Errol Morris To Direct Photo Journalist Biopic ‘Weegee’ | Film News
Errol Morris, arguably the mast revered documentarian in cinema history, looks like he will be directing a narrative feature for the first time since 1991. He’s not totally eschewing his passion for stranger-than-fiction stories though, as the film will be a biopic of photojournalist Arthur Fellig.
The film will be titled Weegee, after Fellig self-named himself Weegee The Famous when he worked as a street photographer in 1930s New York, chasing police cars and ambulances in the hope of capturing death and life in the city. His work has appeared in Vogue and Life, among other publications.
Morris said of the project:
“Weegee may not have singlehandedly invented the noir sensibility, but without him, noir would be unimaginable. He recognised he was constructing his own vision of reality, replete with vivid characters — rich, poor, depraved and otherwise”.
The film will be produced by Emmy winner Lawrence Schiller (The Man Who Skied Down Everest) via his WS Productions banner, and he also chimed in about his passion for the project, adding:
“Errol and I have wanted to make a film together for many years, and the connections between Weegee’s own obsession in documenting antisocial behaviour and our own proved to be the connection we were waiting for”.
Morris has dipped into narrative filmmaking slightly with his recent Netflix “story” Wormwood, which mixed his usual documentary techniques with reenactments that were more narrative-based than his usual ones.
But this will be his first high-profile narrative feature. Perhaps arguably his only one, since 1991’s The Dark Wind turned out to be a bit of a trainwreck, one Morris left before the end of production due to “artistic differences” with producer Robert Redford.
It will be very exciting to see what Morris can do with a story about a fascinating-sounding man, and how he will adapt his usual techniques to fit a different mode of filmmaking.
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