The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst: Chapter 1: A Body in the Bay
March 8, 2015 8:49 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

2001: A dismembered corpse is found floating in trash bags near Galveston TX. Police trace the body back to a grisly crime scene in Galveston, and arrest one Robert Durst for the killing of his neighbor, Morris Black. Durst, detectives soon learn, is the scion of one of New York’s wealthiest families. Soon, he makes bail and goes on the run...

After months of eluding authorities, he is arrested again in Pennsylvania. Back in Texas, he assembles a team to prepare his defense. Thus begins this six-part documentary series by Andrew Jarecki (2003's Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning "Capturing the Friedmans") for HBO on the life of Robert Durst (who appears throughout the series as himself, being interviewed, and frequently mentioning himself in the third person).
posted by raysmj (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Yes! I have been waiting for posts about this but was too lazy to start them myself, so thanks.

Durst is such an odd duck ("Wait, the mute woman was HIM?" "He got arrested for shoplifting a sandwich when he had $500 on him?" "His brother hired a bodyguard to protect himself against him?"), and I've been fascinated by how this series has unfolded. I also love the use of Eels for the theme song.
posted by pitrified at 9:30 AM on March 9, 2015

You're welcome. Was unsure whether to post about this one episode, or the entire series at once. It's increasingly looking as it could be a doc or doc series landmark production, deserves attention.
posted by raysmj at 1:40 PM on March 9, 2015

We've seen all of the available episodes at this point (up through episode four, i think?), and every time they bring up the shoplifting thing, I am just dumbfounded and can't help but cackle at the ridiculousness of it.
posted by MsVader at 1:44 PM on March 9, 2015

OK, watched the first one: I'd be up for more posts on this.

For the first two-thirds of this I thought it'd be very much the Serial podcast in TV form: it leads with the discovery of the murder, almost immediately identifies Durst as the subject, and then seems to be heading down the "so how did he get to here" path.

But then the fourth-wall break at the end, with the director of the doc present in his own production and oh, this is odd.

A few other disconnected thoughts:

The title sequence is very True Detective-y.

I felt a little uncomfortable initially -- and still do to some extent -- about the mixture of contemporary photos/video with the more stylized current-day reconstruction shots: it blurs the line between what's documentary and what's atmospheric color.

His wife is creepy; and I wonder how much of that is directorial choice. It's contemporary interview footage yes, but the choice of which bits to use and in what order and at what point in the story are Jarecki's. Wondering if that's leading, or misleading, somewhere.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:36 PM on March 13, 2015

(Oh, and watching this per Linda_Holmes' recommendation on PCHH, and she was right.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:37 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Owes a huge debt to Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line: the direction (slow focus on mundane details, very tight shots), to the music. Of course, lots of stuff since that 1988 doc does owe a debt to Thin Blue Line, but thought I'd point it out.

And, yes - title sequence more than a passing nod to "True Detective".

I personally felt quite guilty or resistant to sinking more time into this - I felt like, "Wait - why are we watching these despicable people, again?" I'm assuming that, like Thin Blue Line, our assumptions about who is guilty and who is innocent are going to be turned on their head in following episodes.

Opening was gross.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:52 PM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

(I did not know what this was, going in...)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:59 PM on March 13, 2015

I am so jealous of everyone who has got to see this already.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:23 PM on March 18, 2015

Only watched the first one and it had really good production value (excellent music, cinematography) relative to other true crime docs/shows that you'd see on cable networks.
posted by fizzix at 5:29 PM on March 30, 2015

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