Tag: documentary

Documentary Review: Into the Abyss

 

October 24, 2001, Michael Perry and Jason Burkett went to the home of an acquaintance, Adam Stotler, to finagle their way into staying the night with the intention of stealing the Camaro in the garage. Adam’s mother, Sandra, told them he wasn’t home so Perry and Burkett murdered her. After dumping the body in a nearby lake, they returned to find Highland Ranch now locked. They waited at the gate until Adam arrived, then lured him and his friend, Jeremy Richardson, into the woods where they murdered them to get the remote to gain access back into the community so they could steal the Camaro. Sandra was 50 years old, Jeremy 18, and Adam 17.

In his documentary about the murders, Into the Abyss: A Tale of Life, a Tale of Death, Werner Herzog is upfront about his stance on the punishment handed to Perry. Interviewing Perry from behind bulletproof glass in a Livingston, TX, penitentiary, Herzog tells him, “[D]estiny, in a way, has dealt you a very bad deck of cards. It does not exonerate you and when I talk to you, it does not necessarily mean that I have to like you, but…you are a human being and I think human beings should not be executed.” Were decrying capital punishment Herzog’s aim, he does not go about it by minimizing the crimes of Perry and Burkett. The film journeys where the title promises it will.

Sandra Stotler, Adam Stotler.

Conveying the enormity of the crimes is achieved not by dwelling on the gruesome details of the act itself, though Herzog doesn’t shy from showing police footage of the crime scene where we see a rug placed to hide a pool of blood on the floor, though the wall and door frame are spattered. Most haunting is the kitchen counter across from a TV left on for days. Cookie dough sits in scoops on a sheet, an eggshell next to it, a cookbook cracked open nearby—it was a normal day. The interviews following this footage make apparent the actual toll of the murders. Lisa Stotler-Balloun, daughter and sister of the victims, tells how after Sandra’s body was found and Adam was still missing, she was alerted her brother had been admitted to the hospital, only to find out it was Michael Perry using Adam’s ID after he murdered him. She got rid of her phone. “All it ever brought me was bad news.” After agreeing Jesus probably wouldn’t have supported the death penalty, it’s no surprise she then questions His judgment on the matter.

Must-Watch Documentary for Pacific Northwesterners

 

Last night, I left the dirty dinner dishes until later, to sit and watch the new 90-minute (no commercials) KOMO News documentary, The Fight for The Soul of Seattle.

This is a must-watch for anyone interested in the goings-on in the Leftist Republic of Seattle. It will certainly evoke many emotions, from anger through surprise and pity. Remember my post on Seattle committing slow suicide? It was slightly ahead of its time. The documentary was quite thorough in describing all the adverse changes happening in Seattle. In my opinion, only one subject was left out:  interviews with ordinary citizens of all parts of Seattle, asking them whether they regret voting for the ones who are responsible for the downward spiral of their city.

When Leftist Worlds Collide

 

In a rapidly declining Western civilization gone mad with progressive ideology, one of the few pleasures available for people with traditional values is watching one fringe element of the left trash another fringe element of the left.  It doesn’t necessarily do much to slow down the civilizational destruction, but it provides sporadic moments of intense pleasure.

One case in point: Leonardo DiCaprio.  Did you know that the world-famous actor and climate activist is guilty of promoting white supremacy?  Neither did most people, but after all, he is white, rich and powerful, so it just stands to reason, right?

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The number of documentaries one can watch on YouTube for free is staggering, including some of the classic art documentaries the BBC released between 1969 and 1980. The impetus for finding them online was the news that a new Civilisations (yes, the English spelling) series was being released, and as this YouTube comment relates, it’s […]

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Many of you know that I’ve been researching, writing, and speaking for the past thirteen years about the history of GPS. I recently wrote an article about a new GPS documentary which may be of interest. I submitted two exhibits and appendices which were excluded from the published article; I can add them in a […]

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“Must See” Movie: Peter Jackson vs. Ken Burns

 

https://static.wirtualnemedia.pl/media/top/Peter-Jackson-They-Shall-Not-Grow-Old.jpgMany thanks to Ricochet member @ejhill for alerting us in advance, from Britain, to the December US Fathom event showings of Peter Jackson’s World War I Centennial documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. His review put the film on my “must see” list, @she provided a helpful reminder to the community on the first day of the December showings, and @eb provided a brief review. Viewing the film in 2D (it is also available in 3D) prompted reflections on renovation and invited contrast with other war documentaries. Ken Burns’ Vietnam War PBS series especially came to mind, starkly contrasting with Peter Jackson’s big screen documentary.

I respect EJ Hill’s technical assessment but have a slightly different view. Viewing the entire film in 2D, I cannot comment on any 3D issues. Aside from that disclaimer, I wholly endorse Peter Jackson’s vision and technical decisions. If you were turned off by Mortal Engines or soured at some point in the six episode Middle Earth franchise, know that all that money and technical talent has been harnessed to faithfully bring to life the Great War that was said to have inspired Tolkein’s stories.

The official They Shall Not Grow Old webpage sets out Peter Jackson’s vision:

This week on OppCast, we introduce listeners to our Comeback documentary series.  With a focus on revealing the people and their stories at the ground level of America today, Comeback charts a course for a new way to address our nation’s toughest, most entrenched social problems.

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There was recent discussion of the film Foxcatcher on here, concerning the fact that it never mentions John DuPont’s mental illness as his motivation for killing wrestler Dave Shultz. I have not seen that, but last night I watched the new Netflix documentary film Team Foxcatcher. I recommend it, especially for those who saw the […]

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The Devil at Your Heels (1981) This is the greatest documentary ever released by The National Film Board of Canada. ‘The Devil at Your Heels‘ was released in 1981 that chronicles five years of frequent attempts made by stuntman/daredevil Ken Carter to jump a rocket-powered car one mile over the Saint Lawrence River into the United […]

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Film Review: Best of Enemies

 

BestOfEnemies“Say again, Mr. Vidal? I thought I just heard you call me a ‘pro- or crypto-Nazi.’ Could you please repeat your words clearly for the jury in my forthcoming slander suit?” Alas, you won’t hear words to that effect in Best of Enemies, the engaging documentary about ABC’s ten televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley before the 1968 Presidential Election. Unfortunately, Buckley took the bait and called Mr. Vidal a “queer,” and compounded the slur by threatening physical violence.

The man we know as WFB had the decency to later repent. In contrast, we learn that Vidal, in his dotage, would replay the video of that moment to guests in his Italian villa. Lacking footage of these private screenings, filmmakers Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon instead treat us to a clip of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. I’m not sure how the author of Myra Breckinridge would react to that, but it serves to illustrate the filmmakers’ view of where Vidal wound up.

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40 years ago, Saigon was evacuated. The Vietnam war was over for America. Mr. Rory Kennedy’s documentary shows everyone who wants to see a view of the evacuation–the consequences of US policy & politics. Very little is said about what followed the American evacuation. I suppose everyone on Ricochet already knows: A slaughter of millions, […]

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