Saturday, November 01, 2008

Standard Operating Procedure

Standard Operating Procedure / Standard Operating Procedure. US (c) 2008 Sony Pictures Classics. EX: Robert Fernandez, Diane Weyermann. P: Julie Ahlberg, Errol Morris. D: Errol Morris. DP: Robert Chappell, Robert Richardson - shot on HDTV - color - 2,35:1 - print on 35mm film. M: Danny Elfman. 118 min. Released in Finland by Cinema Mondo with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Anitra Paukkula / Markus Karjalainen. Viewed at Kino Engel 1, 31 Oct 2008. - A fine and consistent digital intermediate look. - Powerful imagery helps approach the grim subject matter. Expressive Interrotron close-ups, music by Danny Elfman, sound design. The space of images, photographs, hundreds of them, being structured during the picture. "All the pictures seemed to line up". - Iraq War of 2003-. This is a journey into Abu Ghraib, beyond the sensational images of humiliation (including the sexual pyramid). We get to see them in context, and see them with different eyes. Some images look worse than what happened. But the worst things were never photographed in the first place. Mainly young and inexperienced soldiers were punished. - Saddam did a thousand times more horrible things, but the world had expected more from the US. - An important survey into the Abu Ghraib mess that has come to symbolise the US trouble in the Iraq War of 2003-. - Great, maybe too long?
Wikipedia: "The name "Interrotron" was coined by Morris's wife, who, according to Morris, "liked the name because it combined two important concepts — terror and interview." The device is similar to a teleprompter: Errol and his subject each sit facing a camera. The image of each person's face is then projected onto the lens of the other's camera. Instead of looking at a blank lens, then, both Morris and his subject are looking directly at a human face. Morris believes that the machine encourages monologue in the interview process, while also encouraging the interviewees to "express themselves to camera"."
Wikipedia: "Morris' practice of compensating his interview subjects has caused controversy, although it is not an unusual practice in documentary filmmaking, according to the producer Diane Weyermann, who also worked on An Inconvenient Truth. In a private interview during the Tribeca Film Festival, Morris said: "If I had not paid them, they would not be interviewed.""

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