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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Errol Morris' Documentary: Tabloid

Despite the rave reviews "Tabloid" received when it came out, I did not enjoy the documentary very much. Indeed, it was slightly disturbing in that it confirmed one of my long-time suspicions: Depictions that are claimed to be true (biographies, documentary films, memoirs) are more likely to be false than fiction.

The facts presented may be facts, but the order of presenting these facts made me think of Errol Morris as a particularly manipulative man who seems to take pleasure in controlling the audience's expectation and interpretation. Of course, every writer or filmmaker does this to some extent, but the way Morris does it is a little too heavy-handed for my taste. I don't like to be so forcibly manipulated. This is in part why I tend to find more truth about human nature and motives in fiction than in biographies and documentaries.

Also slightly disturbing about the filmmaker's invisible hand is a sense of crude judgment exuding from the way facts are presented. The best observations of human frailty tend to contain a kind of amused compassion, which is missing in Morris' approach to "Tabloid."

1 comment:

talich said...

Errol Morris 一直关注的就是 fact 和 impression 这种事啦。

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