Tuesday, May 28, 2024

“West Memphis 3” Doc Director Says “No” on Feature Film

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Joe Berlinger, the award winning documentary filmmaker, has been covering the West Memphis 3 story since 1994. His first film, “Paradise Lost,” came out in 1996. The third in the series is coming next month, wrapping up 18 years of work. But Berlinger tells me he’s against a feature film being made. There are reports today that Canadian director Atom Egoyan has been working for all of six weeks to turn a book about the West Memphis 3 into a film. But the real story, and all the real material, comes from the two existing “Paradise Lost” films and the one that will debut in Toronto and at the New York Film Festival next month. Berlinger says, “I’ve had offers to turn a lot of my films, like Brother’s Keeper, into a feature film. I don’t think you can reduce these complexities to a dramatic structure.” Egoyan, I’m told, isn’t the only Johnny come lately trying to horn in on Berlinger’s work. An L.A. based filmmaker has been in town, according to sources, trying to make her own documentary. But in the end, the “Paradise Lost” films –with 18  years of blood, sweat and tears — are the only ones that matter.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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