First Person (2000– )

TV Series  -  Documentary | Biography
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 259 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 6 critic

Amazing series primarily using Errol Morris' invention the Interrotron for unusual people to tell their outré stories directly into the camera to the viewer. Almost every half-hour ... See full summary »

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Title: First Person (2000– )

First Person (2000– ) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Season:

2 | 1

Year:

2001 | 2000
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Cast

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 Himself - Host (6 episodes, 2000-2001)
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Amazing series primarily using Errol Morris' invention the Interrotron for unusual people to tell their outré stories directly into the camera to the viewer. Almost every half-hour documentary episode focused on 1 person, especially scientists, criminals, cranks, plus everyday folks in strange circumstances. First season seen on Bravo, second on IFC. Having a roaming crew at the ready led Morris to start filming his Academy Award winning documentary on Robert McNamara, "The Fog of War." Some subjects came from Morris' back-file, others were newly uncovered. First season included the autistic woman scientist who designs humane slaughterhouses (Temple Grandin, "Stairway to Heaven"), the parrot whose testimony in a trial exonerated a man wrongly accused of murdering his owner, the ex-lobster fisherman devoted to being the first to see a live giant squid ("Eyeball to Eyeball"), and a serial killer groupie. Second season had some 2 parters such as a haunted passenger who landed a crashing ... Written by David Stevens

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scientist | interview | mortality


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16 February 2000 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Little Gray Man: Slick, enjoyable but lacking depth and rather forgettable
7 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having enjoyed Fog of War despite its flaws, I decided to try out more of Errol Morris' films and managed to catch just one of the documentaries in this series and, although I clearly cannot comment on the whole series but can comment on the specific episode I saw, which was "The Little Gray Man". This short documentary spends 25 minutes with retired CIA operative Antonio Mendez, who was a master of disguise and on many missions across his career.

I imagine that much of his work is restricted and still subject to classification but he has enough to talk about to make this film worth seeing. Although he is a self-confessed "dull" man and thus perfect for his chosen career, this film sees him being pretty interesting even if I must admit that I longed for it to go deeper and be more insightful. The delivery is similar to Fog of War in the way it focuses on its subject as an interviewee with Morris as the interviewer behind the camera. However the pace of delivery here is much, much faster and is backed by a constant soundtrack of slightly quirky music. The effect is that it feels like almost a long trailer for a bigger documentary. It made me feel like I was never given the time to settle down into the subject and that the discussion was very superficial, which I suppose it mostly was.

In a way this gave me little to remember and indeed, as I write this a few hours after viewing it, its impression is already fading in my mind in the way that Fog of War didn't. Mendez is actually pretty amusing and interesting even if he gives few details and doesn't have a massive amount of charisma. In FoW, I liked the fact that Morris stayed back and allowed McNamara to talk but here he is a bit too present even if he is not seen. His accent bugged me as well as he seems to overreact to the things Mendez says rather than being straight. Again his delivery did reduce the potential for depth and his questions never really probe the psyche of the subject even if some of the questions provide the route to get there if only it was followed.

Overall then this is an interesting and entertaining documentary but it is like a documentary-lite™ for the quick-fix television market. As such I found it engaging while it was on but also instantly forgettable in the way that so much fluff often is. Not sure how representative of the series this one film is but Little Gray Man was slick, enjoyable but lacking depth and rather forgettable.


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