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Aesthetic Vs. Execution: On Andrew Jarecki and Robert Durst.

As of right now, we’re about to enter five days after the explosive finale of The Jinx, HBO’s documentary series reconstructing the life of Robert Durst, a millionaire who may […]

As of right now, we’re about to enter five days after the explosive finale of The Jinx, HBO’s documentary series reconstructing the life of Robert Durst, a millionaire who may or may not have killed at least three people in cold blood. And the ending is probably one of the most hauntingly powerful moments captured in film on the last two decades if not more so. It’s the product of careful and laborious craft, investigative work and sheer determination.

In many ways, I think that’s what’s so easily compelling about The Jinx. It’s a brilliant piece of manipulation on par with anything that Orson Welles would do by the end of his career in documentaries like F For Fake. However, the film has many problems, some of them are downright ethical while others are purely aesthetic. It is still, after all, the product of a filmmaker who gave us Capturing The Friedmans, a film that was willing to go the extra mile in order to craft a narrative (and that extra mile often involved the deliberate manipulation of information)

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