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Posts Tagged ‘Errol Morris’

Reuters Teams Up with Next Media Animation

Reuters announced today that, as of July 16, it plans to offer 20 Next Media Animation videos per week through its distribution network. Not familiar with Next Media Animation? Actually, you probably are. They’re the Taiwanese company that puts out those wacky animated takes on the news.

Reuters’ head of video Owen Wyatt was remarkably humorless and corporate in announcing the new deal. “Our partnership with Next Media Animation has allowed us to a create and shape a video solution that enables broadcast and online publishers to illustrate every angle of a story, adding depth to our reporting when video from the scene is not available. This service will enable our customers to streamline their workflows, add colour to in-house graphics and access compelling and timely animations to support their programming.”

Yeah… Dude, they make silly videos. Lighten it up a bit. It’s not like Errol Morris is making these things.

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European Docs Making Pilgrimage to Santa Monica

The U.S. has Errol Morris and Michael Moore, but if you want see how the Euros handle this documentary stuff (and we don’t mean Swedish soft porn), take a trip out to Santa Monica next week for the Aero Eurodocs Festival at the Aero Theater Oct. 16-22.

This eclectic 11 film showcase featuring 10 Los Angeles premieres of new European produced documentaries, including Sung-Hyung Cho’s stirring yet comical “Full Metal Village,”fullmetal.jpg is an opportunity to journey into unfamiliar cultures and subcultures and to meet some unique individuals as viewed through a contemporary European lens. At the core of these films, are the stories of citizens of the world making their way in the 21st century — following or breaking tradition in human experiences that by far supersede geographic borders.

The festival will be presented American Cinematheque in collaboration with International Documentary Association and European Languages and Movies in America with the support of the consulates of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Goethe Institute-Los Angeles, the Italian Film Commission and the UK Film Council U.S.

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Errol Morris on Re-enactments in Documentary Film

Documentary making god-figure Errol Morris has a great op-blog in the NY Times on the use of re-creations and re-enactments. Writing about his film The Thin Blue Line:

It never occurred to me that someone might think that the re-enactments were not re-enactments at all, but honest-to-God verite footage shot while the crime was happening. It’s crazy for someone to think I had just happened to be out on that roadway, that night, with a 35-millimeter film crew and many, many cameras–cameras taking multiple angles, high angles from overhead, low angles at tire-level looking under the car, even angles inside the suspect vehicle. How could anyone think that? How could anyone believe that?

Well, people are dumb.

As was the Academy when it presented Mighty Times: The Children’s March with an Oscar in 2005 for best documentary short, despite the plentiful use of faked footage. Morris talked to doc. maker and professor Jon Else:

JON ELSE: To me, the bigger problem in “Mighty Times” is that they used footage from a lot of other cities and other years. There’s footage from the Watts riots two years later cut into scenes of Birmingham. There’s footage from the Little Rock school integration crisis five years before cut into Birmingham. The thing that tipped it for me was I was had worked in Birmingham in ’63. I was actually on S.C.C. staff – Student Coordinating Committee.

ERROL MORRIS: How old were you?

JON ELSE: I was a kid. I was like 19. I hadn’t actually worked on the Birmingham movement, but I had been through there the week after the church was bombed. I remember the guy at the Y.M.C.A. – the white Y.M.C.A. – we asked how to get to the 16th Street Baptist Church – and he said, “You mean that church that the niggers bombed?” I had been recruited to be an undercover guy. I was to go eat lunch at a restaurant owned by Lester Maddox in Atlanta. He had a mob of Klansman at his restaurant that beat up any black person who tried to eat there. For months, I went over to the Pickrick, his restaurant, with a buddy of mine, we were both on the S.C.C. staff. And over the door of the restaurant he had a sign “I refuse to serve Integrationists.” And after several months of doing this, I ended up going into court and testifying against him. The reason this matters, is that I’m watching “Mighty Times” [about the summer of 1963 in Montgomery] and up pops a shot of Lester Maddox in Atlanta, Ga., taken two years later, standing in the door of his restaurant saying “I refuse to integrate.” And that’s when I thought, “Jesus, I risked my life to testify against this guy, and they are putting him in a different city two years earlier.” There’s a real audio-visual record of what happened during those years in that part of the country. It’s fraud. It’s a double fraud. Both in the re-enactments and in the wholesale importing of other cities, other times. I’s’ like Monopoly money.

The comments, while sparse, are worth reading.