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.
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.
This was the first time I'd watched The Thin Blue Line in about 20 years, and I was amazed how many of the movie's images had remained in my memory. Dramatic reenactments of real-life crimes were already on their way to becoming a cliché in 1988, but the way Errol Morris and cinematographer Stefan Czapsky stage them, with the cars, the headlights, the milkshake hitting the pavement all lit in strong contrast to the all-black backgrounds, gives them a dreamlike quality. We can't trust either the image that recreate the official narrative of the case, but even when Morris counters with the evidence that eventually led to Randall Adams being released from prison, we're compelled to ask, as a professor…
This is a document of another dimension. If David Lynch directed a Merry Melodies sketch ripped from the transcript of a botched murder trial, you might have a movie as shockingly original as this. And yet, these events happened, and these people existed.
Like Philip Glass's haunting, hypnotic score, the film seems to be ever spiraling outwards. The story of the night a Dallas police officer was murdered sucks lawmen and lowlifes out from under their rocks and into the light of hard tungsten bulbs. Charming sociopaths and self-serving samaritans. Cops with nooses ready and lawyers retiring out of frustration.
What is real? What is fabricated? Are our memories true, or are they shaped by what we want them to…
Virtually no other film of its time was as important in smearing the edges between what's realistically dramatized and truly real and in showing the singular wallop a movie can have. It makes Rashomon look like a Chaplin film, and leaves you with a belly-churning undercurrent of disquiet.
A very well made documentary, paced and metered, told as if fictional—the final recording absolutely floored me, and supposedly that was unintentional.
"You have a D.A, he doesn't talk about when they convict you, or how they convict you. He's talking about how he's going to kill ya. He don't give a damn if you're innocent, he don't give a damn if you're guilty. He's talking... about killing ya.
The Thin Blue Line is one of those pictures that has been on my watch-list for literally years, i'm no expert when it comes to documentaries, i have not seen a great many deal of them but i do like to see a good documentary once in a while and this one was certainly highly recommended. I was especially interested in this one because it was Directed by Errol Morris, which…
Candidate for the
Best documentary made.
Watch and be afraid.
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