Vernon, Florida is an odd-ball survey of the inhabitants of a remote swamp-town in the Florida panhandle. Henry Shipes, Albert Bitterling, Roscoe Collins and others discuss turkey-hunting, gator-grunting and the meaning of life. This second effort by Errol Morris, originally titled Nub City, was about the inhabitants of a small Florida town who lop off their limbs for insurance money (“They literally became a fraction of themselves to become whole financially,” Morris commented.) but had to be retooled when his subjects threatened to murder him. Forced to come up with a new concept Morris created Vernon, Florida (1981) about the eccentric residents of a Southern swamp town.
David Ansen in Newsweek wrote, “Errol Morris makes films unlike any other filmmaker. Vernon, Florida, like his earlier study of pet cemeteries, Gates of Heaven, is the work of a true original. On the surface, it is simply a portrait of several somewhat eccentric residents of a slow backwater town… There’s a taste of Samuel Beckett in the film’s tone of droll, forlorn hopefulness, and something of Buster Keaton in the spacious frames and exquisitely deadpan comic timing. Vernon, Florida isn’t sociology at all, it’s philosophical slapstick, a film as odd and mysterious as its subjects, and quite unforgettable.” —errolmorris.com
Since the premiere of his groundbreaking 1978 film, “Gates of Heaven,” Errol Morris has indelibly altered our perception of the non-fiction film, presenting to audiences the mundane, bizarre and history-making with his own distinctive élan.
Roger Ebert has said, “After twenty years of reviewing films, I haven’t found another filmmaker who intrigues me more…Errol Morris is like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini.”
Recently, Morris was highly praised for his short film that ran at the front of the 2002 Academy Awards, where he asked an admixture of anonymous and well-known people outside the movie business to talk about what they love about movies.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara, which was theatrically released in December, 2003 is his seventh documentary feature film. The film tells the story of Robert S. McNamara, the former Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. Combining… read more