All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The Thin Blue Line
A softcore movie, Dr. Death, a chocolate milkshake, a nosey blonde and "The Carol Burnett Show." Solving this mystery is going to be murder.
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
I knew what Thin Blue Line was about and I had some idea of its real-world implications, as that seems to be the central discussion surrounding the film the majority of the time but holy shit - what an absolutely transcendent piece of documentary filmmaking.
Morris’ haunting, repetitious use of re-enactments. The way the aesthetic at one moment bleeds into sensationalism and then highlights truth in the next. The way it's constructed to slowly reveal details, letting the audience participate, constantly evaluating then re-evaluating the information we’re receiving and our perceptions of those feeding it to us. The way it masterfully builds to a joke the same way it does to its most shocking revelations. And of course, the way it exposed a corrupt system and literally saved a life. Thin Blue Line is a film truly like no other.
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…
The Thin Blue Line is famous documentary-maker Errol Morris’ most acclaimed work - a law case study on the prosecution of Randall Dale Adams who allegedly shot and killed a police officer in Dallas 1976, which was so successful that it eventually led to a reopening of the case and the freedom of the innocent Adams. For this fact alone, the film deserves recognition and applause, which I grant it, but to be completely honest I think that the execution of this documentary could’ve been much better if it showed more concern to work as a film as well as it works as an argument. I say this because through many unnecessary repetitions and a certain monotonousness it wasn’t exactly…
Review In A Nutshell:
A fascinating crime/legal story, intelligently told through excellent editing and engaging re-enactments. It is films like this that makes me want to dip my toes into the world documentary filmmaking.
"If there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County."
As of recently I have become very interested in murder cases and court proceedings, involving the question of innocence at the tragic loss of a life. I just finished the engrossing podcast Serial, that questions the guilt of Adnan Syed over the murder of Hae lee. I didn't really come out with any definite opinions on his innocence, but it was a very interesting listen, going into remarkable detail on the most minute aspects of testimonies and alibi's. And it felt all the more intense because it actually happened, and real people are suffering, it is not the same as actors being paid millions of dollars an episode to…
A powerful testament to the profound impact on a person's life the art of filmmaking can have.
Excellent choice for my 1,000th Letterboxd entry.
'If there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County.'
Documentaries are always going to be smaller than the thing they explore, but what makes The Thin Blue Line stand out is its legacy. For me, its power is not so much in its own content, but in how it affected the outside world. It is so crisply, so single-mindedly argued that there can be no doubt what we are supposed to think. For some, the imbalance might cause a problem: we are essentially watching half a trial, with all the evidence of the defence and very little from the prosecution. But it creates such a picture of lazy incompetence and wilful injustice that it is hard not to…
Film #19 of the "Scavenger Hunt #6 Challenge"
Item #2: A riveting documentary
A classic documentary. Highly recommended. I'm very curious to watch some of Errol Morris' other films.
"It's like a bad dream. You want to wake up but you can't do it."
Every now and then, a film comes around and changes the course of individuals lives in circumstances that are the stuff of nightmares. After watching 'Chuck Norris Versus Communism' (bringing down Iron Curtain in Romania) and reading about 'The Decalogue' (Poland abolishing death penalty), it truly is extraordinary how some films can be revolutionary.
In 'The Thin Blue Line', Errol Morris assists a man from serving life in prison after he is sentenced the death penalty (electric chair), which was overturned by the US Supreme Court. Despite serving 10 years in prison while the real killer continued committing violent crimes, Adams received no compensation for…
I had some issues keeping up with the interviews. I didn't understand what some of the witnesses were talking about, but I guess towards the end it made more sense. The recorded interview with Harris and Morris at the end was pretty powerful.
I still struggle a little with a lack of clarity in the way director Errol Morris presents the accounts of the various players in this hugely revered documentary. The facts are crucial, no matter which set we're talking about, and it isn't always clear who claims exactly what. A brief scout around the internet looking to settle some minor confusion reveals I'm not alone here.
That said, Morris is a powerhouse documentarian and this is a brilliantly constructed and executed film. Famous for leading directly to the acquittal of a man wrongly convicted of murder, not to mention the arrest of the guilty party, it actually changed lives. There might be flaws that aren't found in much of Morris's other best work (say Vernon Florida, The Fog of War, Fast, Cheap and Out of control, the absolutely sublime Gates of Heaven), but what it does have is a unique emotional resonance and frankly incredible back story.
This is truly one of the eeriest films I've seen in years. Quite possibly the best Rashomon since Rashomon.
I was wary of this documentary going in. I've never been a fan of documentaries focused on one single event. I couldn't see how such a narrow subject would provide a feature length interesting film. I was wrong.
Morris's film feels extremely modern in it's presentation, probably as almost all modern documentarian's use it as a template for their work. The crime whilst heinous, was a slight story, but the prosecution more than made up for that. Given that the probable true perpetrator was only sixteen at the time and couldn't be given the death penalty the police and prosecution went full force after the elder gentleman.
Again, this one was spurred on by Documentary Now! spoofing it in the latest episode. Turns out I'm seeing a whole bunch of good documentaries thanks to this series so I thank Hader and Armisen.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)