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Cunt.

Finished it. Incredible. The documentary is not just about OJ Simpson, but about racial history (and the importance of the Rodney King verdict), spousal abuse and manipulation, corruption, class, cele

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For anyone interested in that grim magazine, here's the website, also NSFW (obv). http://alarma.mx/

lovely.

Gruesome or what? Would that kind of thing even be allowed in this country? It seems pretty inconsiderate to the victims families to be glamorising the death scenes in this way. I know Bizarre magazine over here has published some gory stuff over the years, but not front page photos of people killed locally that very week!

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I know I've mentioned the WM3 and Paradise Lost trilogy earlier in this thread but I was wondering if anyone's seen West of Memphis? I saw it at the London Film Festival and it was nominated for a BAFTA (didn't win unfortunately) but I thought it was probably the best documentary I've seen in ages. It summaries everything from the PL films but more in-depth and I think more objective too. It looks at the screw-up by the police, involves interviews with more people like the victims' families and eye witnesses, etc.

 

It ties everything together but the most interesting thing it shows is that even though these guys have now been released they're still fighting. They've been exonerated (kind of) but when Damien Echols was on his book tour they wouldn't let him into Canada because he has a criminal record. Even giving them a statement by some legal bigwig about the case wouldn't make them change their minds. So, similarly he can't travel abroad either.

 

The director, Amy Berg, was at the showing I went to and someone asked whether any of the police involved had seen the film. She said there had been no comment because it's election time in Arkansas and none of them wanted to jeopardise their positions. I hate how politics can affect that sort of thing in the US.

 

On a side note, Damien Echols has been doing a lot of events in NYC that my friend has been to. He was interviewed at his book launch by Johnny Depp and has an art exhibition at a gallery where Trent Reznor was one of the guests. She went to both events and on Friday I got a package from her. She got me Damien's book signed by him. It totally blew me away, I love it! :)

Edited by Monkee
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I liked West of Memphis a lot, but it feels like nobody's learning the lessons of the last 20 years. Half the documentary is set up as reveal of Terry Hobbs as the suspect, and while there are serious questions about why he wasn't looked at more deeply at the time, and it's a convincing argument, so was the Mark Byers angle from PL II, which everyone jumped on at the time. This whole making assumptions/pointing fingers witch-huntery is at the core of the miscarriage of justice in the first place, so it didn't sit quite right with me that they were trying to create another "HEY EVERYONE, IT'S THIS GUY!", possibly because it makes for a more attention-grabbing film than just "yeah here's the story from the Paradise Lost trilogy but condensed into one film."

 

I mean, he probably did do it, but even so, ten years ago, we all thought Byers did it because people showed us a lot of stuff that made it look like he had. And 19 years ago, a jury thought the WM3 did... etc etc.

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I understand what you're saying and surely all the finger-pointing means that there's needs to be a proper investigation into the handling of the case if not a full re-opening of the case itself. It's because if the politics involved that this can't happen. The only reason they got released was because it was the authorities saying "Ok, we know we screwed up but if you don't tell anyone we said that AND don't sue us for fucking up AND admit you were guilty all along so it still makes us look good then we'll let you go free."

 

There should be an independent enquiry to put the record straight once and for all and actually find out WHO did kill the three kids. Won't happen though so the finger-pointing will continue.

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Oh yeah, absolutely, I just felt like it was a way of the filmmakers differentiating themselves from the PL trilogy as they were re-telling a story that's, essentially, already been told. Fair enough they did the gruntwork (and financial stuff) to get the WM3 released, but I guess they felt their big Hollywood names entitled them to put a movie out anyway, and there was some pretty shady stuff going on behind the scenes, with Pam Hobbs' exclusivity contract and whatnot.

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This whole making assumptions/pointing fingers witch-huntery is at the core of the miscarriage of justice in the first place, so it didn't sit quite right with me that they were trying to create another "HEY EVERYONE, IT'S THIS GUY!"

I'd never even thought of it like that. The second documentary does a great job of pin pointing Byers, it's utterly convincing and i read reports after that Byers had been jumped and beaten up as a result of that documentary...that the documentary makers changed direction then went after another step father (which again comes across as convincing) doesn't quite sit right with me either. I enjoyed the documentaries and find the story compelling but you can guarantee that 90% of people who've seen these now believe Hobbs was the killer, what if he isn't!?

 

I saw Paradise Lost 2 years back when it first got a UK release and a boy who i watched it with was convinced Byers was the killer then, and i'd be lying if i didnt say i wasn't very suspicious. I think when a documentary is made attempting to take a specific side it's very easy to just get sucked in and believe what you're being told (see people who believe conspiracy videos), i try to keep an open mind about things and see things objectively but i'd never looked at the West Memphis 3 case almost being a reverse witch hunt.

 

my knowledge of the West Memphis 3 case comes from reading a few magazine articles and basically watching the Paradise Lost movies, i think the impact of West of Memphis was lost on me a little because i know a little about the case already, but it was definitely a nice add-on piece for me, having said that, if you haven't seen any of the Paradise Lost docs it may be best to start with West of Memphis? it summarises it all into 2 and a half hours rather than 6.

 

What would you say is the definitive piece?

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I've followed the case closely since around the time it happened and read several books on it too. I don't think having that knowledge made West of Memphis less impactful though. I think it was very well made but, as Astro said, you just have to be careful not to make assumptions on who's really guilty given the Hobbs case on Paradise Lost.

 

I'm not sure WoM is "definitive" though. It sums everything up, goes into a lot more evidence-based material than PL and tries to give everyone a voice. But it's hardly the be all and end all considering there still hasn't been a conclusion to the case. I think it's important to watch at least the first two PL docs to get an overview of the case and to understand that Byers was the first suspect. I'd definitely recommend anyone new to the case watch those before WoM but I don't think it's essential.

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After managing to reclaim most of the contents of my old external hard drive (I'd backed it up on a friends), I've recently came back into a wealth of documentaries including:

 

The Decline of Western Civilization trilogy

Crumb (1994)

Gates of Heaven (1978)

Jesus Camp (2006)

Best Worst Movie (2009)

The Perverts Guide to Cinema (2006)

Restrepo (2010)

American Grindhouse (2010)

 

and a quite a few more.

 

I've spoke about a number of those films before in this very thread, but the after re-watching those particular films recently the one that stands out by a long distance is Gates of Heaven (1978). It's an absolutely fascinating watch and it's propelled me to go and seek out some more Errol Morris documentaries. I watched the Thin Blue Line (1988) a while ago (available on Netflix If i recall) which for those of you discussing the WM3 case I'd definately suggest. I believe another Errol Morris film available on Netflix is Vernon, Florida (1981) which I shall try and watch this week and report back.

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I'd like to thoroughly recommend Ressurect Dead to anyone like me that gets excited every time the Fortean & Conspiracy thread is bumped. It concerns the mystery of the Toynbee Tiles, which were bizarre messages set into asphalt that have appeared across 2 dozen US cities and stretching as far as South America since the mid 80's. The story on it's own if fascinating enough, and as well as documenting that very well the filmmakers set out on a seemingly impossible investigation to track down the creator of these tiles which is extremely engrossing.

 

300px-Toynbee_tile_at_franklin_square_2002.jpg

 

 

I also got a chance to rewatch Beyond The Mat for the first time in about 8 years, and without saying too much since we all know it inside out, it still really stands up as a great documentary. While it's perhaps a little long in places it still offers some great insights into corners of the business we still don't get to view much today, as well as some truly fascinating personalities. I have no idea if it's been mentioned it in interviews, but it has to have been a heavy influence on The Wrestler, both content wise and visually.

Edited by CoreyVandal
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I've followed the case closely since around the time it happened and read several books on it too. I don't think having that knowledge made West of Memphis less impactful though. I think it was very well made but, as Astro said, you just have to be careful not to make assumptions on who's really guilty given the Hobbs case on Paradise Lost.

 

I'm not sure WoM is "definitive" though. It sums everything up, goes into a lot more evidence-based material than PL and tries to give everyone a voice. But it's hardly the be all and end all considering there still hasn't been a conclusion to the case. I think it's important to watch at least the first two PL docs to get an overview of the case and to understand that Byers was the first suspect. I'd definitely recommend anyone new to the case watch those before WoM but I don't think it's essential.

by saying 'less impactful' i don't mean that the documentary made the story any less shocking or diluted the story, i just mean that watching whilst already having some knowledge on the case just made it lack the shock factor i think the documentary would have to people who have no prior knowledge.

 

Thinking about it today i'd probably say if someone really wants to know about the case i'd recommend the Paradise Lost documentaries first then West of Memphis, but for anyone with a passing interest i'd go the other way. Paradise Lost was produced througout the case so you get some real different looks at the case where West of Memphis more or less summarises the whole thing.

 

One thing i wanna bring up regarding the case...my memoris a little vague because i haven't seen it for a while but during Paradise Lost, didn't they suggest that the murders were carried out by someone who was pretty skilled or had prior knowledge of anatomy? they talked of how clean the crime scene was and how the murderer had done a supreme clean up job (lack of blood).

 

Now down the line it's pretty much been confirmed that the boys recieved a majority of their surface wounds from animals, how did they come to the conclusion that it was done by someone who knew what they were doing?. Also during Paradise Lost they made no mention that the boys were actually found in the water and died from drowning after being hit over the head.

 

I know the case was a mess but the two examples above seem are very different, i don't see how they were so wrong on their assessment first time around (and this was coming from the people who were suspicious of the case).

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I saw the documentary about the world of professional arm wrestling, Pulling John, over the weekend.

 

It was a fun little doc.. similar kind of format to stuff like King of Kong or Murderball as an interesting view into a competitive subculture I know nothing of, with some colourful characters. Not as good as either of those, but still worth a watch.

 

It centres around three guys - John Brzenk, the international face of arm wrestling - been on top of the game since he won a competition to feature in the Stallone movie about arm wrestling, Over the Top; Tavis Bagent, up and coming US Super-Heavyweight and total douche, and; Alexey Voevoda a massive fucking beast from the Ukraine (pictured in my sig).

 

 

Edit - Just noticed that Dead Mike was talking about this on the previous page of this thread (though quite some time ago). I knew the name rang a bell when I was around my mates and he put it on!

 

note - you will want to arm wrestle with your mates after you watch this.

 

 

Edit 2: Voevoda is a competitive bobsledder too. I don't know how the muhfucker even fits in one of those things.

Edited by Chest Rockwell
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