Sunday, November 16, 2014
DOC NYC 2014: ENQUIRING MINDS (2014)
The screening was either the NYC premiere according to the DOC NYC website or the first time the public had seen it according to director Ric Burns, either way its the weakest film that I've ever seen from Burns.
The film is the story of Generoso Pope Jr who was his father's favorite son, despised by his mother and brothers. He took all he learned from running his father's Italian Language newspaper to take the floundering New York Enquirer and turn it into the National Enquirer. The film documents the life of father and son as they both rose from adversity to create influential newspapers.
The story of the Popes is a long and complex one, so much so that the film should probably be two films one on the father and one on the son. Actually there should be a third film as well which would be the story of the paper itself. The trouble is that despite having all of the right people the film breezes through all three stories, There is way more to the lives of both men then we are getting here and as for the ups and downs of the Enquirer the story is minimally told. I wanted to know more.
I'm a huge fan of Ric Burns, to be honest I think his films tend to be better than his brother Ken, but here things have slipped. The detail is not there and I felt empty at the end. For the first time seeing one of his films I felt ripped off and wished I had waited until this showed up on PBS or cable or somewhere I didn't have to pay 14 bucks for it.
Its not bad but its not great.
I was so disappointed I left when the credits started to roll instead of staying for the Q&A.