Obit | Denver Film Society | Vanessa Gould | USA

Obit

Vanessa Gould

EnglishUSA201693 min

Showtimes

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Overview

With sly humor, director Vanessa Gould (Between the Folds) lovingly demonstrates the process of writing obituaries at The New York Times while delivering a paean to days of journalism gone by, when newspapers could afford to hire as many as 30 people to work in the “morgue,” or clippings room, and assign several staffers to report on lives that “had an impact,” large or small.

Punctuated by rapid-fire series of clips, the heart of the documentary rests in Gould’s fly-on-the-wall observation, as Ben Wolf’s camera captures editorial meetings about who warrants coverage, closes in on Bruce Weber quizzing the bereaved or carefully frames Margalit Fox describing how to sum up a life. These writers make the case that their articles merely acknowledge death on the way to celebrating life—and they do it convincingly: word nerds will love their dissection of the lede, and it’s impossible not to share Jeff Roth’s passion for the archives as he pulls out an obscure 1921 photo of Pete Seeger as a child.

Sponsored by

Producer: Caitlin Mae Burke, Vanessa Gould | Editor: Kristin Bye | Cinematographer: Ben Wolf

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