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 Post subject: Re: TV on DVD
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Theroux is widely renowned for presenting and interacting with a variety of fascinating individuals, made all the more fascinating by his interactions. He is very perceptive in his ability to read people, and his pleasant genial British manner lulls people into dropping their guard a bit, which only helps his observations-- I don't think this is a symptomatic of Theroux playing Armchair Psychologist as much as that he's been doing this sort of thing for almost twenty years now, and he's simply very good at it


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 Post subject: Re: TV on DVD
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:55 am 
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I see Theroux as the polar opposite to Nick Broomfield - both are using a somewhat naive "I'm just watching" persona but while Broomfield confronts or makes it his business to get in the way Theroux often just observes patiently, maybe making an obvious comment that lulls their subject into a false sense of security (usually by thinking Theroux might be somewhat slow, which is entirely the wrong thing to do) until his subjects crack. I'm still mourning the Michael Jackson interview that never was, with Jacko instead going with Martin Bashir (aka the guy who interviewed Princess Di) - he would have been a perfect subject for Theroux and it would certainly have made for a more interesting programme than just sitting around with Uri Geller and watching the baby-dangling incident from afar did.

His newest programme, America's Most Dangerous Pets is showing this weekend on the BBC.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: TV on DVD
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:11 am 
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I wonder if he'll ever be brave enough to tackle Scientology head-on.


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 Post subject: Re: TV on DVD
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:36 pm 
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I don't think anyone sane would. Even the South Park guys had their trash sifted through after their teasing.


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 Post subject: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:32 am 
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I'd put this in the Louis Theroux thread, but for some reason we still don't have such a thing. If you ever wondered what happened to Lamb and Lynx from Prussian Blue, famously immortalized in Theroux's Louis and the Nazis, wonder no more: They've allegedly mellowed out thanks to pot!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Quickly off-topic, his recent Twilight of the Porn Stars is pretty phenomenal. Expected it to be minor Louis, but he ended up finding some amazing interview subjects.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:12 pm 
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It was great to see JJ again in that Porn Stars documentary - he was the star of the show in the original 1990s Weird Weekends documentary, to the extent that when Theroux wrapped that series up with a Christmas special inviting one figure from each episode I seem to remember him choosing JJ from the Porn one! (It was quite amazing to see him sat at a table eating a Christmas meal between the UFO probee, the Christian fundamentalist and the militarist gun nut!)

Although I did find that Twilight episode a little strange in the sequence where Louis was allowed to interview the two stars of the latest film shoot just before their scene, quizzing them about whether the two people who had only just met liked each other and asking the guy, whose first porn scene this was, how he would manage in front of the camera. Of course the poor chap was inevitably going to 'fail to perform' in the immediate aftermath of that grilling! What was surprising is why any member of the crew would have allowed Louis such access immediately before the scene rather than afterwards!

Apparently in the interview he gave for the Radio Times when Twilight was shown on the BBC, the pace of the Theroux documentaries might be slowing now due to family commitments. Which makes Twilight into quite a nice bookend, if things are really going to end with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:26 pm 
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Three new docs coming in March, all set in Los Angeles:

Quote:
City Of Dogs - Louis heads to one of the toughest neighbourhoods in the south of the city to investigate how hundreds of neglected and often dangerous dogs roam the streets or suffer mistreatment in chaotic homes.

Life And Death - Louis heads to Hollywood’s Cedars Sinai Medical Center to experience the American way of death. A huge amount of money is spent on treatment during the last year of life and Louis follows the stories of three patients as they grapple with their seemingly terminal conditions.

Sex Offenders - Louis looks at how California deals with sex offenders after release from prison. Under strict parole conditions, they are tagged with GPS devices and kept under constant watch.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Louis Theroux is the guest on the latest (3 hour!) episode of the Joe Rogan podcast. Just make sure to skip ahead 9 minutes or so to avoid all the ads, for some reason during this episode, the guest isn't humorously participating in the ad readings as per usual.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:00 pm 

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A (somewhat short) trailer for the upcoming L.A. documentaries is up.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:05 pm 
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Berzeli wrote:
A (somewhat short) trailer for the upcoming L.A. documentaries is up.

These three docs have aired and are online in various places (for example, on DailyMotion) though since it's technically legally squicky, I'm going to leave it for you to Google. I've watched the one on sex offenders, and while the 60 minute runtime is too brief [disappointingly so at times], Theroux is still at the top of his game. There are moments of sheer revulsion, compassion, and insight.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:48 pm 
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I missed the sex offenders one but highly recommend the other two, although they both get pretty harrowing. That group of documentaries seem linked as much by a focus on how the dangerously 'incapable' (unable to control compulsions, bred for violence or facing an inevitable death) are treated as much as by their L.A. location, and the effect that the unstable or absent (or soon to be lost) figure has on close family and friends, with society having no answers except passive ones: detention, destruction or monitoring.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:47 pm 
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The latest two part Louis Theroux documentary, subtitled By Reason Of Insanity, involved visiting Ohio's state psychiactric hospitals and interviewing people who had committed crimes by were not judged capable of being legally held to account for their actions. It was fascinating to watch these episodes, especially the brief sections in which we see classes of patients being taught legal jargon to try and get them to the minimal level at which they could be judged competent to stand trial.

Especially powerful was the interview with the man in the second film who had murdered his mother after judging her to be possessed, which gets into a lot of complicated issues around trying to make someone aware of and responsible for their actions set against the comfort of still clinging to a belief that the action was necessary on the patient's part (plus the general hospital policy of having to tread carefully around respecting religious beliefs in general!). In some ways it seemed that there was not much to be gained from 'mentally curing' the person in question, as he had already accepted guilt and was incarcerated - perhaps in the face of there not being much to be gained from rehabilitation and no possibility of ever leaving to lead a normal life again, the small comfort of the delusion about the mother being possessed might as well be left rather than challenged. Difficult stuff.

EDIT: And on Easter Sunday the next episode is going to be on transgender children in San Francisco.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:05 pm 
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New Louis Theroux special aired tonite while everyone else was busy with Game of Thrones


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:25 pm 
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I liked the one where Louis tried to become a dirty-south rapper. hahaha.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 4:33 am 
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I found the latest Louis Theroux documentary, A Different Brain, interesting perhaps more for the implications brought up by its structure than the particulars of its subject. It feels that they are following the filmmaker's current trend of dealing with subjective assessments of 'capacity' and the way that people deal with 'incapable' others, either within families or official institutions.

We follow a couple of families with their brain damaged family members back at home with them, trying to look after and protect them, but really for me these mid-film families are there to contrast as the (slightly) more stable echoes of the two polar extremes of the film - the gentleman in the institution wanting to leave it, and the wife and mother back at home but in her own isolated annex of the family home and throwing out verbal abuse.

There's a very Shawshank Redemption quality to the assessment of independent living that the man in the institution fails with the assessor refusing to put a timescale on his possible rehabilitation, or indeed anything to work towards. Its almost like they're weathering this storm of desperation to leave until the person becomes passive and accepting of their place in the system again in the face of institutional refusal. As Louis says to the assessor, there are a lot of people out there thrown into the world to take care of themselves whether they are able to or not (and to end up 'tempted' into relapsing by people around them getting them back involved with drink and drugs), so why insist on someone proving their capability to resist that before they are given that basic freedom? Without getting more didactic than that, that points up what happens when someone gets caught up in a bureaucratic system where it is easier for all to keep someone inside, and the assessments ticking over, more than working for the individual patient themselves.

Yet on the other hand there is the wife and mother back in the family home, with a family seemingly doing everything possible to keep her with them yet with the husband and father being casually abused. The two children seem watchful and pensive about their mother too (although this might just be the way that the filming captured them continually approaching their father seemingly for comfort) and although their mother is loving towards them, there felt like the sense that once the children grew older there might be growing disillusion and conflict there on her part, as suggested by the comment about the family dog having grown older in her absence.

The lady in this situation is absolutely insistent that she wants to be back at home and it is better for her, and it may potentially be that way (she has obviously been assessed and assured that she is 'capable' enough in this case!), but in this situation I was left wondering if it was factored in just how stressful it would be to the family around her coping with her new abusive behaviours towards them. Is there a chance the behaviour would get better with continued contact, or worse? And while the husband is making a conscious choice to grin and bear it (which only infuriates her even more!) what about children in this situation, just forced into having to deal with an unstable parent? Will the protective locks in the house work both ways?

Something I was curious about in this episode in particular, though it is a key feature of all Louis Theroux's films, is how much the subjects are playing to, or empowered by (or both!) the presence of the camera. Here it could be potentially be argued that the presence of Louis and the camera in the assessment meeting is the element that empowers the guy to rail against his assessor ("How long? Months? Years? I've been here 17 years already!"), and at others the abuse taking place in front of the lens seems to work as a kind of 'proof' that the person is mentally unstable, because they don't feel shame of being captured saying horrible things. I'm not entirely certain I agree with that latter idea, as people pushed to breaking point might just not care any more either, but I found it interesting that the most uncomfortable scene of the episode was Louis interjecting himself as an arbitrator into an argument between a mother and her brain damaged son, almost shaming him into recognising the error of his ways and apologising, in order to achieve a kind of manufactured and short term family bonding moment. I suppose that perhaps that young man's brain damage wasn't bad enough to allow him the luxury of saying anything that came into his head! Maybe as a young man he'll have to get used to his brain damage being cast aside for reciprocal public shaming. But where's that line drawn? And perhaps more importantly where are all the authority figures (including Louis) drawing it?


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:21 pm 
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Louis Theroux will be on Joe Rogan's podcast today.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:00 am 
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I fear we may be losing Louis a bit.

My Scientology Movie is centered around a completely misguided concept - to have actors cast to re-enact on-the-record interviews and incidents from Scientology's history - and buffets that with Scientology 101 information and old standards (Tom Cruise video footage, recruitment videos, etc). In a world where Going Clear exists (and I'd argue that even it didn't deep dive far enough, I much preferred the book, and even moreso the book Inside Scientology), why in the world would we even need Theroux's take on this if he wasn't provided adequate access to his subject? This film is his weakest effort, period - so what a dreadful way to showcase a real journalistic talent. Speaking of:

Saville is troubling for a whole different set of reasons. Theroux goes around to speak to some of Jimmy Saville's victims and some of his closest confidants, and instead of giving us a fully fleshed out idea of their lives and how they've been impacted by details being revealed to the public about Saville's unspeakably horrendous misdeeds, he seems much more interested in asking victims, after getting a stomach-turning degree of detail about what happened to them, what they thought when they watched his special from 15 years ago. I realize that this is supposed to be introspective, supposed to be Theroux trying to figure out what he missed and why he was so permissive of Saville's behavior when they became friends those years ago, but then why drag the victims into this narrative? It feels exploitative and icky in a way that none of Theroux's work has before. It is troubling to see someone who is so admirable for providing an open forum to very difficult topics drop the ball on something like this, even though it was probably a bad idea from the start.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Scientology seems an easy subject for Louis. It's been dissected to death. Who doesn't know they're a bunch of nut jobs? I guess for Louis to get a documentary in cinemas then it has to be an easy target.

Saville was chilling, and I can see why it's partly a confirmation that he wasn't the only one who was blinded to his sickening crimes. Saville was so odd, so creepy, it's amazing he was able to hide in plain sight. The unused footage from before - when Saville pervs over the young women at the BBC whilst he waits for Louis - is bad enough, but Saville's closest confidants, who refuse to believe any of the accusations, trouble me more. Maybe you don't want to accept that you're complicit but maybe it points to something deeper - that if your employer and friend (not that he had any, they might've perceived it differently) did so many horrific deeds over several decades, then your entire life has been a lie and pointless. Who wants to admit that?


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:05 am 
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Louis Theroux is on the WTF podcast today. A bit of a strange energy between the two at first, though it picks up. However, it remains very unfortunate that My Scientology Movie is seen as representative of Theroux's work on the whole, Maron has only really seen that before the conversation. It'd be unfair to Maron to say that he should've somehow known how much it pales in comparison to his TV work, but it's sad that he comes into the conversation thinking it's representative of what Theroux does.


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 Post subject: Re: Louis Theroux
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Introducing... the Louis Theroux Bot


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