The University of Chicago News Office
Dec. 2, 2003 Press Contact: Josh Schonwald
(773) 702-6421
jschonwa@uchicago.edu
 

Filmmaker Errol Morris visits University

One of the most important American documentary film makers of the modern era will be speaking at the University of Chicago.

Errol Morris, innovative director of Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line and Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control, will visit the University of Chicago as the first in the Nuveen Visiting Filmmakers series. He will present a public lecture about his work, and a reception will follow.

With his portraits of the everyday, bizarre and noteworthy, Errol Morris has altered our expectations and perceptions of documentary film. With a distinctive approach, including a lengthy interviewing process and investigative techniques honed in his former career as a detective, Morris produces captivating, psychologically acute form of documentary. Through this technique, Morris avoids condescension and oversimplification of his subjects and captures their complexities.

Gates of Heaven, Mr. Morris's groundbreaking 1978 documentary of pet cemeteries in California, was described by Roger Ebert as "one of the ten best films of all time." Billed as "the first movie mystery to actually solve a murder," and voted the best film of the year in a Washington Post survey of over one hundred film critics, 1988's The Thin Blue Line is credited with overturning the conviction of Randall Dale Adams for the murder of Dallas police officer Robert Wood. The 1997 multiple award-winning feature Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control was selected as part of the 2000 Biennial at the Whitney Museum. Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. garnered a spot on the "Top Ten" lists of many major publications in 2000 for its astounding portrayal of execution engineer and Holocaust-denier Leuchter. Mr. Morris's latest film, 2003's The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, reflects on the last century through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense McNamara, combining archival footage, recreations, declassified White House recordings, and an original score by composer Phillip Glass.

In addition to the numerous awards his films have earned, Errol Morris has received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship.

In conjunction with Mr. Morris's visit, there will be a special screening on Wednesday, December 3, at 9 p.m. at DOC Films. In addition, there will be a screening of Morris's Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control at the University's Film Studies Center on Friday, November 21, at 7 p.m. in Cobb Hall, room 307.

This event is being sponsored by the Committee on Cinema & Media Studies, the Film Studies Center, Doc Films, and the Nuveen Visiting Filmmaker Fellowships. Special thanks to Michael Barker, Co-President of Sony Pictures Classics, for his support of this event.

For more information on this event please contact Ron Gregg, Director of Programming for Cinema and Media Studies, at regregg@uchicago.edu.

 

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Last modified at 12:16 PM CST on Tuesday, December 02, 2003.

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