The Romanoffs: “Panorama” (2018)

The Romanoffs:
“Matt Weiner’s Decisive Moment” There’s a continuum of narrative duration which captures the breadth of storytelling. Huge novel cycles (Les Rougon-Macquart by Emile Zola [1871-1983)] or Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past [1871-1922]) in literature, and massive cinematic works (Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s fifteen-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) or Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour Holocaust documentary, Shoah [1985]) constitute ...

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight (2015)
“Individual, Institution, Ideology” The greatest journalist in the history of cinema is neither Charles Foster Kane nor Bob Woodward, but lawyer turned documentarian Frederick Wiseman. Wiseman set out to replicate in the late 20th century United States what Emile Zola had done to the Second French Empire in the mid-19th century. The Naturalist novelist Zola ...

Truth (2015)

Truth (2015)
“Three Days of the Candor” Journalists will surely prefer the plucky success story told by Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015), about The Boston Globe’s exposure of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of priests molesting children, to the muddy failures in Truth (2015). James Vanderbilt’s film adaptation of Mary Mapes’ memoir about the firing of Dan Rather, Truth ...