The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015)

19 Mar

Review The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

If you’d see the man above, you wouldn’t probably notice him. You might think of him as a friendly older man, but as this documentary series show, appearances can be deceiving. His name is Robert Durst and his story is incredible. He’s the son of a successful businessman who owned (and his family still does own) a lot of property in New York. In his youth he saw his mother commit suicide and it possibly is one the moments which would change the rest of his life.

The series opens with a man who was murdered, cut up and found floating in the water. The investigation eventually led to Robert Durst, who at the time was his neighbour. It is not the only murder he seems to be involved in, as his wife mysteriously disappeared (and never found) and one of his best friends was found dead in her house. Continue reading

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The Five Obstructions (2003)

6 Mar

Review of The 5 Obstructions

Director Jørgen Leth made the art film The Perfect Human in 1967. It looks at a man and a woman and what makes them perfect. It shows how they dance, eat, what their ears and other body parts look like. The movie is considered an art house movie which almost feel like an anthropological study. I have never seen it myself, but this documentary/film hybrid shows parts of that original film. Director Lars von Trier had the idea to work with Jørgen Leth and asked him to remake parts of The Perfect Human, but each time with an obstruction in place. Working with restrictions can push people to come with ingenious solutions (as the movie Apollo 13 shows) and The Five Obstructions also shows the results of that. Continue reading

Bus 174 (2002)

5 Mar

Review of the documentary Bus 174

The discussion is as old as time: Are people a product of their environment or is most of it genetics? After watching this documentary my conclusion would be that environment is the biggest influence. This documentary is a riveting example of it. A failed robbery aboard a bus, which then changed into a hostage situation (and was broadcasted live) was something which kept Brazilians glued to their TV in 2000. The perpetrator, Sandro Rosa do Nascimento, was unpredictable, threatening, but also in control of his situation. This single event is used to make clear that there are some pressing issues in Brazilian society, which might have led to this hostage situation. Continue reading

Samsara (2011)

4 Mar

Review of the documentary Samsara

How would you feel if you were brought to a museum where you saw a lot of beautiful things, but none of them had signs? You would not be able to tell who made a specific painting or what the story was behind that wooden fork you just saw. Would you be able to enjoy that visit or would you quickly lose interest? That’s the question that came up when I was watching Samsara, which is best described as a documentary which takes the viewer on a journey around the world. Often you will not have an idea where in the world you are though. Continue reading

Room 237 (2012)

3 Mar

Review of Room 237 which analyses The Shining

Conspiracy theories have always fascinated me. Not in the way that I read them or believe them, but more the fact that people can create the strangest theories based on the smallest of details. Theories about Roswell, Bigfoot or UFO’s have caught the imagination of the bigger public through shows like the X-Files and it shows we love them, possibly wanting them to be true. Usually though there is no way to prove or disprove a theory (or a belief for that matter), simply because there is no conclusive evidence. The documentary Room 237 looks at very specific theories, namely those about the movie I reviewed yesterday, The Shining. Continue reading

Darwin’s Nightmare (2004)

27 Feb

Review of the documentary Darwin's Nightmare

Do you ever eat fish from lake Victoria, located in Tanzania? Since 500 tons of fish are caught each day, which feeds two million people, chances are that you could have. The lake was once a rich environment with hundreds of species of fish, but because of the introduction of one big predatory fish, the Nile perch, many species disappeared. This huge fish is now caught, cut up and sent all over the world to be consumed. You might not know the story behind what gets onto your plate, but as this Oscar nominated documentary shows, you should. Continue reading

The Staircase (2004)

26 Feb

Review of the documentary The Staircase

Writer Michael Peterson was at home with his wife Kathleen at their swimming pool, when she decided she wanted to go back into the house. When her husband also returned he found her at the bottom of the stairs, covered in blood, but still breathing. He dialled 911, but his wife died. At least that’s the story Peterson is telling. The police didn’t believe that story and treated him as a suspect, a man who murdered his wife.

This 8 part documentary mini series shows the details of the case, follows the defense and witnesses the unbelievable things which happen during the trial. As the defense lawyer states to the camera crew when something from Peterson’s past is dug up: “Your documentary just became very interesting”. Continue reading