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Tag Archives: documentaries

Documentaries and Murder, What’s Not to Like?

It’s either Wrist to Forehead Sunday or Sunday Cinema, and I choose the latter.

We started out with A North Woods Elegy: Incident at Big Moose Lake, a documentary about the murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gilette in 1906.  Steven got it for me at the Herkimer County Historical Society a couple of years ago.  I love local history.

The fellow that wrote this was one of the commentators.

I could not find a photo from the actual DVD, so I include one of some of the source material. I have this plus a couple other books about the case.  I am hoping to acquire Chester Gilette’s diary sometime.  I checked it out of Basloe Library in Hekimer once and read it, but I think it would be a good addition to my collection.

After Elegy, I was in the mood for another documentary, so I suggested the only other one we have on DVD, Curse of the Blair Witch (1999), which is one of the extra features on the Blair Witch Project DVD.  We did not go on to watch The Blair Witch Project, as we usually do, because Steven was not in the Halloween mood (as I almost always am).

I’m going to start saving sticks that fall off the trees in my yard and tie them together in figures for Halloween decorations.

Yes, every time I watch The Blair Witch Project, I say, “Why don’t they just follow the stream?”  I still find it entertaining, and I admire the alternate narrative technique.

We continued the documentary theme of the day with a couple episodes of Snapped, which Steven fixed us some yummy BLTs on Heidelberg Bread, made right here in Herkimer, NY.  I do loves me some Snapped on a Sunday.

 

 

It wouldn’t be Sunday without at least one episode.

Steven was more in the mood for a movie, so I suggested Laura (1944), one of my perennial favorites.  It is a break from documentaries, but I felt in the mood to see it again.  Vincent Price as a suave leading man type, Judith Anderson as one of my favorite characters, a stylish noir.  I’m enjoying it.

One of my favorite couples.

And now I have missed a portion of the movie while making this blog post.  No matter.  It is one we pop in often, and blog posts must be made.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

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Re-Enacting is a Crime

I am quite addicted to true crime shows on television. My favorite is Snapped, but I also enjoy the quality documentaries like 20/20, 48 Hours, and On The Case with Paula Zahn.

What I am not so fond of  are what I call the re-enactment-fests.  The narrator tells the story, interspersed with commentary by true-crime writers, investigators and sometimes even the participants in the drama.  During the narration, actors portray the story, with or without dialogue.

Now, to me, re-enactments are always cheesy.  In theory they can be helpful, for example showing a complicated action that is difficult to picture from mere description.  In reality, things are often re-enacted that I can perfectly well imagine and would in fact prefer to.  Snapped is a terrible offender in this respect:  sometimes they will talk about how this woman is talking to the police and they show somebody’s mouth saying words.  I KNOW what talking to the police looks like!  I don’t need to see it!

Still, I don’t consider Snapped a re-enactment-fest.  A real re-enactment-fest shows you the ENTIRE story with actors.  Snapped: Killer Couples is a re-enactment-fest.  There are many others.  Sometimes I watch them to laugh at them.  Sometimes I will come across one that shows a case I have seen in a “real” show.  Then I watch it and roll my eyes at how much prettier the re-enactors are than the original participants.

Right now I cannot find a true crime show on the television.  So I will publish this blog post talking about them.  It is, after all, Wuss-out Wednesday.