Errol Morris’ Five Golden Rules of Moviemaking

In his groundbreaking and critically acclaimed documentaries, world-renowned moviemaker 
Errol Morris has tackled a diverse slate of topics that includes pet cemeteries (Gates of Heaven), the torture of suspected terrorists at Abu Ghraib (Standard Operating Procedure), Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (the Academy Award-winning The Fog of War) and tabloid journalism (Tabloid). Morris’ game-changing 1988 documentary, The Thin Blue Line, used dramatic re-enactments and Morris’ experience as a private detective to investigate the case of Randall Dale Adams, a man convicted of and sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. (Adams was exonerated and released from prison in 1989.)

Earlier this summer, Morris had his hand in yet another documentary sensation, The Act of Killing, which he co-produced with the legendary director Werner Herzog. This week Morris’ newest documentary, The Unknown Known, is currently in competition at the Venice Film Festival and has its North American Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film features former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as he reflects on his long career from his early days as a congressman to 2003’s invasion of Iraq.

Watch a sneak peek of The Unknown Known below and enjoy Morris’ pithy, economical wisdom.

1. If you know the answer to a question, why bother asking it?

2. Shoot others as you would have them shoot you.

3. Nothing is so obvious that it’s obvious.

4. Look for the unknown in the familiar.

5. Truth is not guaranteed by style.

To see the trailer for the latest Errol Morris documentary, check out the Moviemaker article, Errol Morris’ Five Golden Rules of Moviemaking where this was originally found.