UPDATED: Trailer: West of Memphis


[UPDATE: Yesterday I misreported that West of Memphis director Amy Berg had not seen the Paradise Lost films by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. That was not true. Berg was first contacted by Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson about West of Memphis in 2009. While she had not seen Paradise Lost prior to that time, Berg did in fact watch the films before shooting West of Memphis. It appears she was misquoted and/or misinterpreted by The New York Times. My apologies for the misinformation.]

Last Friday we got a look at Jock’s poster for West of Memphis, a documentary about the West Memphis Three produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Amy Berg. A four-minute trailer was released for the film later on Friday, which we have for you above. West of Memphis will make its premiere at Sundance.

I wonder how much material in this new film has already been covered in Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s three Paradise Lost documentaries, the first of which came out back in 1996. Berg claims that she has never seen any of the three films. This seems odd to me given how integral the Berlinger/Sinofsky documentaries have been for raising awareness about the case. It’s almost like doing a doc about coal miner strikes and saying you’ve never watched Harlan County, USA

There was a New York Times article last month that suggests some conflicts had emerged between Berg’s West of Memphis, Berlinger/Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost 3, and a planned feature film about the case. Hopefully the various projects can all exist peacefully and simultaneously. Besides, the important thing is clearing the names of the West Memphis Three, not bickering about access and interviews.

[Via /Film, The New York Times]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.