cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM TECHNIQUES Errol Morris’s interrotron





PHOT Errol Morris [handwritten quote]



I like the irrelevant, the tangential, the sidebar excursion to nowhere that suddenly becomes revelatory – Errol Morris



from Film Experience Blog {1}





GRPAHIC ERROLL MORRIS interrotron [1]


Click to enlarge



From: Errol Morris’s Secret Weapon for Unsettling Interviews: The Interrotron


–The ingenious design behind Errol Morris’s indelible trademark of showing people making eye contact with the camera.



↑ That’s it explained


But as you know a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you aren’t into explantions here’s a photograph showing how it works:




PHOTO INTEROTRON Errol Morris


Well, it looks rather like a picture won’t always do – just to say the Erroll in front of the interrotron is where the interviewee sits looking at Erroll. And Errol wouldn’t be looking through the camera eye-piece -that’d be the cameraman – but off to the side looking into video camera as per the nice colour diag.





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September 27, 2013 Posted by | Errol Morris, film production, film technique, interrotron | , | Leave a comment

FILM SCRIPT The Fifth Estate: the not-final script





FILM Fifth Estate [poster]



“Most of the events depicted never happened, or the people shown were not involved in them,” reads the posting*. “It has real names, real places, and looks like it is covering real events, but it is still a dramatic and cinematic work, and it invents or shapes the facts to fit its narrative goals.”


The film, which premiered earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, portrays Assange as a visionary with democratic ideals for information and altruistic motives for whistleblowers, but also as a lying, reckless revolutionary who ultimately sabotages his own creation by his refusal to consider the lives of revealed sources in published documents.



Jake Coyle



* Assange’s memo


WikiLeaks has just released a script of The Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, in cinemas 11 October 2013, in order to refute in detail the veracity of the story as depicted in the script which might not be the final version. Um?

As means of showing a script this is brilliant. Top / Script / Scenes / Memo buttons. Top seems slightly redundant. Memo is Assange’s gripes and wines.

Facts/assertions from memo:

[a] a WikiLeaker saw film on 5 September 2013 and WikiLeaks now claims the script published is substantially the film.

(this is the bit that drives me mad – WikiLeaks this and that, when actually it’s one rather vulnerable man in a broom cupboard in a Small South American country’s London Embassy a stones throw from Harrods, with a few chaps and chapesses he calls for favours. WikiLeaks is Leaker facilitator now lacking, we are informed, a means to leaks since the software has gone missing.

Assange is one a man opo trying to pretend -and the media play along with this – to be a substantial journalistic organisation, when in reality it is guerrilla cyber effort instigated by one man with variable success at gathering loyal adherents to him. But no one can take away from him what he has achieved in opening up the debate on The Open Society, further on now with the NSA/GCHQ revelations.)

[b] A la WikiLeaks: there are other versions of the script in their (his) possession.

[c] The fictional film [recognition..] misrepresents, distorts, omits. But never mind about that, click on scenes button. Columns of numbers. Click on one get your scene.

According to TIFF, the film was based on Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website (2011) by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, former WikiLeaks spokesperson [WikiLeaks Defector Slams Assange In Tell-All Book By Kim Zetter], as well as the 2011 book, WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding, both of which Assange claimed were inaccurate.


WikiLeaks Leaks The Fifth Estate Script in Typical Protest

By Delia Paunescu

Vulture, 22 September 2013


WikiLeaks says it’s a ‘mature’ script and the director says it is a, well, an immature one.

The film looks as if it’s a fiction. And why not, as Barry Norman might have said. As it should be. Who wants a transcript of a life, right down to a torn condom scene? That’s a point, is there a Swedish condom scene in The Fifth Estate? And were the condoms Swedish.


BUSHY-TAILED TO WOMAN FACE DOWN ON PILLOW. MAN – LAPTOP ON HIS LAP.

Man : Gee-whiz. Bonza. Must do that again soon. How about half an hour? Where’s the dunny?

NOTICES USED CONDOM ON BED-SHEET. SLIDES IT UNDER THE PILLOW.


Has a film about a real live (or dead) person ever been a completely accurate record of that life? Would a faithful set of correspondences make the person come to life?

Thinking of how a photograph can be mapped against the reality it has snapped and yet it’s more than reality: it’s a moment in time, but more than that – how a work of art, a portrait, captures an essence of the person, or something he has tried to hide. A photograph can do the same thing but in a different way. That little something caught might not be something the painted wants to be shown. The Sutherland portrait of Winston Churchill, immediately comes to my mind. It’s gone. Lady Churchill, if I remember correctly destroyed it herself.

This is an attempt done in sand to bring it back from the dead :


482px-Sand_Painting_based_upon_Graham_Sutherland's_contraversial_portrait_of_Sir_Winston_Churchill


This the wiki says was created in 1978, by sand artist Brian Pike using natural coloured sands.


{1} National Portrait Galley: one of many studies of Churchill by Sutherland. (I’ll add a few more links later)

Resisting the temptation to do a PhD length dissertation on what the Sutherland portrait can tell us in a variety of ways, bracketed inside a post on Assange and his image of himself – and film and what it can do and not do and will and will not do – it’s still quite instructive to hold such notions in mind as kind of template for Assange and his dislike of a film which he hasn’t seen. (Though his mate has seen the film and say it corresponds pretty much to the script published by WikiLeaks)

Mind you, don’t think he liked the earlier film either. That again was not a true depiction of Assange as Assange sees himself. To be fair to him he is on about factual inaccuracies. What he does in trying to control his image is not unique. The higher up the greasy pole you get the more you want control of how you are seen by others. And yet, as for L’Assangne [yum, yum, tomato sauce, fresh Italian herbs] once the image wanted is mischievously being played with by others, and the fight back is too hard, picky about little points, it all becomes self-defeating. He has a right to defend himself on the important areas like the Swedish sojourn that went pear-shaped. But he becomes a figure of fun when he flails like a blind man trying to grab at things. The control-freak is the pettiest of people. He is the man (or woman) who sits in of an evening, cutting photographs up to remove people from them who are no longer part of his life.

This morning I watched a TED lecture:

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain

presented a wonderfully simple graphic to explain an experiment carried out in her lab.


NEUROSCIENCE Sarah Blakemore adolesc expt


The man is called the director but that’s by the by. The point of the experiment (of a series) is to get the viewer to move things in the cubbyholes to the director’s instructions while [a] seeing what he can see and [b] having been told to remember what the director can see from the other side. The adolescent finds it tricky to achieve the required result, which is to take account of his view and the view of the director! O.k., o.k., we’re onto empathy. Big but interesting subject. Let’s boil it down to the adage,

If you want to know yourself, look at the other; if you want to know the other look at yourself.

People are designed by nature be able to read minds.

And when it comes to art, photography, film, the same processes go on.

By the way, if you watch the TED, Blakemore mentions an anecdote: pre-teen’s misbehaving in a shop told by dad would sing them a song if they behaved, were happy to stop for the pleasure of listening to Dad trying to sing A Boy Named Sue, while after puberty the same offer was seen as a threat.

But back to the film folks getting together to decide that this and that part of a life just are not for their film, changing those bits to fit in with their conception. Part of that conception will of course be, will it sell tickets? Things about the main character will be changed to drive their narrative. This what happens in films based on real people. And it’s little different from the process an artist goes through in painting a portrait. That moment when the person walks round to look at the painting on the easel and goes, “Oh..um” and can’t quite bring the words out: “Is that how you see me?” (which means, “It doesn’t look anything like me..”)

What will always be fascinating and mysterious is how the bare facts of a life can be unexceptional or seem 2-dimensional simply because we didn’t know the person – till something is done to those facts. Fiction has many purposes – one of them is to breathe life into personality and character in a way a description of a life itself doesn’t seem to be able to. This not to say many lives aren’t riveting from real life, recorded or off the page. But these are abstracts not autistic-like recordings of every millisecond of a life. Even someone one comes into regular contact with amounts to a series of gaps where we know little or nothing about the person.

In my own autistic like terrier way, driving this one into a corner: We see L’Assange on the news, we hear his pronouncements, Evita-like from balconies, and fit that together with what we read in papers and books which try to tell the whole story. On the one side there is a life with holes in it, on the other a life described in minute detail. The script writer and director create their own holey bit from both the real holey bit and the well-explained bit which itself has quite a lot of holes in. One bit missing – what goes on in the mind of an individual which is never disclosed

Filming something or recording audio, at very great length, without editing into a shape – can nonetheless have a hypnotic effect. We would know a lot more about the real Assange, for example, if a camera had been turned on from his birth right through to the present day. Well, of course we would, but y’know wadimean. From that we could see the man he wants to project out into the world would clearly be seen as a concoction, a fiction. True of every one of us. And so the film-maker concocts in turn.

But back to Assange and his script. Is he thinking about suing? What will he think when he sees the film as against the not final script? When will the DVD be out or will he use NetFlix? Does he pay for internet connection? So many questions.

What exactly is defamation? Are the film producers of Fifth happy to go ahead because the stuff already produced hasn’t had suits slapped on them by WikiLeaks Inc.? Well he can’t do any slapping down of writs – he he has no money.

Telling people’s stories on film from Arts Law is an info sheet which includes this clear explanation:

What is defamation?
Defamation is a communication from one person to another about an identifiable third person which lowers the reputation of the third person. If a film maker creates a film depicting a real person in a way that would lower the reputation of that person, and the film is released, then the film maker may be liable for defamation. The film maker may be sued for defamation by that person, or by their family or business partners.

No film would be released if the production company thought they were going to get sued, surely? (Though plenty of suing has gone on over the years) People invest in these things. They want a big return on their investment. Or, rather, they know if a film is a success at the box office, they will make a lot more than putting their dosh in an ISA*.

The really fun one, nothing to with Assange and art over self-image, is when a film producer/director takes money for a proposed project, then doesn’t make the film. Haven’t they made a film about that? The one about the script which is just a cover for mob money. Terrance Malik seems to be being sued for taking money for one film and using it make another (or three).


* tax-free savings schemes in the UK

September 24, 2013 Posted by | Julian Assage, WikiLeaks | , , | Leave a comment

FILM COURSE BFI PASOLINI The remains of the study day





Pier paolo Pasolini

Image from Brian Matthews’*Movie Ramble


Pasolini Study Day at the BFI.


The talks and discussions have been made available as free pdfs at iTunes, where the course is described as

Stimulating and engaging programme of talks, discussions and screenings (hosted in collaboration with the University of Sussex’s Centre for Visual Fields and School of English) exploring the work and thought of Pasolini, one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation and a fiercely original – and controversial – public figure. A prestigious line-up of speakers includes Adam Chodzko, Rosalind Galt, Robert Gordon, Matilde Nardelli, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Tony Rayns, John David Rhodes, Filippo Trentin and his favourite actor: Ninetto Davoli.



Singled this out from Catherine’s Film Studies for Free

She’s provides a mountain of a film resource, but I find a lot of the academic stuff largely incomprehensible and distracting from film itself. Love film? Watch films.



* Brian has done some posts on Pasoli’s he’s watched



September 23, 2013 Posted by | BFI, film theory, Pasolini | | Leave a comment

LIFE AND ART Lawrence Durrell





The entrance to Ambron villa





Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria home to be demolished


The train of thought here is why haven’t they made a film of his life in Alex? His art was his life with The Alexandria Quartet.

There was Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals – “comic exaggeration of the foibles of his family – especially his eldest brother Lawrence Durrell” – but no direct depiction of Lawrence in his milieu as he wrote.

This seems filmable. Though perhaps TAQ was so much him that it was considered a waste of time.

Another view: abstracting the real Durrell from his novel diminishes the novel. Not much read nowadays anyway as the style is deemed too old-fashioned and full of words that need to be looked up. I found it hard going myself, reading Justine in the 70s, then decades later the others. I was brought up in the Middle East and North Africa, so I took to it despite the densities.

Robert Fisk in looking at Durrell’s novel Judith mentions he wrote a script for it. Now we need to know if he ever wrote one for TAQ or even thought about it and discussed it. Maybe the letters to Henry Miller might help.



September 19, 2013 Posted by | Alexandria, book to film, Durrell: Judith, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet | , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM ADAPTATION Re-visiting Pinter’s Proust



The previous post about novel and screenplay made me think again of Pinter and his Proust Play.

These two were not around when I did my Pinter/Proust posts*


In Which Harold Pinter Changes Marcel Proust


Alex Carnevale in This Recording, 23 August 2011


and


Pinter the Adapter: The Proust Screenplay in Notes and Drafts


Naoko Yagi


No date on this pdf. But she’s a prof. at Wasada University with one of her research areas listed as: Harold Pinter’s plays, screenplays, and prose.


*


Little patch of yellow wall or a single asparagus? : Harold Pinter’s The Proust Screenplay


Little patch of yellow wall or a single asparagus? : Harold Pinter’s The Proust Screenplay {2}



September 17, 2013 Posted by | film, film adaptation, Film on radio, Film script/screenplay, Pinter, Proust | Leave a comment

Novel vs. Screenplay

PHOTO FILM NOVEL pile of scripts

Photo from: Christopher Fowler*’s Blog

‘The differences between a screenplay and a novel are equivalent to the differences between a blueprint and a finished building.’

–Peter Bauer

The idea came to me to search on novel vs. script, without really knowing precisely what I was looking for. Mostly about, Am I writing a novel or a screenplay?, and if others puzzle over and articulate on this. But one thing leads to another.

Rebecca Chace, a published novelist, writing in Publishing Perspectives, did screenplay to novel to screenplay: Literary 360: Rebecca Chace on Going from Screenplay to Novel to Screenplay. Summary:  if you write a screenplay then feel like writing the novel, put the script away and write from scratch.

I don’t think I could do that. I’m pretty sure I’d be checking scenes in the script and trying to pad it out with prose and re-jig. Though they say since a script is for a film – sound and vision – how you piece together the story is so radically different in a novel, that’s not going to achieve the result.

True perhaps of the narrative structure, but the scenes you have written in a script can be visualised so well, are bound to be there as you write your novel. After all you sit there seeing the scenes and then you write the script. I can see one particular part of a story I wrote. I can live inside this place, move around it so easily, even ‘film’ extra shots and re-see them edited in where I think they might fit. How to ‘epoché’ the lot written as a script to sit down and write from scratch looks impossible from where I’m sitting.

At the same time, how can you not think of the beginning of a novel, a long, drawn out languorous first few paragraphs, and not see it or attempt to frame it visually? O.K., pick a really hard one to be awkward. Para 1, Book 1, The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil, [Wilkins/Kaiser translation].

There was a depression over the Atlantic. It was traveling eastwards, towards an area of high pressure over Russia, and still showed no tendency to move northwards around it. The isotherms and isotheres were fulfilling their functions. The atmospheric temperature was in proper relation to the average annual temperature, the temperature of the coldest as well as of the hottest month, and the a-periodic monthly variation in temperature. The rising and the setting of the sun and of the moon, the phases of the moon, Venus and Saturn’s rings, and many other important phenomena, were in accordance with the forecasts in the astronomical yearbooks. The vapour in the air was at its highest tension, and the moisture in the air was at its lowest. In short, to use an expression that describes the facts pretty satisfactorily, even though it is somewhat old-fashioned: it was a fine August day in the 1913.

MWQ has never been filmed. Not because of that intro that could be scripted, but it’s an essayist novel. Always had the same trouble with A la Research, though it’s been attempted usually in part such as Time Regained, Raul Ruiz,1999. (Sidenote: BBC radio version of Proust was effective. Pinter’s Proust Play – a screenplay no one would film – was brilliant, but had whole chunks of the book missing. Pinter decided to leave out the Madeline, and use the sound of bells as a linking device. But this is another subject: film script vs. radio script)

How To People all over the place are having their say about novel and script [screenplay]. The Novel vs. The Screenplay: A Practical Guide for Talented Writers by James Bonnet in Storymaking.com. One thing caught my eye:

…the screenplay can be an excellent first draft for a novel.

Anyone who has started writing a story, who is interested in both forms, knows this can go either way. And sometimes there can be such a conflict that a novel and a script are developed in parallel without a final decision about which to finish and which to drop. The advantage of doing both is if you were shifting more to novel – but you’ve been playing  with a script – you’re ready to think about the adaptation! Then there’s the thing about writing a novel in a film like way. Common now. But go back to writers like Graham Greene.

From Screenplay to Novel

Peter Bauer says briefly pretty much the same thing (‘The differences between a screenplay and a novel are equivalent to the differences between a blueprint and a finished building.’ ), but shows how the script can’t just be transposed into a novel and why.

All these things are what you work out for yourself but it’s handy to have someone laying it out clearly.

Screenplay vs. Novel in Anatomy of Perceval, 20 July 2013. All sorts of writing things and 6 degrees to.

(Every wonder if a website on writing you are reading is just some guy in a bedroom with a dream? He hasn’t got a published novel nor is he a Hollywood scriptwriter…)

* wiki: Christopher Fowler

September 15, 2013 Posted by | Novel, Pinter, Raúl Ruiz, screenplay, screenwriting | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FILM BELA TARR The Prosaic Sublime of Béla Tarr [essay by Rose McLaren]





PHOTO FILM Bela Tarr [Werk -whale eye]




The Prosaic Sublime of Béla Tarr


Rose McLaren, The White Review, 2013



September 14, 2013 Posted by | Bela Tarr | | Leave a comment

FILM ERROL MORRIS The Unknown Known





RUMSFELD Time Magazine cover






Errol Morris’ Five Golden Rules of Movie-making drew my eye. I’ve watched his films and wondered what exactly he was offering.

Well, there are 5 rules, succinct as they are, but the post is really a mention of his new documentary on Rumsfeld, The Unknown Known plus a short YouTube clip of the film – The Unknown Known. Look forward to watching it.

For those who have never heard of him, Errol Morris is the film-maker who did the impressive series The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. Riveting talking heads – when they can often be dull as ditch water – where in stages we see the Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations examine his role in the Vietnam war. (“Some things work out, some thing don’t.”)

Morris made his name with The Thin Blue Line [1988]. wiki: Errol Morris.

I was recently drawn further into Errol Morris’ world by reading some of his NYT Opinionator series, the latest of which can be found on errolmorris.com. If you’ve never read any of his pieces, I recommend his 2007 Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? [a two-parter] It’s a load on balls: canon balls: a detective story on the photographer Roger Fenton’s Crimean War photograph, The Valley of the Shadow of Death.

But back to the knowns and unknowns. A film about a man who can remember

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

and say it without stumbling, hesitating or an er must be interesting, even if he is a a right-wing elitist. Should be interesting. Interesting doesn’t mean you like the subject Rumsfeld didn’t forget his knowing/not knowing half through and say, “Well, ah, [shucks..] got my knowns and unknowns jumbled up there.”

Brings to mind the well-known gnomic pronouncements of Eric Cantona. Coming in at #5 in a top 10 of Cantona quotes: “My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.” But of course #1 is:

“When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.” (1995)

I saw that! His English was so French, most listening probably didn’t get it at all.

I’m not saying we can bracket Donald Rumsfeld and Eric Cantona, but they have both come up with the sort of thing that’s sure to make journalists at press conferences look sideways at each other, curl an eyebrows, slap laptops shut and suggest an immediate pint or three at the nearest local hostelry.

Yet, somehow, I feel certain that among the journo throng when Rumsfeld made the now well-known known and unknown remarks, there were a few high-brow hacks who felt in their bones this was a quote from someone else, or based on someone else’s ideas and not made up by him personally. (In 2006, when I visited the British Library just after they hacked out the reading room, I spied inside a glass bookcase just inside the door on the right the by then famous quote. Might even have been framed.)

There was a bit more after the famous knowing and yet not knowing :

“…as we know, there are known knowns; there are things
we know we know. We also know there are known
unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things
we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns –
– the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

I would not say that the future is necessarily less
predictable than the past. I think the past was not
predictable when it started.

There is a transcript of the 2002 briefing in which Rummy let it be know what one knows, doesn’t, can’t, ought to, etc.

Everyone’s discussed it.

But why not let DR himself run through it first. An abstract from the intro of his memoire Knowns and Unknowns, shows where he got the knowns and unknowns from, which is easy to find out from other sources.

The quote became a subject of much interest and derision and not a little thought. Even Zizek had his say, suggesting a further unknown, the unknown known.

” What he forgot to add was the crucial fourth term: the “unknown knowns”,
things we don’t know that we know – which is precisely the Freudian
unconscious. If Rumsfeld thought that the main dangers in the confrontation
with Iraq were the “unknown unknowns”, the threats from Saddam we did not
even suspect, the Abu Ghraib scandal shows where the main dangers actually
are in the “unknown knowns”, the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene
practices we pretend not to know about, even though they form the background
of our public values. To unearth these “unknown knowns” is the task of an
intellectual.”

Unknown knowns and Zizek: why are the Americans fighting this war? written in 2004, explains and develops.

If Morris’s documentary doesn’t deal with the quote at length there’ll be much surprise all round amongst Errol Morris fans.

Xan Brooks in The Unknown Known: Venice 2013 – first look review, Guardian 4 September 2013 confirms the quote is in.


Two from The Hollywood Reporter:


Toronto: Errol Morris on Facing Off Against Donald Rumsfeld in ‘Unknown Known’ (Q&A)


♦ where he got the idea from [Rumsfelds own autobiography] and why he wanted to make a film on Rumsfeld
♦ How he got Rumsfeld to talk [write to Penguin who had published the Rumsfeld autobiography]
♦ How the film was made [Rumsfeld reading out his own memos – a long history of memos, apparently, going way back into the mists of his career]


Morris thinks Rumsfeld is obsessed by the meaning of words – (“…Words become for Rumsfeld his own way to regain control over reality and history as he feels it slipping away.” / “…If somehow he gets the right word or the right definition of words, everything will be OK. America will win the war in Iraq, the insurgents will vanish. It’s all a problem of vocabulary.”)


This words and reality thing fascinates me. Generally. A paper by Simon Biggs, Between zero and one: on the unknown knowns, mention of Hallam, E & Ingold, T (2007), Creativity and Cultural Improvisation. They claim according to Biggs that “life is unscriptable” and “cannot be codified”, for the world is not a fixed but fluid phenomenon.

The context in the whole section:

Quoting Elizabeth Hallam and Tim Ingold (2007) on Pye, “In the workmanship of risk the quality of the outcome depends at every moment on the exercise of care, judgment and dexterity. The practitioner has continually to make fine adjustments to keep on course, in response to the sensitive monitoring of the conditions of the task as it unfolds”. By contrast the workmanship of certainty “proceeds by the way of a pre-planned series of operations, each of which is mechanically constrained to the extent that the result is predetermined and outside the operative’s control”. However, Hallam and Ingold problematise this duality, noting earlier in the same text that “life is unscriptable” and “cannot be codified”, for the world is not a fixed but fluid phenomenon. Thus, in practice, the workmanship of certainty is never fully realised as no system or set of phenomena is so predetermined and known that we can complete a task in respect of it whilst on auto-pilot. All of our activities are, to some degree, creative and engage the real-time evaluative processes inherent to tacit knowledge. In this sense tacit knowledge and the creative impulse are not the preserve of those engaged in the creative arts but are aspects of life, both extraordinary and quotidian…



The Unknown Known: Telluride Review


♦ A not uncritical intro to a fairly long review (“… film just seems to tread water, both because Morris tediously recycles points he already made in his 2008 look at the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Standard Operating Procedure and even more because Rumsfeld gives away virtually nothing”)


Having not seen the film yet, I’m in no position to disagree or agree. You’re a cut and dried result type of person – in fiction or non-fiction – or you’re happy to see something incomplete or unresolved. Unfinished, inconclusive, disorganised, fragmented is o.k. by me, as long there is something in there, a little nugget that sparks interest or curiosity. Even just a style of doing something which ultimately fails to deliver. If in a book, a painting, a music composition, a film, something doesn’t quite come off, witnessing the attempt might be worth it alone – that we have learnt something anyway. An scientific experiment never fails – a positive or negative result is still a result – it just doesn’t agree with the hypothesis.

I’m looking forward to the old warmonger reading out his own notes and commenting on them. Will he start picking out words and re-examining them?

Errol Morris Working On Donald Rumsfeld Documentary is the site I lifted the image of Rumsfeld from – a Time cover.


Idling my time till The Unknown Known comes out on DVD, I did a bit of reading on Rumsfeld and came out of it with a deep re-affirmation of a prejudice about the U.S., which was so vehemently expressed by Harold Pinter. At the top it’s a venal, corrupt and amoral society. So top-down, the grasping spreads to the lower stratas. There are sure to be thousands of honest, decent capitalist sausage-makers in the land of the free, who hopefully don’t cheat their workers out of the value of their labour [but don’t bank on it], or their customers either by what they put in their bangers or in over-pricing them, but at the top of this society [in any society perhaps but notably America], as it is easy to see, are a lot of rum Rummy-like people who lie and cheat their way to great riches and have a vicious, nasty un-sympathy for the underdog.


Scott A. Gray’s review, The Unknown Known Directed by Errol Morris, is my core review for now. Looks as it might pretty much cover it. I’ll be on the look out for more as the film is seen more widely.



September 14, 2013 Posted by | Donald Rumsfeld, Errol Morris | | Leave a comment