Friday Documentary Links

Definitely not in writing mode today, but here are some the things I’ve been reading and watching today:

  • As I’ve gained some distance from Full Frame, I’m finding that the documentary that has stuck with me the most was A.J. Shnack’s Kurt Cobain About a Son. The documentary combines audio recordings from an interview with Cobain and video taken by Schnack in Aberdeen, Seattle, and Olympia to create not only an engaging portrait of the iconic rock star but also something closer to an essay film, one that beautifully captures the spaces Cobain inhabited. Now, A.J. has a blog focused on  the film, including a YouTube clip of one of the scenes from the doc.  I think this scene gives some idea of what About a Son is doing (and it really made me want to see Son again).
  • On his personal blog, A.J. also highlighted some of this year’s (very deserving) Emmy non-fiction nominees.  While the blogosphere is abuzz over the Emmy nomination for “Dick in a Box” and the My Name is Earl and Friday Night Lights snubs (Charlie Sheen over Jason Lee?!?), many of the non-fiction nominees went below my radar.  Some of the deserving nominees include When the Levees Broke and Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking and Spike Lee and Rory Kennedy (for Ghosts of Abu Ghraib) for Outstanding Direction for Nonfiction Programming.  Glad to see Lee garnering critical acclaim for one of last year’s most important films.  A.J. has all of the nominees, if you’re interested.
  • Also via Anthony (and Agnes), news that The Thin Blue Line and Fog of War director Errol Morris has started a blog for The New York Times.   In one recent entry, Morris revisits some of his arguments about the potential for photographs to provide (documentary) evidence.  As Anthony speculates, Morris seems to be meditating on the use of photographs to manipulate meaning, potentially implicating the Bush administration’s truth-bending practices, though as I recall, Morris has been making similar arguments about photography (or film) and meaning for some time.  Still, more news about Morris’s current project (due in 2008), now titled Standard Operating Procedure is pretty cool.

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