All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
The Thin Blue Line
Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas.
Not a documentary about pregnancy tests
If there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County.
Proof that films can actually change lives with verifiable results. Originally Errol Morris was doing research for a planned documentary on psychiatrist Dr. James Grigson (aka Dr. Death), but in doing so met Randall Adams, a man convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The chance meeting not only changed the subject matter of Morris' documentary, but changed lives and created the template for practically every investigative crime documentary film and television show made in the last 25 years.
The film is deeply disturbing by simply asking questions to people in power and letting them run their mouths in front of a camera. It becomes painfully evident…
It is impossible to put this film under one particular genre or style. Easiest way to say it is that "it is documentary" but I don't really think that one word is enough to describe it. While watching the film, one really gets the feeling what is fiction and what is reality - it explores the case while walking on the thin blue line between these two aspects which define everything in our world. One could use modern film genres on describing as well - thriller, crime, horror... I could even describe it to be some kind of relative to Kurosawa's "High and Low" no matter how crazy that might seem. Especially those final shots of the last interview reminds…
I always get a little irritated when any aesthetically unorthodox nonfiction film prompts people to call it anything but a documentary, viewing the term as a specific and limited genre even as it is their own labeling that forces it to remain such. Even so, I can't deny that "documentary" has a certain connotation in my head that, say, MANAKAMANA or FRANCE/TOUR/RETOUR/DEUX/ENFANTS doesn't fit. Errol Morris' films do, though, with their use of archival material, reenactments and talking heads. Yet what he does with that stereotypical doc format is so vastly different than what others manage. His talking heads are composed with care, as in the one of a cop framed before a map of Dallas, red street lines matching…
My first Errol Morris experience, and boy am I going to want to come back for more. A brilliant documentary which really set the standard for solid investigative film making.
This gripping documentary--told with both humanity and an artistic vision by Errol Morris--explores the nuances of a murder case, openly questioning, without subjectively outright denying, the guilt of a convicted murderer.
Reasons I love this perfect film:
-As thrilling as anything I've ever seen.
-A history lesson.
-The scariest thing that could ever happen to anyone.
-*Demonstrates the power of film. *
It always throws me for a loop when this movie doesn't focus more on the insanity that is Texas's death penalty culture (I really don't know what else to call it) but the last thing this movie needs is to go from a fascinating procedural examination of a man in the wrong place at the wrong time to being yet another advocacy documentary that takes on A Big Important Issue. All those movies should take lessons from this: first tell a compelling story, and let the subtext lie as subtext. The fascinating details of the story enhance the outrage of discovering what a game these cases are for Texas's states attorneys, and visa versa.
I first saw The Thin Blue…
There are a great many documentaries that offer commentary on the miscarriage of justice. Here Errol Morris allows all parties involved (victims, perpetrators, witnesses) to talk their way toward the truth one way or another. As with the West Memphis Three it is apparent early on that innocence of a crime is a minor inconvenience on the way to a conviction, and that those who are responsible for upholding the law often have the power to misuse that responsibility.
Morris' very particular style of documentary storytelling coupled with Philip Glass' exceptional score are secondary to the truths uncovered. I find it deeply unsettling that The Thin Blue Line is non-fiction but this disgusting corruption of the legal system is not an isolated occurrence and it pains me to imagine the amount of undocumented cases like this both home and abroad.
Special thanks to Patrick Walker for recommending this movie.
Astounding and anger-inducing!
In making the documentary, Errol Morris has essentially cast himself as the unseen third defense attorney for Randall Adams. Through compelling reenactments that evoke the expressionism of film noir and through his arranging of events, he presents a case for Adams’ innocence that becomes crystal clear to the viewer but which may have seemed equally as clear to the 12 calm men and women of the jury who decided he was guilty. Note, for instance, his introductions to the alleged ‘witnesses’ of the Wood murder. Mrs. Miller, a white woman who claims she saw Adams in the blue Comet, is first described by Edith James (Adams’ defense attorney) as a fanatical woman who dramatically wagged his finger…
Seen way back, before I had the aptitude to process Morris's combed-over style. Seen again in film school, when it was presented blankly as the definitive melting pot of documentary art. This time, though, I was immersed, seduced by its visual dexterity, placing it alongside other august true-crime investigation pieces. The search for truth cut against the unreliability of delusional evidentiary cogs creates so many theoretical debate topics that you could dissect the placement of each image in the film and surmise its functionality within the whole, which is fun unto itself, but this time I was doubly amazed by Morris's decision-making, the layered means in which he charts information - the way he confounds easy judgments by blending a…
generally find it hard to trust documentaries, especially those which fight a specific corner (Blackfish, Michael Moore, etc), but this leaves a sour taste in the mouth for different reasons - the clarity with which Morris presents the facts of the case is enthralling, coming across like In Cold Blood if Perry Smith was innocent, even when the talking heads/reconstruction approach is kind of perfunctory.
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