Robert Durst, scion of one of New York’s billionaire real estate families, has been accused of three murders but never convicted. Brilliant, reclusive, and the subject of relentless media scrutiny, he’s never spoken publicly—until now.
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The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert DurstDirected byAndrew Jarecki
I'm very torn about The Jinx. The series is engrossing as truth-is-stranger-than-fiction theater of the absurd, but I struggle with documentaries that hide their intentions form the viewer. The first four parts allow for Durst's guilt and innocence to coexist in the mind of the viewer, but the total shift in style and purpose threatens the consistency of the series as a narrative experience.
"All my life, I've had more money than I can spend and it didn't make me happy." Affluenza-gone-homicidal personified. It's those candid supposedly off-camera mumblings in the aftermath of intense interviews that remain the most shocking elements of this documentary.
[Spoilers] Its lasting influence may be that it is a documentary that grants the viewer an attention span by leaving the confines of the movie-length presentation. The final scene, weird rehearsal or confession be it as may be, is creepy but at the same time utterly pathetic; yet Jarecki's own sense of deflation and betrayal with both Durst and the whole project at the very end is the perhaps most affecting aspect.
I don't know about this one. It's an intriguing crime story, but I think it took too much screen time to be told. The sixth part is completely fast-foward deserving, with that punch line at the end. It could easily be a 90-120 minutes documentary. The styled reenactment is cool, but at the end The Jinx lacks editing. Obs: It's cool how you feel threatened by Durst... it got under my skin.
My guess is that when people look back to 2015 they might mention The Jinx as part of a new era in documentary film in the United States. From the stylized dramatization to the insane ramifications of how a story being told effects its own outcome, The Jinx is a masterpiece of serial storytelling.
The 6th episode is, of course, murderous. All in all I'm not sure how I feel about true crime series like this and the Steven Avery one. They teeter on the brink of banal and boring (the American justice system is jilted, news at eleven), whilst at the same time having huge ramifications. And for sure, the "bathroom monologue" is truly wrenching, something only a document could do.