Benoît Mandelbrot, The Father of Fractals a short film by Errol Morris.
Hard science-fiction titan Arthur C. Clarke called his eponymous set of mathematical points “one of the most astonishing discoveries in the entire history of mathematics.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the famously discriminating author of The Black Swan, called him ”the only person for whom I have had intellectual respect.” Even former French president Nicolas Sarkozy gave Mandelbrot his props, crediting his discoveries of the geometrical regularities of “rough” things, from coastlines to stock-market fluctuations, as antecedent to modern information theory. He also acknowledged Mandelbrot’s having carried on his work “entirely outside mainstream research,” and the mathematician’s reputation as an unusually insightful intellectual maverick survives him.
The IBM tumblr fractalizer is pretty cool too.
I love the way Morris lights his subjects. Nailing it.
Errol Morris: “We like to feel that the world is safe, Safe at least in the sense that we can know about it. The Kennedy assassination is very much an essay on the unsafety of the world. If a man that powerful, that young, that rich, that successful, can just be wiped off the face of the earth in an instant, what does it say about the rest of us?
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris deconstructs the most famous 26 seconds in film history and asks what does the Zapruder Film really tell us?
If that’s not enough, Time Lightbox has just published recently discovered photos of the imfamous day
Errol Morris’ new film is The Unknown Known
Vice: Rather than conducting a conventional interview, Morris has Rumsfeld perform and explain his “snowflakes” — the enormous archive of memos he wrote across almost fifty years in Congress, the White House, in business, and twice at the Pentagon. The memos provide a window into history — not as it actually happened, but as Rumsfeld wants us to see it.
By focusing on the “snowflakes,” with their conundrums and their contradictions, Morris takes us where few have ever been — beyond the web of words into the unfamiliar terrain of Rumsfeld’s mind. The Unknown Known presents history from the inside out. It shows how the ideas, the fears, and the certainties of one man, written out on paper, transformed America, changed the course of history — and led to war.
If you have not seen this documentary, you need to make it your business.
There’s never been a film like it. I tried to find one.
NYRB: In its revealing examination of the genesis of moral conscience and of the psychology of evil, The Act of Killing is less like any film I can recall than like journalist Gita Sereny’s book-length interviews with Albert Speer and the commandant of Treblinka.
Poster by Neil Kellerhouse
Here’s the DP/30 interview with Joshua Oppenheimer
Werner Herzog and Errol Morris discuss The Act of Killing for Vice
Michael Atkinson for In These Times: “There’s never been a film quite like it, and the reasons are twofold: One, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer approaches his subject matter—Indonesia, its militia culture and its recent history—with wild inventiveness, allowing his subjects to be co-creators in the process, with startling and surreal results. Two, Indonesia itself. Whatever you may know about it from NPR or the New York Times won’t prepare you for what you see here of the country’s blood-soaked dementia.”
For Slavoj Žižek, writing for theNew Statesman,The Act of Killing“ provides a unique and deeply disturbing insight into the ethical deadlock of global capitalism…. The trap to be avoided here is the easy one of putting the blame on either Hollywood or on the ‘ethical primitiveness’ of Indonesia. The starting point should rather be the dislocating effects of capitalist globalisation which, by undermining the ‘symbolic efficacy’ of traditional ethical structures, creates such a moral vacuum.”
“The importance of the Mack Sennett Comedies in the evolution of cinema is immense,” wrote Robert Desnos in 1927. “But must we not once again suspect American hypocrisy for having hindered his free development?” Ted Fendt‘s translated the piece Desnos’s piece for Le Soir.
I’m seeing this at MIFF, I can’t wait.
I’ve been very exited about this film ever since I heard of it’s very strange concept.
This new trailer piles on the excitement.
The Playlist calls Joshua Oppenheimer’s film ‘a constantly astounding, terrifying masterpiece’
I love the first sentence of their review: Holy fucking shit.
Errol Morris interviewed by Adam Curtis, it’s a bit slow but it’s worth it for his answer to the last question. I’m currently reading his newish book A Wilderness of Error and it is very disturbing, check it out.
earthquake-weather: The Act of Killing - directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (2012)
New doc within a film on Indonesian Death Squad leaders, re-enacting their killings in scenes they themselves are directing. Looks fascinating, and completely bananas.
Produced by Errol Morris AND Werner Herzog. Damn
“Every now and then a non-‐fiction film comes along that is unlike anything else I have seen: Buñuel’s LAND WITHOUT BREAD, Werner Herzog’s FATA MORGANA, Hara’s THE EMPEROR’S NAKED ARMY MARCHES ON. Well, it’s happened again. Here, Joshua Oppenheimer invites unrepentant Indonesian death-‐squad leaders to make fiction films reenacting their violent histories. Their cinematic dreams dissolve into nightmares and then into bitter reality. Like all great documentary, THE ACT OF KILLING demands another way of looking at reality. It is like a hall of mirrors––the so-‐called mise-‐en-‐abyme––where real people become characters in a movie and then jump back into reality again. And it asks the central question: what is real? Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in a Paris Review interview, wrote about reading Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” for he first time, “I didn’t know you were allowed to do that.” I have the same feeling with this extraordinary film.”
‐ Errol Morris
Errol Morris has a new book. Make quick with the audiobook Errol.
Pentagram: In 1970, Jeffrey MacDonald, a Green Beret doctor stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was accused of the brutal killing of his pregnant wife and two young daughters, a crime he attributed to intruders. He was convicted, but has always maintained his innocence. In A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald, the Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris presents 20 years of his own investigation into one of America’s most infamous murder cases. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed the book, out September 4, as well as a promotional online trailer and accompanying website.