A Simple Question Belies Depths in ‘The Jinx’

Sometimes an interview question seems so simple that it belies the cultural depths that inform it. A question like this appears in Andrew Jarecki’s The Jinx: The Life and Murders of Robert Durst (2015). This six-episode HBO series retraces the unsolved murders linked to Durst through archival footage, reenactments, and interviews, including with Durst himself.… Read More A Simple Question Belies Depths in ‘The Jinx’

Constructing Conversations about Race in ‘Trick Bag’

Kartemquin Films’ Trick Bag: A Black and White Film tackles a tough subject: race issues in 1970s Chicago. Their 1974 short film shows a series of interviews among people across Chicago during the early 1970s. These people, mostly youth, gather at parks, on street corners, and in people’s homes. Race issues dominate these interviews, though… Read More Constructing Conversations about Race in ‘Trick Bag’

Performance, Music Come First in ‘Stop Making Sense’

Concert films are a well-established sub-genre of documentary. Think Woodstock, Monterey Pop, The Last Waltz. Their conventions, by now, are well known: interviews with the stars and the fans, shots of performances, and hopefully some deep dish about the band not available elsewhere. While often dismissed by critics as publicity vehicles, concert films still provide… Read More Performance, Music Come First in ‘Stop Making Sense’