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Errol Morris' First Person - The Complete Series

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Hailed by Roger Ebert as "one of America's strangest and most brilliant documentary filmmakers" (Chicago Sun-Times), Errol Morris (The Fog of War) brings his unrivalled talents to the small screen for a stylized series of intimate interviews with a unique and fascinating array of people. With the aid of his "Interrotron" – an innovative camera device Morris invented to maintain merciless eye contact with his subjects – the Oscar®-winning* director puts his odd assortment of eclectic characters and atypical topics under the microscope to produce "revelatory, whip-smart television" (Baltimore City Paper).

Special Features

  • Includes the episodes:
  • Mr. Debt                                                                
  • Eyeball to Eyeball                                                      
  • Stairway to Heaven                                                      
  • The Killer Inside Me                                                    
  • I Dismember Mama                                                        
  • The Stalker                                                            
  • The Parrot
  • Smiling in a Jar                                                        
  • In the Kingdom of the Unabomber                                      
  • The Little Gray Men    
  • You're Soaking in It  
  • Mr. Personality                                                        
  • The Only Truth                                                                           | * Harvesting Me                                                          |
  • One in a Million Trillion                                              
  • Leaving the Earth                                                      
  • The Smartest Man in the World                                          

Product Details

  • Actors: Errol Morris, Michael Stone, Denny Fitch, Josh Harris, Chris Langan
  • Producers: Errol Morris, Alison Palmer Bourke, Caroline Kaplan, David Collins, Dorothy Aufiero
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 491 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00094AS7W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,449 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Errol Morris' First Person - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By thornhillatthemovies.com VINE VOICE on September 15, 2005
Why haven't you seen an Errol Morris film? One of the beautiful things about film is that it can inform and educate, as well as entertain. Many documentaries accomplish the first two, but Errol Morris consistently does all three. Morris is the man behind some of the best documentaries ever made. These are not the boring talking head documentaries your parents used to see. Morris uses a combination of interviews, archival footage, footage his team creates to illustrate points and clips from old television and movies to tell compelling, unusual, informative stories. Morris' films are all the more compelling and watch able because of the subject matter; he finds strange people and gets them to reveal their interesting lives. Morris' films have rejuvenated the documentary much like Ken Burns' films have rejuvenated PBS. Get out there and start renting them.

In 2000, Bravo began airing "Errol Morris' First Person", a series of shorter documentaries very much like his films, just shorter. The entire series was recently released on DVD and is definitely worth watching.

Morris invented a device called the "Interrotron", which I believe he used later in his film "The Fog of War", about Robert McNamara. Basically, the subject can only see Morris by looking into a small monitor which is situated in the camera, in turn, recording the subject as they speak. This means that the subject is always looking directly at the camera, and the viewer. It is a bit unsettling at first, but it also provides a bizarre voyeuristic slant to the stories. Morris moves the camera a little, canting the frame. Brief shots of Morris on the monitor are inserted, to establish his presence, but he isn't even in the same room. Occasionally, he interjects a question.
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I am drawn to things that are out of the ordinary, and I have found that Errol Morris captures the unusual in his films. This DVD set has 17 episodes (each about 45 minutes long), where Mr. Morris interviews either very unusual people, or ordinary people with unusual jobs. For example, in "eyeball to eyeball" the guy who has been researching giant squid for most of his career doesn't seem too unusual (until he says that it would be cool to be eaten by one). The episode that I really like though is "the killer in me." This is about a woman who sees herself as being fairly objective and rational (a book writer), but she's attracted to serial killers (falls in love with one in fact). This series is both thought provoking as to the question "why do we do the things we do," but it also offers a mirror to the individuals who are interviewed. This set is so unusual, I'm sure that I'm doing a poor job of describing it, but if you are interested in unusual topics (lawyer for the mob rationalizing why it's okay to defend criminals) to the guy with the 180 IQ who's obsessed with getting back on a TV game show, then you'll find this DVD set a must have. I bought this on a lark (I had bought "the thin blue line"), but I think that this set is great.
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Errol Morris' First Person is an unusual, yet effective, way to make over the the traditional interview. In the series, Morris finds people, truly everyday folks, with unusual perspectives on things and very interesting stories to tell. Out of the 17 interviews, I have my favorites, but there is definitely enough variation to appeal to every taste. Each person starts out with a completely 'normal' line of reasoning. However, you get to watch these people transform into characters that you usually only see actors portray. I have to say, the 'Killer In Me' segment, my favorite, is quite bazarre, but entertaining and unnerving at the same time. The fact that these people are not actors and their wierd stories are true is pretty fascinating. I was definitely not disappointed and I'm glad I've got the complete series in my video library.
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There were two and only two seasons of "First Person," Erroll Morris' documentary series, and both are included on this three-DVD set. They make for frequently morbid but undeniably absorbing television.

Morris has an unusual style. Using his "Interrotron," a camera with a mirror that allows subjects to look at the director and answer his questions naturally even as they face viewers squarely, he interviews quirky, articulate people, most of whom seem to have an intimate relationship with death. Interspersed among snippets of the interviews are documents, reenactments, and archival footage.

How death-obsessed is Morris? Well, his most famous feature documentaries have included "Gates of Heaven," about pet cemeteries; "The Thin Blue Line," about a police murder; and "The Fog of War," about Robert McNamara, architect of the Vietnam War, for which Morris won an Academy Award. This series is just as fixated on the Grim Reaper. It includes just over eight hours worth of episodes: 15 that originally ran half an hour and two that lasted an hour. There ain't no more!

* "Mr.
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