I was grateful in quarantine that you can find Errol Morris’ documentaries on streaming services, not just because I think of Donald Rumsfelds Bonker’s word salad weekly, but also because Stephen Hawking confrontation with The concept of origin helped put things in the right light. A few days ago, Morris quietly uploaded his two-season Bravo series First person (2000) to YouTube;; A quick look is a pleasure. It is also a product of Morris’ favorite television invention, the terribly named Interrotron.
The series shows everyone with a story, but mainly deals with marginal pathology and moral deviations: There is a “cleaner at the crime scene”, a woman who goes out with serial killers, a pioneer for cryonics, who describes how he freezes his mother’s head . The series title and cutaways highlight Morris’ carefully orchestrated design to get subjects to make direct eye contact with the viewer –an approach from A set of two cameras and two two-way teleprompter mirrors that place a live feed of the director and the interviewee over the lenses. (You can see a diagram by production designer Steve Hardie Here.) Today we can think of it as a video conference, but it is better; A laptop’s camera is still slightly above the image of the other person’s face.
Before the Interrotron, Morris told FLM Magazine in one 2004 interviewHe tried to put his head right next to the camera lens to simulate a real conversation.
“We all know when someone has eye contact with us. It’s a dramatic moment, ”he said. “Maybe it is a serial killer who tells us that he will kill us soon. or a loved one who recognizes a moment of affection. Regardless, it is a moment of dramatic value. We know when people make eye contact with us, look away and then make eye contact again. It is an essential part of communication. And yet standard interviews on film get lost. To the interrotron. “He proudly added that Mikhail Gorbachev, Laura Bush, Iggy Pop, Al Sharpton, and Walter Cronkite had all faced the interrotron. He said that his wife coined the names of “interview” and “terror” as this removes fear from the interview process.
The tactic clearly makes the subjects flow and they reward him, as Morris’ subjects tend to, with spontaneous remarks that go beyond an interviewer’s wildest dreams.
“I had a trial in which my client stabbed the guy four times in the back – no, seven times. And my defense was that he kept retreating into the knife, ”said a mafia defender giggles. “And the jury bought it.”
Murder and crime are a common theme, but it’s also interspersed with dark humor. Morris occasionally throws the screen too loudly Crack a joke with, for example, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s former pen pal.
He also has one singing dog, Aha.