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kaworu
Jul 23, 2004





Wormwood is a 6-part docu-series/docu-drama, directed by the godfather of the genre Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven, Thin Blue Line, Fog of War). The subject is the death of Frank Olson in 1953, and the impact it had on his family and most especially his son, who was 9 years old at the time. The mini-series is on NETFLIX and is 6 episodes long; it follows two developing parallel narratives; it tells the story of what happened to Frank Olson in 1953 and earlier leading up to his death, while also telling the story of his son, Eric, and his search to uncover the mystery of what happened to his father starting in 1975 when the cover story of "suicide" was revealed to be false.

I'm not going to say any more than that, because you are all WAY better off going into this knowing that you're in the hands of arguably the most thoughtful and intelligent documentarian of his generation, and that he is going to take you on a goddamn amazing ride.

I will say this, and I really don't mean it to sound snobby: this is not escapist fun like Stranger Things or the vast majority of TV and film or whatnot (though we all have our weakness for those things of course). It's quite earnest, and it does require a certain degree of familiarity and intellectual curiosity about post-WW2 Cold War politics (just for starters) plus being familiar with stuff like John le Carre's fiction or something comparable doesn't really hurt, because this is pretty out-there spy-fiction stuff (or seems that way to me at times), it's so outrageous.

But it's also very densely layered while still being quite entertaining and telling a story, and Morris is a masterful filmmaker who really knows how to use imagery and re-creations in ways other documentary filmmakers simply... don't. I've only watched up to the Third episode so far, because after I got to a certain point I just had to go back and re-watch everything up to that point again. It's just that kinda series.

Anyway, I am sincerely hoping that some people have seen this and are just itching to discuss it. It's sort of ironic that I, as the OP, have not yet fully finished the series - but it really is very dense! I would recommend using spoiler tags for any hugely important plot secrets revealed after the first episode for a little while as people get a chance to catch up over Christmas break.

Not to mention it'd be kinda appropriate for this thread to resemble a heavily censored document, to be perfectly frank :xd:

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SpaceAceJase
Nov 8, 2008

and you
have proved
to be...

a real shitty poster,
and a real james


Is this a work of fiction based on true events, or a re-enactment that's historically accurate? The premise seems interesting.

kaworu posted:

I will say this, and I really don't mean it to sound snobby: this is not escapist fun like Stranger Things or the vast majority of TV and film or whatnot (though we all have our weakness for those things of course). It's quite earnest, and it does require a certain degree of familiarity and intellectual curiosity about post-WW2 Cold War politics (just for starters) plus being familiar with stuff like John le Carre's fiction or something comparable doesn't really hurt, because this is pretty out-there spy-fiction stuff (or seems that way to me at times), it's so outrageous.

"To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Wormwood"

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

SpaceAceJase posted:

"To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Wormwood"

Meet kaworu.

Watched the first episode of this last night and it was crazy interesting.

kaworu
Jul 23, 2004




Heh I really am a total intellectual snob in a way when it comes to art.

But I'm being honest when I say that the documentary jumps right into things, and you really do need a working understanding of the personalities and forces that were especially at play. As well as a fairly solid understanding of Cold War politics and conspiratorial spy "stuff", which is why I mentioned John le Carre. Simply because the context is one of intrigue and hidden intent and nobody ever saying what they mean to some degree, and the documentary is going a step beyond all this and trying to discern the true meaning, motive, and intent of the men involved.

This is all heady stuff. Again, I do NOT mean to be an snob but you really need to be actively and intellectually engaged while watching this or you will miss a lot - all I mean is that it's not a show that is ideal for passive viewing.

Vincent
Nov 25, 2005





kaworu posted:

snobbery.

Say it's a documentary spy thriller then. It ain't rocket surgery.

Loomer
Dec 19, 2007

A Very Special Hell


Wormwood is good. You will find it good even if you do not have an encyclopedic knowledge of the CIA's dark history, but some background reading will probably enhance it.

There, done.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


I finished this and thought it was fantastic. It is slow and repetitive at first, but at the end you understand that the show isn't just about the mystery of Olson's death.

It's about how it destroyed the life of his son, and the nature of knowing the "truth"

joepinetree fucked around with this message at 01:19 on Feb 19, 2018

Snowy
Oct 6, 2010

A man whose blood
Is very snow-broth;
One who never feels
The wanton stings and
Motions of the sense





[/quote]

Oh goddaamn it thatís not how you spoiler something

E- I donít really care, just ribbin ya. Helps having the memory of a bird sometimes, spoilers donít stick.

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joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


Oops (of course, this whole thing is in the public record, it was just an abundance of caution combined with a lack of caution).

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