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Jan 31, 2020

Rodney Ascher is a filmmaker and one of the most unique and interesting documentarians working today. 

His career was kickstarted by an 8 minute docs-short called THE S FROM HELL. Sidenote: this film is awesome. It focuses on this bizarre phenomenon where an entire generation of children were terrified of a seemingly innocuous corporate logo. The 1964 screen gems logo that is considered as the scariest corporate logo in history. 

In it we hear first hand accounts of people who were terrified by the logo and its accompanying music which was considered by many to be demonic. It’s a great watch, and you can find it easily if you Google The S from Hell. 

Anyway, next, Rodney directed perhaps his best known doc, ROOM 237, which focuses on the exhaustively diverse amount of theories surrounding THE SHINING. This is another fascinating watch. Rodney’s other projects include: THE NIGHTMARE, a terrifying doc about Sleep Paralysis, and THE EL DUCE TAPES, about the shocking frontman of the band the mentors. His next documentary A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX will focus on the idea of simulation theory - the belief that all of reality is a digital simulation similar to THE MATRIX. 

All of his work is extremely unique and transcends traditional documentary formats. By relying mostly on archival footage to spin the narratives, hypnotic music and sound design, and palpably cerebral sensibility, Rodney’s documentaries have a very cinematic and Kubrick-esque feel to them and are great watches. 

The common theme amongst his films is the subjective human experience, as his documentaries are less interested in being journalistic and more focused on gaining insights into the human condition through individual perspectives. 

He is a fascinating filmmaker who I’m a huge fan of and I really enjoyed speaking with him. 

 

Directors & Films Mentioned: 

 

  • Craig Baldwin
  • Bruce Conner - Tribulation 99

 

 

Books 

  • In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Mirch
  • On Directing Film by David Mamet
  • Shock value by John Waters 

 

Misc 

 

  • Jungian Philosophy

 

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