Fisher, Daniel Clarkson. "In Defense of Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure." Pop Matters (May 11, 2018)

Freedman, Julia. "The Cynical Optimism of Errol Morris." Hyperallergic (October 22, 2014)

Garner, Dwight. "A New Angle on a 1970 Murder Case." The New York Times (September 10, 2012)

Gross, Daniel A. "“The World Is, of Course, Insane”: A Conversation with Errol Morris." The New Yorker (October 28, 2019) ["The director discusses Steve Bannon, Elizabeth Holmes, filmmaking, and the truth."]

Miller, Jonathan. "24 Lies Per Second: an Auteurist Analysis of the Documentary Films of Errol Morris." Senior Capstone Project (Vassar College: 2011)

Morris, Errol. "Anatomy of a Photograph: Authoritarianism in America." The Atlantic (August 22, 2020) ["When the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shows up at a peaceful protest in battle fatigues, it’s time to pay attention."]

---. "Bamboozling Ourselves, Pt.1" The New York Times (May 27, 2009) ["The rest of the series is here]

---. "Errol Morris." Longform #367 (November 6, 2019) [I don’t make films because it makes sense to make them. Probably if I thought carefully about whether they made sense, I would stop immediately. I make them because I have a need to do it. I have a need to think about stuff. Writing and filmmaking for me is a form of thinking. It’s an opportunity to think about something. And I enjoy it. I don’t know what I would do without filmmaking.”]

---. "Errol Morris." Vimeo (Ongoing archive of videos)

---. "Errol Morris Explores the Death of Truth in America, Past and Present." LARB Radio Hour (December 15, 2017) ["It’s the question on everyone’s mind: How the hell did we get here, Donald Trump’s America? How did our belief in democratic ideals get warped into what Errol Morris terms the “bat shit craziness” of the Trump era? LARB’s Tom Lutz talks with Morris about his brilliant new film Wormword, which debuts this week on Netflix, and how it’s tale of an army scientist’s suspicious death in 1953 relates to the current crisis of a government we feel we fundamentally can’t trust. As Morris explains, a society that builds powerful, secretive, violent institutions cannot also be an honest democracy with citizens who demand to know the truth — and what better way to deliver this message than an uncanny, six-part, binge-worthy, murder mystery. Also, John Freeman returns to recommend Solmaz Sharif’s sublime book of verse, Look."]

---. "On Gates of Heaven and Non-Fiction Filmmaking." The Current (March 30, 2015)

---. "There is No Such Thing as Truth." All Things Considered (May 2, 2005)

---. "The Truth About Steve Bannon." The Atlantic (August 30, 2020) ["Bannon’s favorite movie scenes offer a hint of the ideology of destruction that drives him."]

---. "The Unknown Known: Errol Morris’ New Doc Tackles Unrepentant Iraq War Architect Donald Rumsfeld." Democracy Now (March 27, 2014)

Musser, Charles. "The Thin Blue Line: A Radical Classic." The Current (March 25, 2015)

Resha, David. The Cinema of Errol Morris. Wesleyan University Press, 2015.

Rosenbaum, Ron. "Errol Morris: The Thinking Man's Detective." Smithsonian (March 2012)

Standard Operating Procedure (USA: Errol Morris, 2008: 116 mins) ["In 2004, during the invasion of Iraq, the public learned of systemic sexual abuse, torture, rape and even murder going on inside Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Photographs taken by the soldiers themselves were at the centre of the scandal, and seared public consciousness. Standard Operating Procedure sets out to examine the context of these photographs. Why were they taken? What was happening outside the frame? And as the film provides direct accounts of the soldiers who took the photographs and who were in the photographs, we ask: Who are these people? What were they thinking? The Abu Ghraib photographs serve as both an expose and a coverup. An expose, because the photographs offer us a glimpse of the horror of Abu Ghraib; and a coverup because they convinced journalists and readers they had seen everything, that there was no need to look further…"]

Standard Operating Procedure (USA: Errol Morris, 2008) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online Archive)

The Thin Blue Line (USA: Errol Morris, 1988) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online Archive)

The Unknown Known (USA: Errol Morris, 2013) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online Archive)

"A FILM BY ERROL MORRIS (w/t) asks the question why Leary, the High Priest of LSD, became a narc in 1974 and seemingly abandoned the millions he urged to turn on, tune in and drop out. Was his “perfect love” Joanna Harcourt-Smith a government pawn, as suggested by Allen Ginsberg? Or was she simply a rich, beautiful, young woman out for the adventure of a lifetime? Morris and Harcourt-Smith will reexamine this chaotic period of her life and explore the mystery of the Leary saga: his period of exile, reimprisonment and subsequent cooperation with the authorities. Devotion or selfishness? Perfect love or outright betrayal? Destiny or manipulation? The film is inspired by Harcourt-Smith’s memoir, Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary: My Psychedelic Love Story."

Errol Morris - Video Essay from Daniel Pezzella on Vimeo.

No comments:

Post a Comment