Errol Morris on Photography

In this video, writer and Oscar-winning documentary maker Errol Morris talks about the nature of truth, art, and propaganda in photography. He draws examples from the photographs of Abu Ghraib and the Crimean war, cited in his book Believing is Seeing. One of the points he makes in this brief video: how does a photograph connect to the physical world? My favorite part comes at around the 3:00 mark, where Morris discusses whether a photograph can be true or false.

Who is The Umbrella Man?

Today is the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In the video linked below, the Academy-award winning filmmaker Errol Morris explores the story behind the one man seen standing under an open black umbrella at the site. It’s a fascinating video. Before you watch, read this statement from Errol Morris himself:

For years, I’ve wanted to make a movie about the John F. Kennedy assassination. Not because I thought I could prove that it was a conspiracy, or that I could prove it was a lone gunman, but because I believe that by looking at the assassination, we can learn a lot about the nature of investigation and evidence. Why, after 48 years, are people still quarreling and quibbling about this case? What is it about this case that has led not to a solution, but to the endless proliferation of possible solutions?

Years ago, Josiah Thompson, known as Tink, a young, Yale-educated Kierkegaard scholar, quit his day job as a professor of philosophy at Haverford College to write the definitive book on the Zapruder film — “Six Seconds in Dallas.” Tink became a private detective, and came to work with many of the same private investigators I had also worked with in the 1980s. We had so much in common — philosophy, P.I. work and an obsessive interest in the complexities of reality. But we had never met.

Last year, I finally got to meet and interview Tink Thompson. I hope his interview can become the first part of an extended series on the Kennedy assassination. This film is but a small segment of my six-hour interview with Tink.

Click here to see the video (I don’t think New York Times allows embedding of its videos).


On a related note: how would you feel if I posted more videos on this blog? I’ve only shared a couple videos in more than 200 posts, so I’m curious to know what you think…