But it is to be expected that a film whose subject is the murder of a little girl will leave people feeling shaken; it’s a tribute to Green‘s talents as a filmmaker that she was able to deliver one that’s also so enjoyable. Criticism is, in part, like medicine—valuable ideas and fascinating discoveries emerge from dysfunction as well. But thanks to the incessant nature of the media firestorm around the investigation, speculation and rumors ran rampant – nowhere more so than Boulder, Colorado, where the events took place. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. Casting JonBenét premieres on Netflix on Friday, April 28. 7 – 2000-Present: Life After the Handover, The History of Hong Kong Action Cinema Pt. Casting JonBenet documents the casting process for the re-enactments in the documentary. Casting JonBenét is the audition tapes of dozens of people who talk freely about their pet theories and their connections to the case. 3. In December 1996 a little 6 year old girl from Boulder, Colorado, named JonBenét Ramsey was murdered – her body found in the family basement. One hopeful Patsy Ramsey qualifies the statement she’s about to make with “from what I heard and sort of put together…”, which can be accurately applied to pretty much any statement made by anyone in Casting JonBenet. Casting JonBenét Critics Consensus. Released just over a year following the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the process of conceiving the film must have begun in the days after the event itself, lest the narrative be solidified in the collective consciousness in some other fashion that might call into question the story that torture led the successful mission. The raw material of the unsolved 1996 murder of six-year-old US child pageant beauty queen JonBenét … Netflix’s new documentary, Casting JonBenét will explore the life and death of the young girl and will premiere on Friday, April 28. 'Casting JonBenét' Is A New Look At An Old Case NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to director Kitty Green about her new documentary Casting JonBenét… To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Empathy is a much better look than condemnation. Three historical documentaries—about police corruption, Rodney King, and Reagan’s media management—elucidate current conflicts. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Casting JonBenét is all of these, and a brilliant original in multiple dimensions. In the months following the unsolved murder of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, responses were elicited from her Colorado hometown community, creating a work of art from the collective memories and mythologies the crime inspired. She holds auditions for a variety of parts—the parents, John and Patty Ramsey, as well as JonBenét herself; the girl’s nine-year-old brother, Burke; the local police chief; a sex offender who falsely confessed to the crime; and even the Santa Claus who took part in the Christmas celebration at the Ramsey home. The glee with which some place themselves about those of whose child-rearing they disapprove is, while somewhat understandable, a bad look at best and moderately disgusting at worst. On closer analysis, ... One doesn’t watch “Casting JonBenét” to get the facts of the case, but rather, to see how misinformation has blossomed into its own narrative. Casting JonBenét, which first … Lily Collins Revealed Emily in Paris' Age—and It's Confusing. Enter Kitty Green, whose film Casting JonBenet seeks to create a new kind of media representation; one that combines both documentary and reenactment, while acknowledging the constructed artificiality of both. 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Trending Stories. The interviews become a springboard from which to explore all manner of human thought and experience. Green brilliantly gives us a film that offers the opportunity to collectively process this painful event without attempting to cement the narrative, recognizing that purporting to present any sort of definitive account of the infamous case is a fool’s errand. Movie Reviews Great Movies Collections TV/Streaming Features Chaz's Journal Interviews. But like Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks, JonBenét is omnipresent in every scene in the film, defined primarily by her absence. Two themes kept reappearing. Separate from the case itself, this alone makes Casting JonBenet worth seeing, as it could be de-isolating for those who worry their experiences are unique and thus not understandable. Green also gets the candidates to play armchair detectives, speculating on-camera about the unsolved killing and trying to fill in the local background relevant to the case. Local actors from JonBenet Ramsey's hometown offer multiple perspectives on her 1996 murder as they vie to play roles in a dramatization of the case. You Season 3 Just Added 2 New Cast Members . The 2015 Netflix docu-series about Steven Avery incorporated interviews, clips and other information important to the case. It culminates in a virtuoso sequence where all of the Patsies and Jons act out different scenes on the same set simultaneously. Casting JonBenét Synopsis. (One discusses the murder of her brother; another speaks of her mother’s diagnosis with borderline-personality disorder; another talks of the trauma of waking up to find his girlfriend dead in bed beside him; one mentions his son’s legal issues; and yet another discusses his own imprisonment.). “Casting JonBenet” ’s real subjects are Green’s own connection to Boulder—whatever it is that drew her to the area to make a film about making a film about the case and, even more, her own connection to the film’s participants. The body of six-year-old JonBenét was found on December 26, 1996 in the basement of her Colorado home. 5 – 1980: New Wave, Cinema City, Jackie Chan & John Woo, The History of Hong Kong Action Cinema Pt. More definitively, it underscores the film’s poly-perspective and themes of uncertainty and truth, which is the only true certainty. In a sense this is the anti-The People Vs. OJ Simpson. A new documentary that’s premièring on Netflix today (and that’s also getting a brief theatrical run at Metrograph), Kitty Green’s “Casting JonBenet,” is in many ways a deeply unsatisfying, even infuriating film, but I wouldn’t want not to have seen it. Casting JonBenét is no midday movie. Unlock access to all of Film Inquiry`s great articles. But like Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks, JonBenét is omnipresent in every scene in the film, defined primarily by her absence. The essence of the modern documentary is epistemological: How do the participants—and, for that matter, the filmmaker—know what they know about the subject and about the film itself? The other theme is the remarkable commonality of trauma among the auditioners, many of whom are forming their opinions from a perspective rooted in their own traumatic episodes. No one actually knows for certain anything about the case, it’s all being reported 2nd, 3rd, even 4th hand, over two decades removed from the event. Kitty Green is not particularly concerned with conclusions, or even definitive truth in her new Netflix documentary, CASTING JONBENÉT. Did she coax them to divulge personal stories as a precondition to their audition, or did they simply come forth with their own stories, reflections, and memories as part of their efforts to be cast? At the end, The movie changes what you might saw on previous documentaries. The JonBenét case is one of the more famous unsolved cases, as well as one of the saddest. Enter HERE for a chance to win one of five digital codes for a LORD OF THE RINGS & HOBBIT, theatrical AND extended bundle! How 'Casting JonBenét' Ditches The True-Crime Formula By Jade Budowski • Apr 28, 2017 Don't expect this unconventional documentary to solve any mysteries. Read Full Synopsis Cast + Crew Previous Cast Members More Cast Members. 20 years later director Kitty Green visits the town and interviews local actors auditioning to play in a dramatization of the case. The experiences of this group of aspiring actors from the same community shows that that has never been true, and certainly wasn’t the case in 1996. Often these folks are more tempered in their remarks, seemingly in contrast to how personally they might have felt about JonBenét‘s story. The film has a non-narrative format, patience-testing repetition, and formal choices that reflect and support the content, such as the auditions being shot in 4:3, perhaps as a subconscious signifier of our ’90s TV sets. As a young country with a relatively short history, we have an innate need to process tragedy collectively so as to canonize it as part of our national narrative, most often through media representations. Casting JonBenet. Borrowing a couple of techniques from noted narrative-muddier Errol Morris, Green employs an interrotron to audition the hopefuls for a host of other roles, from the police chief to Santa Claus, and intersperses these interviews with scripted reenactments featuring those we just met. The film functions as a casting call for an unnamed, non-existent fiction movie about the 1996 murder of JonBenét Ramsey, the shocking unsolved killing of a … In the guise of granting auditioners a sort of actorly freedom, the director Kitty Green turns the film into the “Jackass” of reflexive documentaries. In “Casting JonBenet,” Green relies on the formalized settings of on-camera auditions to interview a batch of largely nonprofessional, mainly inexperienced actors about the unsolved killing of JonBenét Ramsey. The time it takes for this to happen tends to vary on a variety of factors, but seems in recent years to be shrinking. Casting JonBenet is a 2017 documentary film about the death of JonBenét Ramsey and the large impact it left behind. Casting JonBenét is a sly and stylized exploration of the world’s most sensational child-murder case, the unsolved death of six-year-old American beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey. Vlad Kozlov and the Cast of IMMORTALIST and the Fiction of Science, THE UNDOING Finale: A Take On Domestic Abuse In 2020, 20 More Christmas Movies That Have Little To Do With Christmas. For each role, the casting videos are shot in a distinctive setting, with a fixed camera position for each set, and Green cuts from candidate to candidate in a series of jump cuts that turn the auditions into the visual equivalent of stacks of index cards or folders. Reviews Casting … by Ken Bakely Officially, we don’t know who killed JonBenét Ramsey. Her death to this day remains a mystery. The exception to this rule is when an event causes us pain or embarrassment, to the point that it makes us question who we are as people. "Eclectic, eccentric filmmaking." There’s freedom in recognition. Directed by Kitty Green. What are your thoughts on Casting JonBenet? Casting JonBenet Documentary Trailer The Trailer For Netflix's JonBenét Ramsey Documentary Will Send Chills Down Your Spine March 24, 2017 by Quinn Keaney Casting JonBenét's unorthodox approach to its genre sets it apart in a crowded field, making for a uniquely thought-provoking true … But in the urgency of selling themselves to Green for the coveted roles, they divulge painfully intimate stories in the hope of establishing the bona fides of their emotional connection to the character they’d be playing. Thinking JonBenét was already dead or knowing she was fatally injured, her parents finished the job and covered up the murder. That said, Casting JonBenet is entertaining throughout, featuring a hauntingly ethereal score over thoughtfully composed cinematography, with plenty of moments of levity to make the thematic medicine go down easier (the line “if you tell someone a secret it is no longer a secret” is destined to join the ranks of American Movie‘s “it’s alright, it’s ok, there’s something to live for, Jesus told me so” as a documentary classic). In compiling their impressions and recollections of the case, an overall picture begins to form not only of the processing of this specific tragedy, but of the processing of the processing itself. Analysis of the note says that it was probably written by a woman, which many believe to be Patsy. In the guise of letting the participants talk freely and granting them, in the auditions, a sort of personal agency and actorly freedom, Green hides behind the camera and turns “Casting JonBenet” into the “Jackass” of reflexive documentaries. She gets the boys auditioning for Burke, who was investigated in the case, to speak candidly about their family lives, their relations with siblings. Over the years, there's been a slew of investigative TV specials revisiting the 1996 murder of 6-year-old beauty-pageant star JonBenét Ramsey, but Netflix's documentary Casting JonBenét is … Here we see the manifestation of the rampant salacious interest that TV executives felt warranted a new series. 6 – 1980-2000: Handover & Second Wave, The History of Hong Kong Action Pt. The movie is not told through archival footage, but rather through a series of actors, all auditioning to play the key characters in a film about the JonBenét case. Thought you'd seen all you needed on the 1996 tabloid tragedy? Like the OJ Simpson case, which saw renewed interest last year with an all-star TV mini-series and multi-part documentary event, the horrific murder case of JonBenét Ramsey has also crept back into the zeitgeist, with an A&E investigative documentary series and a network dramatized miniseries. Casting JonBenet features no expert talking heads or news clips, but rather relies of the actors’ testimonies, who are all local to the Boulder, CO region, to provide all the context the film will offer. As is its function, the interrotron forces you to stare right into the eyes of the subject, creating a kind of intimacy that’s unique for film, an inherently distant medium. Deus Ex Machina: Acceptable Coincidence or a Cop-out? One is the practicing of America’s favorite past time: judging parents. The title of the film, Casting JonBenet, is a bit of a misnomer, as we only very briefly meet the girls up for the title role. 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