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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Do You Have To Be Crazy To Be A Documentary Film Maker?

I'm sure it doesn't hurt. First of all, documentary film makers get no respect. Documentaries don't often become summer blockbusters, so Hollywood generally ignores them. Secondly, the film makers have to mortgage their lives to get financing--you have to be crazy to do that. Thirdly, people don't like it when reality upsets their view of the world, and a documentary film maker presents reality, warts and all. Sometimes, as a result, the film maker becomes the recipient of hateful attacks. Only crazy people would want to put up with all this for their art!

Fortunately, though, there are some film makers who approach their topic with a sense of humor that translates well to film. These people are "crazy," but they have managed a fair amount of success. One such film maker, is Michael Moore. He can make you laugh despite the fact that he is showing you the absolute hellishness of living in the U.S. without access to adequate healthcare in his film, Sicko [DVD 362.1 SIC].

Another in the field is Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock is the guy who decided to film himself living (while slowing killing himself) on a diet of McDonald's fast food. If you haven't seen the film, Super Size Me [DVD 613.2 SUP], you really should! Now it seems, the crazy Mr. Spurlock, has made a film of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The film is Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? It premiered at Sundance in January, opened very limitedly in the U.S., and is opening later this week in the U.K. The Independent, covered Spurlock in this piece. Visit the official website to take a look at the trailer.

If you want to see Where in the World... you'll have to travel down to Mystic, CT, otherwise you'll probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD!

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