Monday Memo: Robert Durst Arrested After New Evidence Surfaces In Andrew Jarecki’s THE JINX

Robert Durst arrested, photo by Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office

Months back when news broke that HBO was to premiere Andrew Jarecki’s long awaited return to non-fiction in the form of a six part serial mini-series on Robert Durst, I don’t think anyone could have predicted this: Jon Herskovitz of Reuters, Emily Shapiro of ABC News, Ashley Southall and Charles V. Bagli of The New York Times and the staff at Variety have reported that Saturday the son of the one of New York City’s largest real estate barons was arrested in New Orleans on a murder warrant issued by police in Los Angeles related to the death of his friend, Susan Berman. After the fifth episode of Jarecki’s THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST aired last Sunday, revealing the discovering of new evidence in Berman’s murder case, The New York Times ran an article by Charles V. Bagli that dropped the bomb that the district attorney in Los Angeles had recently reopened an investigation into Berman’s death. The Guardian also ran a piece on Saturday in which Andrew Gumbel outlines the possibility of Jarecki and his team actually solving the murder case through the medium of investigative documentary filmmaking. The series concluded its shocking six episode run on HBO last night in which Durst unknowingly admitted, “Killed them all, of course”. Late last night, Charles V. Bagli and Vivian Yee reported on the horrifying reveal for The New York Times, as did Ben Williams for Vulture and Jessica Contrera and Peter Holley for The Washington Post.

Jarecki is a Stranger Than Fiction alumnus, with his doc classic CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS having screened as part of our Fall 2013 season. Our current season continues tomorrow with a special screening of TO TELL THE TRUTH: A HISTORY OF DOCUMENTARY FILM (1928-1946) dedicated to Ali Pomeroy, who produced the film and tragically passed away February 27, 2015 after a 2 1/2-year struggle with cancer. Both David Van Taylor and Cal Skaggs, the film’s co-directors, will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A.

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Monday Memo: Full Frame Festival Hands Out Awards

Darius Clark Munroe's film EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL took home a pair of awards from this year's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival concluded yesterday with an awards ceremony at which EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL from director Darius Clark Munroe took home the grand jury award. Writing for the News & Observer, Daniel Cook Johnson reported on the awards ceremony. Also writing for the News & Observer, Lewis Beale covered the festival’s honoring of the career of documentary filmmaker Steve James. In a piece for Filmmaker Magazine from March, Sarah Salovaara interviewed Munroe about his film.

At Indiewire, Eric Kohn had a recap of this year’s New Directors/New Films program held at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). In a piece for the Frieze blog, Ela Bittencourt also covered some of the nonfiction film screened at ND/NF.

Richard Brody of the New Yorker had some coverage of the upcoming Art of the Real program at Lincoln Center. And Eric Hynes also previewed the series in a piece for the New York Times.

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Monday Memo: MOMA’s Documentary Fortnight Underway

The film PINE RIDGE from director Anna Eborn was among the films selected to play at the Documentary Fortnight program this year.

The Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight program began on Friday. Writing at his What (Not) to Doc blog, Basil Tsiokos provided an overview of the program. At Twitch, Christopher Bourne wrote up some capsule reviews for some Doc Fortnight films.

Ben Beaumont-Thomas of the Guardian reported on THE ACT OF KILLING’s win at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for best documentary. Writing for Filmmaker Magazine, Scott Macaulay reported that director Joshua Oppenheimer’s speech appeared to have been edited to eliminate criticism of the British and U.S. governments in a video posted by the BAFTAs.

In an open letter posted on Facebook, filmmaker Dawn Porter criticized the decision by Washington, D.C., PBS station WETA not to air her film SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI on Monday, Feb. 10 at 10 p.m. Peter Hart of the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) blog had additional reporting on the incident.

This week Stranger Than Fiction is hosting a screening of the classic D.A. Pennebaker film MONTEREY POP at the IFC Center in Manhattan on Tuesday, February 18 at 8 p.m. The film immortalized the now-famous Monterey International Pop Festival held in the summer of 1967. Following the screening D.A. Pennebaker will be in attendance, along with a number of crew members on the film, including Albert Maysles. For more information or to buy tickets please go here.

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Monday Memo: Tribeca and Hot Docs Announce Films

AATSINKI: THE STORY OF ARCTIC COWBOYS from fimmaker Jessica Oreck is one of the films in competition at Tribeca this year.

Festival news was thick this week. The Tribeca Film Festival this week announced its lineup in two parts. At Filmmaker Magazine, Scott Macaulay had the first bit of news, which included the documentaries in competition, while his colleague Nick Dawson had the second chunk of news about spotlights, special screenings and more. At, Jennifer Merin focused her attention to the docs in competition and the docs in the viewpoints section. At Realscreen, Adam Benzine covered the news similarly, noting the competition films and others getting a premiere. In a post for Indiewire, Anthony Kaufman highlighted some of the docs screening at Tribeca that he thought noteworthy.

Canada’s Hot Docs also announced 28 films screening as part of their Special Presentations program. Back at Realscreen Adam Benzine covered the news, while Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter pointed out some of the premieres in the announcement.

Full Frame, which runs in Durham, North Carolina, April 4-7 had news of its lineup this week, and that it would open with the Dawn Porter film GIDEON’S ARMY; Kelly Anderson of Realscreen had the details.

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