[Errol Morris filming "Mr. Death" Photo: Nubar Alexanian]
In our continuting series, Passion Thursday, Errol Morris on “Truth.”
Errol Morris has pursued the truth in such films as The Thin Blue Line, Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., and The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. In directing television commercials, Morris follows a slightly different trajectory. Rather than finding the truth, as he does with his documentaries, he begins with the “Truth.” He seduces the viewer into sharing his “belief” that Levis, and Miller High Life, and Volkswagon are the only means by which we can dress, drink and drive.
Early in his career, after making the critically acclaimed films Gates of Heaven, and Vernon, Florida, Morris found himself out of work, and the prospects of raising funds for future films were grim. Instead of cutting celluloid, Morris ended up cutting his teeth as a private detective, cracking huge corporate cases. What he was doing then is not unlike what he’s doing now: “talking to people and learning something about them from it.”
In some ways it seems ridiculous to promote this show as part of our “passion series.” As truth is really nothing more than unprocessed data, how can there be a passion for it? But as Errol Morris sees it, truth is a quest for authenticity; truth is something that arises out of the relationship between language and the world; truth is endlessly interesting to pursue. In an era where reality has been hijacked by reality television, how does Errol Morris define truth and recognize it? Who else is documenting the truth? Who else is covering it up? What will Morris’s next film be? These are some of the questions that we want to ask him. What do you want to know? What are your notions of truth? Who would you like to subject to his Interrotron? Post your thoughts, and questions for Morris, here. And don’t forget to call in to the live broadcast. We want to hear from you.
Academy award winning filmmaker