FROM Errol Morris
Director Errol Morris on 'Wormwood' For his new documentary project Wormwood , filmmaker Errol Morris spent days interviewing Erik Olson, a man who grew up believing his father Frank -- an Army scientist with connections to the CIA -- had committed suicide by jumping out of a Manhattan hotel window in 1953, when Erik was nine years old. But in 1975, newly released CIA files added a wrinkle to the story: shortly before his death, Frank Olson may have been part of a CIA experiment in which he was given LSD without his knowledge. Of course, that came as shocking news to Erik and his family. Erik Olson has since devoted his life to pursuing answers to questions about what his father knew and how he actually died. In Wormwood, Morris puts forth what Olson has discovered, one layer at a time. What makes the series unique is that it presents the story of Olson not only through interviews and archival footage but through scripted dramatic performances, with Peter Sarsgaard playing doomed scientist Frank Olson. The cast for the scripted sequences also includes actors Molly Parker and Bob Balaban. Given Morris's hybrid technique, it's tough to say exactly how to categorize Wormwood. Is it a film? Is it a series? When we sat down with him recently, even he had trouble nailing down the exact nomenclature. Morris recounts approaching Netflix and saying he wanted to make the "everything bagel" of documentaries. The project then grew in scope and expense over the years. He also reflects on his memorable meeting with feisty investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who has his own theory about the Olson case, but he says he's never been able to publish a definitive account without putting his source in danger. In addition, Morris tells us there might be more Wormwood in the future, and questions the ever-changing rules that govern what is and isn't eligible for best documentary at the Oscars. Wormwood was deemed ineligible by the Academy's documentary branch this year, but still qualifies in the feature categories. All six parts of the four-hour opus Wormwood will be available on Netflix starting December 15 and will also have a theatrical run in New York and LA.
Errol Morris Filmmaker Errol Morris discusses his famed interview device, the interrotron, which allows the subjects of his films to maintain eye contact both with the camera and him during the interviews. He used it to great effect for the Oscar-winning Fog of War and his new movie, The Unknown Known . When Morris isn't deep in the midst of a film he can be found directing commercials. He boast a thousand ads directed, and his dirty little secret is...he loves it. Plus, what does he think of Twitter?
Rumsfeld Gets the Errol Morris Treatment In Errol Morris' Oscar-winning film, The Fog of War , former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was conscience-stricken over the war in Vietnam. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Morris he hated it, because "that man had nothing to apologize for." Then Rumsfeld sat down for an interview of his own — without demanding any right of approval. The result is The Unknown Known , which addresses what Morris calls the "contradictions and falsehoods" associated with decisions to go to war.
Errol Morris: The Unknown Known Eleven years ago the United States invaded Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld led that invasion as President Bush’s defense secretary. He became known at the daily Pentagon briefings for his colorful and circuitous statements... a man utterly confident that the U.S. was doing the right thing, despite mounting evidence that the war was not as well planned as it could have been and - in fact - had been waged under false pretenses. Donald Rumsfeld is now the subject of a new documentary by Errol Morris.
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.