Tuesday, March 24, 2015

THE JINX backlash begins.

There’s a lot of hearsay and misunderstanding about the way movies/TV shows get put together in the ongoing speculation about what happened behind the scenes with The Jinx, but it’s hard not to conclude that the filmmakers withheld evidence (the letter, the bathroom confession) in order to transform their otherwise boring TV show into a case-breaking cultural phenomenon.
This matters because the question of where journalism ends and moviemaking begins is absolutely essential. In a post-Jinx world, are audiences going to be unduly suspicious every time a filmmaker stages a scene or uses ethical uncertainty to make a film work better as a piece of cinema? What does even the faintest possibility that Jarecki, Smerling and their team could have helped police get a potential killer off the streets sooner – a truly contemptible charge – do to our collective viewing of a documentary like Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s Sundance-winning (T)ERROR, which is a movie that foregrounds ethical ambiguity but is built on sound journalistic practice? (Oh and by the way, if it really took Jarecki and team months or years to find that bathroom confession, as they’ve claimed, then they’re truly the sloppiest filmmakers alive.)
The passage above is from Robert Greene's article The Jinx: not my documentary renaissance for SIGHT & SOUND: http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/reviews-recommendations/tv/jinx-not-my-documentary-renaissance

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