🎧 Is True Crime Jinxed? | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Is True Crime Jinxed? by Bob Garfield from On the Media | WNYC Studios

We revisit Bob's conversation with filmmaker Joe Berlinger, about the ethics of HBO's "The Jinx."

Whether Robert Durst confessed on camera will become a relevant legal matter in the real estate figure's upcoming trial. The supposed confession — "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course." — at the end of HBO's The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst has recently been revealed to have been seriously, deceptively edited. In 2015 Bob spoke with documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, co-creater of the Paradise Lost trilogy, about modern filmmaker, the responsibility of the artist and different interpretations of "truth." It's a relevant conversation to revisit, this week in particular.

Some interesting ethical questions here. Something to think about with respect to documentaries, truth, and entertainment value. Some pieces not too dissimilar to how some cable news stations are approaching the news these days.

🎧 Sheila Nevins on Age, Sex, Love, Life, and Everything Else | Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Listened to Sheila Nevins on Age, Sex, Love, Life, and Everything Else by Alan Alda from Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Sheila Nevins has explored the human condition in the thousand or so documentaries she produced for HBO. From more than 30 years of telling us stories about ourselves, to her experience as a woman in the workplace, Sheila has plenty to say about communicating. And she never holds back. In this delightful episode, Alan Alda talks with Sheila about her life, how she feels about aging, the movement, sex, divorce, documentaries, storytelling, and just about everything else! This episode is sponsored by Calm. Check out www.calm.com/alda for more details.

I always forget that Sheila is as old as she is. She does have a great sense of humor.

She makes an interesting point about humility that people with power (and especially within the entertainment industry) should be aware of and work to improve.

Most shocking was the story she tells about her me too moment and how she viewed it. Definitely a perspective I wouldn’t have expected.

Her perspective about looking at individuals as a way into human problems and making documentaries is similar to a philosophy I remember hearing from Masha Gessen in an interview that Jeffrey Goldberg did with her. The upshot is that, especially for righting wrongs and general atrocities, focusing a story on a particular individual has a lot more power than focusing on the nameless and faceless masses. Sheila’s example of the Holocaust survivor is a particular apt one. (As I think about it Masha would be a great interview for this podcast.)

In fact, I recently watched an immigration related documentary on Frontline and while I didn’t personally find the lead woman very relate-able or sympathetic, I was still pissed off at the process because her individual story was still so powerful.

This general ideal also reminds me of the gut-punch scene at the end of the film A Time To Kill (1996) [spoiler alert] which ends with the command to the jury “Now imagine she’s white.”