Errol Morris

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denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
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Re: Errol Morris

#51 Post by denti alligator » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:03 pm

Ribs wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:15 am
Just announced as playing Venice, Errol Morris’ latest documentary American Dharma is a feature conversation with Steve Bannon.
:shock:

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Big Ben
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Re: Errol Morris

#52 Post by Big Ben » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:17 pm

I mean Errol Morris interviewed Trump. Surely an interview with real life Randall Flagg isn't that far fetched?

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Oedipax
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Re: Errol Morris

#53 Post by Oedipax » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:20 pm

Not to mention McNamara and Rumsfeld.

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DarkImbecile
LightGenius
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Re: Errol Morris

#54 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:40 pm

Errol Morris to Direct Photo Journalist Biopic 'Weegee'
Self-named Weegee the Famous, Fellig was a street photographer that began working in 1930s New York chasing police cars and ambulances to capture life and death in the city. His work appeared in Vogue and Life, among other newspapers and magazines.
...
“Weegee may not have singlehandedly invented the noir sensibility, but without him, noir would be unimaginable,” said Morris. “He recognized he was constructing his own vision of reality, replete with vivid characters — rich, poor, depraved, and otherwise.”

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Errol Morris

#55 Post by Calvin » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:44 pm

I'll be curious to see if they stick with that title if and when it reaches these Scottish shores!

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Errol Morris

#56 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:03 am

American Dharma, Morris’ documentary on Steve Bannon, can’t find distribution:
But a form that was a Morris signature—long interviews with single subjects—has found itself in a purgatory governed by emerging rules about “normalizing” men like Bannon, someone whose inflammatory populism fueled Breitbart News before he imported it to the White House. “American Dharma” has now become its own unknown known, something we know that we do not know, a film generating plenty of coverage and opinions but very few screenings.

“It’s not a First Amendment [issue] because it isn’t the government suppressing free speech, but what is it?” asks Morris. “What is it when we’re just afraid to actually engage views that we find contrary to the way we would like to see the world?”

I invited Morris to the Nieman Foundation after arranging a campus screening of the documentary. One journalist cautioned me that showing the film could be “controversial” for Nieman. Someone asked if I thought there would be protests. I was bewildered by any suggestion that journalists should not see this work for themselves.
He seems to have been particularly fed up with the situation today:
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connor
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Re: Errol Morris

#57 Post by connor » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:23 pm

I've seen it. It's perhaps Morris's "best looking" film and the cutaways to scenes from Chimes at Midnight, My Darling Clementine and Twelve O'Clock High are effective and revealing in how they get Bannon to engage on what they mean to him. The problem isn't that it "gives a platform" to Bannon: it's that it does exactly what he wants in painting him as this all powerful prince of darkness instead of calling out his bullshit, exposing the contradictions in his supposedly "working class" agenda.

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swo17
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Re: Errol Morris

#58 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:24 pm

Isn't painting him as a prince of darkness enough?

connor
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:03 pm

Re: Errol Morris

#59 Post by connor » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:33 pm

swo17 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:24 pm
Isn't painting him as a prince of darkness enough?
No. Because that only works on liberals. And clearly it wasn't enough to keep Trump out office.

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Big Ben
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Re: Errol Morris

#60 Post by Big Ben » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:43 pm

The thing about Bannon now is that he's really persona non grata in Trump's world because he couldn't meet whatever ever rotating standards they all have. He's lost a great deal of his influence and really just seems to appear every now again like some sort of reoccurring cyst to remind everyone what a terrible person he is. I'm not shocked that companies don't want to release the film.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Errol Morris

#61 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:46 pm

connor wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:33 pm
swo17 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:24 pm
Isn't painting him as a prince of darkness enough?
No. Because that only works on liberals. And clearly it wasn't enough to keep Trump out office.
Yeah, why didn’t Errol Morris fix our political culture?

I haven’t seen Dharma, but I know Morris took an undue amount of shit for not “nailing” Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known, when that’s a totally unreasonable standard for a documentary built on interviews with a contemporary political figure. If the film accurately conveys Bannon’s worldview, does it need to hold the audience’s hand to make it clear that neo-fascism isn’t cool?

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Brian C
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Re: Errol Morris

#62 Post by Brian C » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:55 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:I haven’t seen Dharma, but I know Morris took an undue amount of shit for not “nailing” Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known, when that’s a totally unreasonable standard for a documentary built on interviews with a contemporary political figure. If the film accurately conveys Bannon’s worldview, does it need to hold the audience’s hand to make it clear that neo-fascism isn’t cool?
If a film doesn’t serve as a mouthpiece for my political views, what good is it?

Also I don’t like Michael Moore because he’s too on-the-nose.

connor
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:03 pm

Re: Errol Morris

#63 Post by connor » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:44 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:46 pm
connor wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:33 pm
swo17 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:24 pm
Isn't painting him as a prince of darkness enough?
No. Because that only works on liberals. And clearly it wasn't enough to keep Trump out office.
Yeah, why didn’t Errol Morris fix our political culture?

I haven’t seen Dharma, but I know Morris took an undue amount of shit for not “nailing” Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known, when that’s a totally unreasonable standard for a documentary built on interviews with a contemporary political figure. If the film accurately conveys Bannon’s worldview, does it need to hold the audience’s hand to make it clear that neo-fascism isn’t cool?
That's not my critique at all. My critique is that it builds him up as this all powerful Sauron figure instead of interrogating the contradictions in his "populism." Those contradictions are also key to his worldview. The best parts of the movie show Bannon discussing all those who've been left out from the turn towards financialization and deindustrialization. I wish Morris had kept up with that line of inquiry as it explains far more about Trump/Bannon's rise (as well as similar parties in Europe) than "everyone just wanted to be mean."

It's a good film. I'm not at all saying "i wish it had been more SCATHING" about Bannon. I'm saying: when Morris pushes back against him, which he does constantly, I wish he had tried something other than basically just accusing him of being bad/beyond the pale or straight up saying "I'm afraid of you!" which he does in fact say.

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whaleallright
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Re: Errol Morris

#64 Post by whaleallright » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:30 am

Sometimes I think that Morris's epistemological project—which is different than the politically critical project that many seem to want these films to be—just doesn't end up being as interesting as he seems to think it is. Was his interview with McNamara really all that revealing of the motivations of a man who brought us deeper into a massively deadly war in Southeast Asia? I came out of it kind of angry that Morris did not provide the sort of historical context that would reveal McNamara's rationalizations to be thin and self-serving (for instance McNamara repeatedly claimed ignorance of basic facts of then-recent Vietnamese history—saying something like "we didn't know about these things"—but those facts would have been available in widely-read books in the 1960s), not because I wanted Morris to grill him necessarily, but because McNamara's testimony in itself just wasn't that interesting. I mean, the bare spectacle of a man haunted by his past actions is somewhat compelling, but to me the film mostly offered various flavors of that spectacle and little more to chew on.

I have to admit to being particularly skeptical about this project. Morris seems to take on big names like McNamara and Rumsfield in part because he's famous enough to get their attention, and because taking on a big name flatters his own sense of importance. There are worse reasons. But the problem here, as people noted above, is that Bannon just isn't that important anymore, and arguably never really was. He doesn't have a constituency of his own, except a handful of kooks. Bannon seems convinced that he provides or provided Trumpism with some intellectual armature, but that was never really true. I'm not sure Trump needed Bannon to grope his way toward the sort of revanchist populism he's embraced—it seemed a natural fit from the beginning. In other words, Bannon served a purpose—connecting Trump with the world of right-wing niche media— but it's one a number of figures might have served, and Trump and his administration never found much use for Bannon's crackpot Huntington-esque theories of history, etc.

In this case Morris making Bannon the subject of a film might be seen to serve largely to inflate Bannon's sense of self-importance.

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