A bored teenage girl plays with fire while a former school mistress skips town on a cocaine binge. A snakebitten opera singer gorges on cow food as infant mortality rates skyrocket. And did we mention the suicides? A spellbinding, demented twist on the historical documentary genre, Wisconsin Death Trip catalogues a decade of life in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Utilizing town newspaper clippings, police accounts, journal entries and records from the Mendota Asylum for the Insane, director James Marsh presents a series of bizarre, sad and sometimes funny tales from 1890s America. Marsh’s recreations – filmed on location in crisp black-and-white – are hypnotic, and his calm sense of pacing breathtaking. Inspired by Michael Lesy’s cult classic coffee table book of the same name, Wisconsin Death Trip marks the cinematic breakthrough of a master storyteller. –True/False
James Marsh is a director of both documentary and narrative feature films. His most recent dramatic film, Red Riding: 1980, was released by the IFC in 2010. Marsh’s documentary Man on Wire premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Documentary Jury Prize and the Audience Award, and garnered the Academy Award for best documentary the following year. Marsh’s earlier work includes the feature film The King (Un Certain Regard, 2005 Cannes International Film Festival) and the documentary hybrid Wisconsin Death Trip. –Sundance
blowing his own head with dynamite wonderful story. i think the all movie should be in b/w
Unique and enthralling documentary examines the fascinatingly morbid history of Black River Falls, Wisconsin through poetic imagery, authentic photographs, and bizarre juxtaposition with images from modern day Black River Falls. There is no clear structure or storyline, it's more of an extended mood piece - an entrancing collage of images and shocking anecdotes.