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Thompson on Hollywood

Drafthouse and Participant Media Pick Up 'Act of Killing' Follow-Up 'Look of Silence' Before Venice Debut

Ahead of its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, Austin-based Drafthouse Films and Participant Media are picking up U.S. rights to Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Look of Silence," the director's follow-up to Oscar-nominated "The Act of Killing," which Drafthouse also released. "The Look of Silence" continues the story of Indonesian survivors begun by "The Act of Killing." The film explores the Indonesian genocide and legacy from the point-of-view of one male victim as he chases down his brother's killers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 27, 2014 1:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Sight & Sound Picks 50 Best Docs of All Time

BFI's 'Sight & Sound magazine'--which for years has conducted a poll of the 50 greatest films of all time--has released the results of its inaugural poll to crown the greatest documentary of all time.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 2, 2014 12:57 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Errol Morris Stands Up for Unapologetic Donald Rumsfeld Doc 'The Unknown Known'

Errol Morris talks back on his new documentary on Donald Rumsfeld "The Unknown Known," which arrives in theaters April 4.
  • By John Anderson
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  • March 26, 2014 11:53 AM
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  • 5 Comments

'The Unknown Known' Review and Q & A: Errol Morris vs. Donald Rumsfeld

It started in Telluride, the word that somehow Errol Morris didn't "nail" Donald Rumsfeld in his mano a mano confrontation in "The Unknown Known" (Participant, Radius TWC). While I am fascinated by this portrait of a man who was close to the seat of power in this country for decades, from the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations through George W. Bush and the aftermath of 9/11--the biggest reveal is that he wished that his boss had allowed him to tender his resignation after the damning Abu Graib pictures were revealed--Morris lets Rumsfeld off easy. The film is set to play DOC NYC, running November 14-21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2013 1:00 PM
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DOC NYC Kicks Off November 14 with 131 Films; Opens with Errol Morris, Closes with Michel Gondry World Premiere

DOC NYC, the largest documentary festival in the US, will return for its fourth year to the IFC Center with an expansive lineup of films, panels and guests. Running November 14-21, the fest will showcase 131 films and events, including screenings of 72 feature-length films and 39 shorts, as well as 20 doc-related panel discussions and masterclasses.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • October 17, 2013 1:45 PM
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Errol Morris's Rumsfeld Doc Is Popular on the Fall Festival Circuit, But May Not Play the New York Film Festival

Already one of the fall’s more eagerly anticipated films, “The Unknown Known” – Errol Morris’s take on the beloved Donald Rumsfeld, the very idea of which makes our toes curl -- seems poised to be the biggest doc of the season. Word is that the film has not only been invited to the Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals but it's become the first of two docs ever accepted into competition at the Venice Biennale (the other being the homegrown “Sacro Gra” by Gianfranco Rosi).
  • By John Anderson
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  • August 8, 2013 1:47 PM
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  • 2 Comments

WATCH: Werner Herzog and Errol Morris Discuss Genocide Doc 'The Act of Killing' (VIDEO)

Any film with the names Werner Herzog and Errol Morris attached as co-executive producers is enough for cinephiles to run to the theater en masse. But Joshua Oppenheimer's masterful genocide documentary "The Act of Killing" is an unmissable film on its own terms.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 12, 2013 2:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Read This: Harvey Weinstein Calls Errol Morris "Boring" in 1988 Letter About 'Thin Blue Line' Interview

The Letters of Note blog has unearthed a fantastic 1988 letter from Harvey Weinstein to documentary filmmaker Errol Morris. In it, Weinstein tells Morris that his NPR interview for the yet-to-be-released "The Thin Blue Line" wasn't so hot: "You were boring. You couldn't have dragged me to see 'The Thin Blue Line' if my life depended on it." Ouch. Full letter below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 12, 2013 1:05 PM
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  • 4 Comments

In the Works: Errol Morris to Direct Narrative Feature and Suburban Thriller 'Holland, Michigan'

Filmmaker Errol Morris, best known for his law-changing documentary "The Thin Blue Line" and Oscar-winning "The Fog of War," has attached himself to narrative feature "Holland, Michigan." Per Deadline, the film is "a suburban thriller laced with black humor."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 11, 2013 12:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: What Can We Demand of the Documentary--Subjects, Aesthetics, Goals and Business Models?

This year, if you held your ear to the Oscar keyhole and listened hard enough, you might have discerned a slight disquiet. "Very strong category," people were saying about the nominees for Best Documentary Feature. "I loved all of them," they usually added. "But..." The "but" concerned the eventual winner, director Malik Bendjelloul's "Searching for Sugar Man." A soulful mystery about the American musician Rodriguez, who rose to prominence in South Africa and Australia a generation ago before being relegated to obscurity, "Sugar Man" was never discussed as anything less than deserving. In certain quarters, though, "Sugar Man" could be seen as insubstantial when placed against the other nominees, all weighing heavy political subjects: the Israeli/Palestinian conflict ("The Gatekeepers," "5 Broken Cameras"), military sexual assault ("The Invisible War"), and the AIDS crisis ("How to Survive a Plague").
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • March 12, 2013 3:22 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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