The Playlist

Venice Review: Errol Morris’ Donald Rumsfeld Documentary ‘The Unknown Known’

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 5, 2013 9:43 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Unknown Known, Errol Morris
As we inch towards another potential war in the Middle East, the last couple are still being pored over by filmmakers. We’re still likely some time away from the definitive takes on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we have seen a few solid films telling those stories in the last decade or so albeit tending to focus on the men on the ground, rather than the architects of the conflict. The men who planned and executed the wars might have been out of office for some time, but they’re not showing any particular willingness to talk things over. Well, except one. Sort of.

The 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2013 Venice Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 26, 2013 1:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments
If you look at the release schedule for the next couple of weeks, it's clear that we're entering the late August/early September slow season. Half-formed young adult adaptations, thrillers that star Ethan Hawke because Nicolas Cage was unavailable, 3D boyband concert movies and a Riddick sequel, with only "The World's End" and "You're Next" to save the day.

New Films From Terry Gilliam, Hayao Miyazaki, David Gordon Green & Jonathan Glazer Top 70th Venice Film Festival Line-Up

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 25, 2013 5:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments
After a weighty first announcement for this year's TIFF earlier in the week, eyes turned across the Atlantic this morning to the reveal of the line-up for the 70th Venice Film Festival, which precedes Toronto by about a week. We already knew the festival was opening with Alfonso Cuaron's hotly-anticipated 3D space adventure "Gravity," and an educated guess at the line-up could be made from looking at which films among the TIFF announcement weren't world premieres, but the official roster was revealed at a press conference in Rome this morning, and it's once more, a doozy.

Watch: Werner Herzog & Errol Morris Discuss Must-See Doc 'The Act Of Killing'

  • By Cory Everett
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  • July 22, 2013 11:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Over the weekend, this writer took in a screening of the new must-see doc "The Act Of Killing" which just opened at the Landmark Sunshine in NYC. The film has been picking up rave reviews at Berlin, SXSW and NDNF from nearly every outlet (currently 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and 89/100 on Metacritic) with our own Jessica Kiang awarding the film a rare "A+" and calling it "a towering achievement in filmmaking, documentary or otherwise." The doc focuses on the leaders of paramilitary organization that overthrew the Indonesian government in 1965 and murdered over one million people that were accused of being Communists. These men, who are now grandparents, are asked to re-enact these murders for a film in which they will portray both the victims and murderers.

Interview: Errol Morris Talks The Anxiety Of Making 'Tabloid' & Finding The Laughter In His Films

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • July 13, 2011 10:27 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In a time where documentaries are made cheaply and are often no more than glossy, agenda-pushing propaganda bulleted lists, filmmakers like Errol Morris seem even more admirable. Starting in 1978 with the amusing "Gates of Heaven" (which followed a number of people who had beloved animals buried in a California pet cemetery), the man alternated between scrutinizing the weird and picking apart the political, triumphing in both camps due to both his respectful and prudent attitude. He even invented his own interviewing technique called the "Interrotron" which, using two-way mirrors in a similar way a teleprompter would work, allows both camps to see the face of who they are talking to while directly looking into the camera. Because of this intimacy, Morris' films not only avoid the dullness that many talking head flicks fall into, but it also constructs a very personal audience connection to each speaker. As he probes into each subject, he's never condescending, but often unearths uncomfortable truths and manages to portray each person as not just a tool to prove whatever point he's trying to make, but as a complicated human being.

Paul Rudd To Star In Errol Morris' Adaptation Of 'We Froze The First Man'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 12, 2011 9:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Steve Zaillian's Film Rites Producing; 'Stranger Than Fiction' Writer Zach Helm PenningNo sooner than we post about a new Errol Morris movie, "The Demon In The Freezer," than another big update comes in for one of the handful of other projects he's got brewing. The famed documentarian is currently doing the press rounds for his forthcoming film "Tabloid" and it looks like he's parceling out new info about some of his upcoming movies.

Exclusive: Errol Morris Adds Adaption Of Richard Preston's 'The Demon In The Freezer' To His Queue

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • July 12, 2011 3:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Updates On 'The End Of Everything' & 'We Froze The First Man' Known for both his chilling investigative documentaries ("The Thin Blue Line," "Standard Operating Procedure") and his jovial examinations of the weird and eccentric ("Gates of Heaven," "Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control"), Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris has consistently been able to uncover various truths in his non-fiction expeditions. But these movies also suggest a creative asset outside the usual documentary wheelhouse; a responsive soul that shouldn't be bound to a single type of filmmaking. Morris's flicks, absurdly fascinating tales related with the breezy charm of an assured storyteller and punctuated with expertly employed reenactments, are singularly paced to leave you on the edge of your seat. Most importantly, in addition to his knack for choosing captivating subjects, Morris' respectful treatment of these individuals results in rounded, three-dimensional, human portrayals.

Watch: Trailer For Errol Morris' Exceptional Documentary 'Tabloid'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The theaters might be dominated at present by big, expensive action flicks, but for those after more thought-provoking cinema, it's looking to be an excellent summer for documentaries. Already we've seen the likes of "The Arbor," "Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff" and "L'Amour Fou," and even more exciting prospects are coming down the pipe, including "Page One," "Buck," "Project Nim" and "Beats, Rhymes & Life."

DOC NYC: 'Tabloid' Finds Errol Morris Back In Exceptional & Weird Territory

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • October 27, 2010 9:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Doc NYC, New York’s Documentary Film Festival, runs November 3-9. We’ve got an early peek at a few films.

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