Sunday, May 18, 2008

#34: Scapegoats: Standard Operating Procedure, Michael Clayton, I Want to Live! Plus an interview with Errol Morris.






Standard Operating Procedure dir: Errol Morris

Michael Clayton dir: Tony Gilroy starring: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Sydney Pollack.

I Want to Live! dir: Robert Wise starring: Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent, Peter Breck.

Plus an interview with Standard Operating Procedure director Errol Morris.


Notes/Corrections:

6 comments:

davis said...

Erin, I enjoyed your very interesting interview with Morris and the discussion of the film that precedes it. My biggest reservation about the movie is that most of Morris's ideas about Abu Ghraib, the people he interviews, the war in Iraq, the military, and American politics aren't in the movie itself. That's what makes this interview -- and all of his public appearances and statements, including the New York Times essays -- so interesting and valuable.

The film itself, while I think it's definitely worthwhile, has a commentary vacuum. I find myself looking at details trying to figure out what he's saying, looking for the subtle things that Cathy found lacking (I like Fast, Cheap, too). In some cases, I think I found them but then discover when I hear him talk that I'm wrong. The film is strangely misleading in that way, although probably not intentionally.

In his conversation with you, Morris says categorically that Sabrina Harmon is a scapegoat and that in a different context she might have won a Pulitzer Prize. I agree, but it's pretty hard to come to that conclusion from just watching this movie.

davis said...

Oh, and by the way, we were probably at the same screening months ago in San Francisco (at the Variety?). Too bad we never had a chance to meet at SFIFF.

Erin said...

hey Davis, Yeah I've noticed a lot of reviewers had the same reaction as you (and Cathy). And this is clearly something that bothers Morris as he brings it up in every interview I've seen/read/listened to him do for SOP.

I think on the outset Morris probably saw an Iraq war critique as being like a fish talking about water. And while it was a bit before my time, I can easily imagine reviewers having the same response to Mr. Death when it came out.

I'm sure we'll have another chance to meet at the Variety screening room (some months it feels like I live there) or forthcoming festivals. You should say hi. I'm tall, always wear black and never smile... in other words, I look just like everyone else in SF.

davis said...

I have bad timing, discovered your podcast too late. I've just moved to Chicago.

Erin said...

Oh snap, enjoy those strange things called "seasons" I've heard so much about.

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