Errol Morris Loves Directing Ads (Radio Interview) 

A truly inspiring Radio interview with one of the best best active directors around namely Errol Morris (NYTIMES) (THR Roundtable) (Fog of War) (Umbrella Man)KCRW presents THE BUSINESS with Kim Masters and John Horn. Errol Morris discusses how and why he uses the interrotron (Article) when interviewing subjects like Donald Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known (Trailer). Then he lets us in on his secret love of directing commercials. Plus, Graham Yost, showrunner of the FX series Justified on Timothy Olyphant, production incentives, and the challenge of making California look like Kentucky. Thankx for the tip Joris Debeij.

Watch on

Study for Interrotron. 2013. digital video. running time: 36s

Errol Morris - Anti Verite

Ricciardelli, Lucia. “Documentary Filmmaking in the Postmodern Age. Errol Morris & The Fog of Truth.” Studies in Documentary Film 4:1 (2010) 35-50. This article is an analysis of Morris’s documentary style. It comments that Morris subverts the notion of photographic evidence, chronological structure and omniscient narration. Uses his film The Fog of War as a case study. Discusses Morris’s invention of the Interrotron a device which forces the interviewee to look directly into the camera.

Talks about Morris and his stream of consciousness approach to interviewing which allows for the subject to contradict themselves and in this contradiction is what he calls cognitive dissonance. Morris suggests the truth lies in these contradictions and inconsistencies.

The Interrotron

I’ve just been reading about Errol Morris’ interview technique which he called the Interrotron. To better engage the viewer he put a live video of himself, the interviewer, on a teleprompter so the subject looked directly into the lens (spoke straight at the viewer).

One of the many reasons Morris’ films are so enthralling and dumbfounding is that the talking heads look directly at the camera and, therefore, us. They are almost inspecting us as we inspect them. The films become the closest thing to a conversation cinema can reach. It is at once disturbing and fascinating. Morris, through this simple device, creates the most indelible and excitingly odd films the world knows.