Errol Morris is probably the highest-profile working documentarian after Michael Moore -- and since Moore is more of a video essayist than a documentarian, Morris is, in truth, number one. He's also one of the rare documentary filmmakers who embraces the genre as cinema rather than mere journalism. His movies are always visually interesting, and never straightforward.

That bodes well for Morris's upcoming maiden voyage into narrative cinema: a yet-untitled dark comedy about the good old days when people thought that cryonics was our best bet to cheat death. The movie, focusing on 1960s efforts to freeze people for later reanimation by future scientists armed with incredible technology, will be written by Zach Helm, who wrote Stranger than Fiction and wrote and directed the lovely Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

Documentary filmmakers transitioning to narrative features isn't anything new of course. This weekend's State of Play, for example, was very competently directed by Kevin MacDonald, who not only began his career making documentaries, but actually made one about Errol Morris. And of course we all remember Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon.

While MacDonald seems to be focusing on fiction these days, I can't imagine Morris will ever abandon documentaries altogether. But if his narrative effort is half as formally original and visually exciting as most of his docs, I won't complain if he does.

[UPDATE! Our old friend Christopher Campbell reminds me in the comments that Morris has already made one narrative feature, that I forgot about and now need to run out and see. So this will be his second.]


categories Movies, Cinematical