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April 21, 2004
[film] ‘I thought I was really watching her’ — Nick Broomfield on Aileen Wuornos and the film Monster‘At the time of her execution, Wuornos was definitely psychotic. She was convinced her mind was controlled by radio waves and believed she was going to be taken off in a space ship to join Jesus Christ. She never showed any remorse; she firmly believed she was ridding the streets of evil men. When a priest came to take her confession just before the execution she sent him packing and knelt down and prayed for her victims, believing they were evil and that God should accept them into heaven. When Jeb Bush cynically produced three psychiatrists to assess Wuornos’s mental state and then pronounced her mentally competent, there was a complete disrespect for what the law really intends, which is that people of unsound mind should not be executed.’
March 8, 2004
[film] Making History — interview with Errol Morris about his documentary The Fog of War on Robert McNamara‘I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I don’t believe in conspiracies. People are far too confused, too much at cross-purposes with themselves, too argumentative, too nutso ever effectively to conspire to do anything. Maybe they manage to pull it off for a limited amount of time, but not on some mass scale, like deceiving the entire world. What scares me more, and it’s at the heart of the movie, at the heart of this particular story, is not that we make this plan to lie, to deceive, but that we somehow convince ourselves of our own rectitude, our own correctness, our own rightness, no matter what the evidence to the contrary. Humans love nonsense, they lap it up. Ultimately, we’re just big baboons!’ [Related: Fog of War Trailer]
December 12, 2003
[film] Guardian Film of the Week: Touching the Void

‘Neither man waxes poetic about getting close to God or the purity of creation. Simpson says that he was brought up a Catholic, but no thought of his maker inspired him to survive; at the end there is just nothing. In fact, at the low point of his weakness and delirium and pain, Simpson hears music going round and round in his brain. Barber’s Adagio? Beethoven’s Ninth? Nope, it’s Boney M’s Brown Girl in the Ring, a brilliant moment in the film – exactly the sort of banal thing you might find yourself humming as you dangle over the precipice of your existence. Macdonald’s movie is thrilling not because of any divine or aesthetic rapture, but because the sheer vastness of the mountain landscape seems to go beyond beauty, exceeding the limits of the thinkable…’

May 27, 2002
[film] Biggie and Tupac — review of Nick Broomfield’s new Documentary … ‘If James Ellroy wrote a novel about gangster rap, it would be a lot like Biggie and Tupac, teeming with chancers and casualties and underpinned by the threat of death. “You knocking like you scared,” chuckles the bodyguard who opens his door to let Broomfield in. And yet his timid knocking pays dividends.’
May 20, 2002
[film] The Unlikely Pin-Up of the Cannes Festival — interview with Michael Moore‘The film includes sequences in which Moore investigates the civilian Michigan Militia, with which Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh trained, and a bank which offers free guns as an incentive to clients. He also interviews weapons-obsessed teenagers, including one who admits to manufacturing home-made napalm. Rock star Marilyn Manson, widely accused of being an influence on the Colombine killers, makes a lucid and pithy response to the charge. When asked by Moore what he would say to the Columbine Killers, he replies, “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d listen.”‘
October 22, 2001
[movies] Return of the Legend — brief interview with Nick Broomfield about the documentary he is currently working on… ‘Broomfield is an undisputed success at marketing his own image, even down to starring in self-parodic adverts for cars. And he’s loaded: an English country pile; a place in Santa Monica. What’s interesting is how he divides opinion. Depending on who you talk to among those who really know him – producers, co-producers, commissioning editors, journalists, film-makers and friends – he’s an innovator, a shark, a genius, a fraud, a legend or a has-been; people love him or hate him. The work is brilliant or boring, revealing or repetitious, always fresh or endlessly formulaic. They all have to agree, however, that a Nick Broomfield film is hard to ignore.’
April 26, 2001
[cyberpunk] The Guardian previews a new documentary about the life and work of William Gibson‘”He’ll talk until the cows come home about literature,” explains Neale. “But the stuff he hasn’t gone on the record about in the past, things like the loss of his parents, his dodging of the draft and taking drugs took a long time to get out of him. I had to go back and ask him those things several times. But drug culture was such a big part of his life. “He decided to go on the record in a way that he has very deliberately avoided for a long time. Bits and pieces of his story have come out in interviews over the years, but the full story hasn’t been told in its entirety. I suppose he has always been a bit of a recluse”.’

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