Errol Morris has seen as one of the most important documentary makers of our time – has put together this year’s IDFA Top 10. His selection includes works by a range of documentary masters, each of whom has made a significant contribution to the development of the documentary genre at a particular moment in its history.
Morris will talk about his choices and their relationship to his own work at a masterclass on Friday, 20 November, chaired by American film theoretician Bill Nichols.
Alongside his Top 10, IDFA will also be showing six films from Morris’ own extensive oeuvre. Morris, who studied history and philosophy, made his documentary debut in 1978 with Gates of Heaven, before achieving a major breakthrough in 1988 with The Thin Blue Line. His Fast, Cheap and Out of Control was the opening film of IDFA 1997. In 2003, Morris was awarded a best documentary Oscar for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.
His work is characterised by an essayistic style, which enables Morris to probe and dissect a story – and the person telling it – with very great precision and attention to detail. The Thin Blue Line (1988), Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (1997), Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999), The Fog of War (2003), Tabloid (2010) and The Unknown Known (2013) will all screen at IDFA 2015.
Errol Morris Top 10
Bright Leaves (USA, 2002) by Ross McElwee
Fata Morgana (Germany, 1971) by Werner Herzog
It Felt Like a Kiss (UK, 2009) by Adam Curtis
Land Without Bread (Spain, 1932) by Luis Buñuel
Let There Be Light (USA, 1946) by John Huston
Man with a Movie Camera (USSR, 1929) by Dziga Vertov
One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevitch (France, 1999) by Chris Marker
Tales of the Grim Sleeper (USA/UK, 2014) by Nick Broomfield
The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (Japan, 1987) by Kazuo Hara
Welfare (USA, 1975) by Frederick Wiseman