Best Documentary Series Errol Morris' First Person (Lean-N-Mean)

Jan 27, 2011 (Updated Jan 27, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Compelling, in your face style.

Cons:No DVD extras at all!!!

The Bottom Line: Compelling, fascinating, interesting mini-documentaries on people telling unforgettable stories or recounting amazing events and experiences.

First Person is documentary-maker Errol Morris' 19 episode series originally seen on the Bravo and Independent Film Channel in 2000/2001.

Each episode was 24 minutes long-and features an intense interview with an interesting man or woman who has interesting stories or was involved in an extraordinary event.  We meet heroes and borderline whack jobs.  All of the episodes are interesting, unique and worth watching, a few are among the most fascinating 24 minutes or 48 minutes you'll ever see.

This 3 DVD collection includes all the series' episodes but doesn't  offer any extras.  In some episodes there is archival and news footage used, in some re-enactment type footage is used and in some we drive or walk with the subject of the documentary.  
Morris invented an Interrotron camera that allows the interview subject to look at an image of Errol Morris that appears directly in front of the camera.  The effect is the interview subject can be looking directly at Morris and directly at the camera at the same time, making it seem like, the subject is looking directly at YOU the viewer.  Morris is barely glimpsed at in any of the episodes and we only hear a very aggressive voice firing additional questions or exclamations at the person being interviewed. 

Errol Morris has created such memorable documentaries as 1978's Gates of Heaven, 1988's The Thin Blue Line, 1991's A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking's), 2003's  The Fog of War  and the recent Tabloid

We meet people like Temple Grandin; the autistic woman who claims to understand livestock and has designed one-third of the slaughterhouses in America to provide an optical illusion to cattle so they go to their deaths in a more ‘humane' way  (Yes, Grandin is the subject of a 2010 HBO movie); Andrew Capoccia, a lawyer who takes on credit card companies; Clyde Roper who hopes someday to see a giant squid with his own two eyes,  Sondra London, a woman who fell in love with 2 serial killers, one before anyone realized he was serial killers and a different man AFTER he was incarcerated for his crimes! 

Then there's Murray Richman a criminal attorney who defends mafia killers and others getting many a dangerous person off because of a technicality; and Rick Rosner a unique obsessed nude model and bar bouncer who's completed  high school four times using fake ids and has appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire TWICE and lost because of a poorly written trick question that he's been trying to get either compensation or another visit to the show for several years;  you'll hate Richman and be absolutely fascinated with the many odd stores Rosner tells.  

We also meet Denny Fitch,  a pilot who became a hero  when he helped land a plane due to a complete hydraulic system failure.  There was little chance anyone would survive but his skills and knowledge and something else allowed him to save 186 passengers though he is haunted by the 111 who died.

Recommend this product?

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!