The Thin Blue Line
Documentary Questions: choose any THREE of the following five questions to answer in full paragraphs
1. The term “thin blue line” refers to the idea that police officers (in their blue uniforms) are the only barrier between brutal anarchy and a civilized society. Why did Errol Morris choose "The Thin Blue Line" as the title of his film?
2. In the opening credits of the film, the title appears and the word "Blue" turns red. What’s the significance of this?
3. It is clear that director Errol Morris's documentary style is very different from the approaches of other filmmakers like Michael Moore. Many think that Moore tries to play too much on audiences' emotions. Did Morris do this in the film?
4. In a lecture at Harvard, Errol Morris said of meeting Randall Adams: "He interested me just because he seemed odd. He had a singsong way of talking, as if he was convinced that no one really was listening to anything he had to say, that he was going through some kind of formal recitation that he felt compelled to go through again and again and again and again. Even though he knew - somehow he knew - that it would fall on deaf ears." Did you feel this way about Adams while watching the movie? Considering all that Adams went through, is this surprising?
5. It is possible that since this was the murder of a police officer that somehow Adams' conviction and trial were unfair because of added emotion to the case. How would the entire scenario been different had the victim been a gas station attendant? Should there be a difference between the murder of a police officer and the murder of anyone else?
NOW: Look up the INTERROTRON and answer BOTH questions below
How does the Interrotron work?
What is the emotional effect of having the characters appear to look directly into the camera? Why might a filmmaker want to choose this type of interviewing? When might this type of interviewing be a disadvantage?
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