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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

My Follow-Up Questions For Andrew Jarecki & Marc Smerling about The Jinx

After looking at the footage of the doc again, I believe the second interview—including the Times Square walk and trips to family real estate—was shot in early April 2012. I also believe that the interview they say in the film that they had “leverage” to get was a third interview, not the second one.

Anyway… lots of questions and followups to ask…

Question: When, specifically, did you realize that the non-interview ramblings of Durst in the first interview might have editorial value? Were you aware he had a propensity to talk to himself at that time and did you hope he would?

Question: How long was the second interview? Was it, as it was shown, almost exclusively about building to the moment of showing him the two signatures? Did oh do the Times Square walk before that? When you ended the interview, as seen on TV, did you actually end the interview or was there any expectation that you might continue?

Question: Why would you leave Durst confessing to have faked his alibi in his wife’s murder case out of the film? Was this about maintaining tension until the end?

Question: Why is there surveillance footage of Saraf and Durst in Los Angeles? When was it taken? Why were you filming Durst without his knowledge at that point? Was it before or after the incriminating letter? Was it before or after the second interview?

Question: Were you trying for a third interview for a year or longer without success, under the assumption that Bob Durst might still think you were on his side? When exactly did the call in which Durst seems to abruptly hang up on Andrew take place?

Question: What triggered your first contact with police? Was there ongoing communication? Did you have anything to add, aside from the incriminating envelope and the bathroom audio?

Question: What happened in 2014? Why didn’t the film come out that year? What would the film have looked like without the bathroom audio?

4 Responses to “My Follow-Up Questions For Andrew Jarecki & Marc Smerling about The Jinx”

  1. Breedlove says:

    DP, been enjoying your thoughts on this on Twitter & glad you wrote a bit more. With regards to your third question, Durst’s alibi, I’m a little confused…are you talking about him saying he had a drink with the neighbor after he took her to the train station? Because that was in the film, pretty early on I thought.

  2. David Poland says:

    Jarecki indicated in the NYT interview that Durst admitted on tape that he lied about his alibi regarding his wife. Did I forget them using that footage?

  3. Breedlove says:

    Yeah I’m pretty sure they used that…he describes telling the cops some made-up story about having a drink with his neighbor in the hopes that they (the cops) will “leave him alone” and they get the neighbor’s take on it as well.

  4. arisp says:

    How and why does any of this matter? It’s a documentary narrative. Durst said and did what we saw. The order doesn’t matter. What matters is creating a gripping narrative. It’s not a Wikipedia entry.

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The Promised Land steers into the fact that the United States can mean whatever people want it to mean. You may not be able to be Elvis, but you can sure as shit impersonate him for a living. America, like its current President (at least as of this article’s publication), is so dangerous precisely because it’s a blank canvas on which anyone can project their dreams. Whatever it is that you see for yourself, there’s someone you can pay for the pleasure of believing that it’s possible. In his view, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate con, a delusion that prevents us from seeing our circumstances for what they are.

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