Doc News: “The Thin Blue Line”, R.J. Cutler, Cee Lo Green

– Last week Errol Morris tweeted the first major report of the passing of Randall Dale Adams, who had died of a brain tumor in October at age 61. Adams was one of the two main subjects of Morris’ classic “The Thin Blue Line,” he being the wrongfully imprisoned man who was exonerated in part by the film itself. He had spent 12 years behind bars for a Dallas police officer’s murder he didn’t commit. After his release he sued the filmmaker over the rights to his story, which seemed a bit like biting the hand that unlocks your prison cell, and after that he disappeared from limelight (Morris stopped talking to him after the legal matter) and apparently ended up in Ohio, in a city called Washington Court House, where he died. Since Morris’ tweet more lengthy reports and obituaries, such as this one in the NY Times, have gone out. One of the most famous documentary figures of all time, it’s sad to hear this news. If you’ve somehow never seen “Thin Blue Line,” it’s on Netflix Instant. In lieu of a decent clip from the film, check out a bit of Philip Glass’s score after the jump, specifically “Adams’ Theme.”

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Doc News: Herzog, New Academy Membership, Silverdocs, Ryan Dunn

– Werner Herzog‘s next documentary has been retitled from “Death Row” to “Gazing Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life” and has been picked up by ZDF Enterprises for worldwide TV rights and theatrical distribution outside the U.S. and UK. The filmmaker is quoted by Variety as describing the film as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul,” though more literally it involves interviews with Texan death row inmates, including: “two men convicted of triple murder, another who killed his girlfriend and her two mentally retarded sons, and a woman — one of only 10 on Texas’ death row — charged with abducting a newborn baby and killing the child’s mother.”

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Doc News: Jose Padilha, Michael Moore, Pearl Jam and Queen

– Brazilian documentary filmmaker Jose Padilha (“Bus 174”; “Secrets of the Tribe”) is hopefully not getting too distracted from non-fiction. He’s currently in development on the “RoboCop” remake and is now back in the news with his previously announced South American ‘Triple Border’ project “Tri-Border.” The English-language political action thriller, originally titled “A Willing Patriot” and written by Jason Keller, is currently being re-scripted by Nick Shenk (“Gran Torino”). Add to this the option of the next “Wolverine” movie, as Padilha is reportedly on Fox’s shortlist for directors up for the gig abandoned by Darren Aronofsky. Next up for the director, though, is a segment of “Rio, Eu Te Amo,” the latest in the “Paris, Je T’Aime”/”New York, I Love You,” model of anthologies (aka the “Cities of Love” franchise). I’m still not sure if his short will be fiction or doc, but I expect it’s the former.

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