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Errol Morris: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers) Paperback – December 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Conversations with Filmmakers
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (December 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160473373X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604733730
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Interviews with the creator of The Thin Blue Line; Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control; The Fog of War; and Standard Operating Procedure

About the Author

Livia Bloom is a film curator and a contributor to the collection Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary. Her writing is published regularly in Cinema Scope .


More About the Author

Roger Ebert has said, "After twenty years of reviewing films, I haven't found another filmmaker who intrigues me more...Errol Morris is like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini."

Morris' films have won many awards, including an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, an Emmy, the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, the Silver Bear at Berlin International Film Festival, the Golden Horse at the Taiwan International Film Festival and the Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America. His documentaries have repeatedly appeared on many ten best lists and have been honored by the National Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review. His work was the subject of a full retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1999.

Morris has received five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2007, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a graduate student at Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Weston on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While not being perfect, this book is nonetheless an extremely interesting collection of interviews and Q & A's with filmmaker Errol Morris. It is clear that Morris is extremely well-spoken and well-read and he provides many interesting tidbits about the making of his films as well as theories and notions about film-making and life in general. The only downside to this book is that it is simply a collection of interviews from throughout his career. So there is a small amount of repetition - you hear some of the same canned responses to questions, but not enough to get in the way of it being a great read. The most valuable section of the book, and indeed Morris's favorite interview, is the most lengthy (if somewhat typo-ridden) interview in the book (66 pages) with Paul Cronin. It made me think that Cronin should continue with this work, and flesh out an entire book on Morris. Also included is a very interesting discussion between Morris and Werner Herzog, both filmmakers being equally difficult to define in the the cinematic lexicon. Overall, a must for any Morris fan.
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Format: Paperback
even without seeing this director's movies, the interviews stand on their own. yes, there is always a little repetition in interview books where they are often not allowed to shorten an existing interview. i love this umiss series.
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Format: Paperback
This book is helpful if you are interested in knowing what are the intentions of a great documentarian during his film practice. It contains a collection of interviews with the filmmaker (between 1987 and 2009) which were published in well known newspapers and magazines. It also includes a short chronology (events of the life of Errol Morris) and a filmography of the director. Some of the interviews have an introduction which is highly descriptive and sometimes repeatative, unfortunately.

During his interviews Morris is mainly very blunt, direct and explicative. Moreover, we learn that this talkative person is also a great orator. If you are interested in the work of EM this is a must read to grasp not only his thoughts but also his feelings in detail. But it would be better to see the films before reading!
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to describe why I found this book so valuable, but I read every sentence of every page as if it contained the secrets of the universe. Even the trite questions like "where do you get your ideas?" are answered with great thoughtfulness and profundity. Errol rarely gives a straight answer, but he always gives a provocative one.

Before reading this book, I recommend that you look up a couple of his video interviews (e.g., with Charlie Rose or with Herzog) just to give you a sense of the sloth-like pace - i.e., the thoughtfulness - with which he speaks.

Here are some selected quotes:

I used to transcribe all of my audiotapes by myself and there were these exciting moments where you would become aware of patterns of speech, the way people talk, the way they use language, the way they express themselves, the way they don't express themselves. When you sit and transcribe interviews, you become aware of things that you would never ordinarily notice. As you actually put these words down on the page you're listening to them in a completely different way. How much can you actually learn about a person and how do they communicate just from their patterns of speech? It goes well beyond the surface content of what they're saying.

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Truth is not guaranteed by style or presentation. It's not handed over on a tray like a Happy Meal. It's a quest, and often it's as interesting to chronicle people's persistent avoidance of truth as their pursuit of it. But in any event, whatever truth is, it's a linguistic and not a visual thing. I do not believe that the truth is subjective, that the truth is contextual, or that the truth is up for grabs.
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Format: Hardcover
A fascinating read. As another reviewer has said, since this is a compilation, there is a fair bit of repetition. But it is still an glimpse into an indiosycrantic and amusing mind, with as much to say about life and truth as about the particular movies.
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