The Late Movies: First Person

Ransom Riggs

Errol Morris, Oscar-winning director of The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line, and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control is one of our best documentary filmmakers. A few years ago he had a television program called First Person. Each episode consisted mainly of a length interview with one fascinating person, conducted via something Morris calls the "Interrotron," a system of screens and mirrors which makes the interviewee feel as if they're talking directly to Morris when they're actually looking right into the camera. As strange as that sounds, Morris tends to elicit more intimate and unguarded moments with his subjects than you find in most documentaries; the proof, I think, is in the pudding. Or in this case, in some of these episodes of First Person. Since this is mental_floss, after all, let's start off with Morris' interview with a genius named Rick Rosner.

Here's part 2 and part 3.

A fascinating interview with noted writer and serial killer groupie Sondra London. Here's part 2, and part 3.

In "The Stalker," we meet a man who was a victim of a postal worker rampage. Chilling stuff.
Part two.

As long as we're talking about maniacs, here's a long talk with someone who knew the Unabomber rather well. Here's part two.