The Electric Pencil

McNamara passes, Morris speaks

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I’m a little late on the news, but former US defense secretary Robert McNamara passed away on Monday at the age of 93. He was the primary architect of the US war on Vietnam, and the target of many anti-war demonstrations, and accused of being a war criminal.

Coincidentally, as part of my work at the NFB, I’ve been working on promotion of a new film called Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary, directed by Pepita Ferrari and featuring 33 filmmakers talking about their craft. One of those filmmakers is Errol Morris, who made what is one of my all-time favorite docs, The Fog of War, whose main subject and interviewee is Robert S. McNamara himself.

You can view clips of Morris speaking about McNamara here & here.

Errol Morris on the set of Capturing Reality. Copyright 2008, National Film Board of Canada

Errol Morris on the set of Capturing Reality. Copyright 2008, National Film Board of Canada

The rest of the clips on the Capturing Reality site have nothing to do with McNamara, but they do cover the questions and quandries that come with documentary filmmaking. You can watch all four hours of interview clips on the site, as well as the trailer for the film, which features more interviews that aren’t on the site and is well worth the watch (the DVD comes with both the doc and all four hours of clips…). The entire project reminds you why the Herzogs, Obomsawins, Braults and Maysles of the world are phenomenal, and, for me at least, is an introduction to a slew of filmmakers whose work I want to discover.

And in pure self-promotion, I helped pick the 11 clips we’ve put together into a playlist on NFB.ca; they’re my favourites of the bunch and contain some pleasant surprises… You can view them all, my favourite is from the inimitable Werner Herzog…

Written by Tim McSorley

July 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Posted in media, politics

Tagged with , ,

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