Errol Morris on Donald Rumsfeld and "The Unknown Known"

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris talks about his new film about Donald Rumsfeld, “The Unknown Known,” Morris has said of the film: “To say that I came into this movie without strong ideas about Rumsfeld and his policies would be fraudulent and disingenuous, at best. I was very much against the Iraq war, and I still am—I think it was a terrible mistake. But I believe I made this film in the spirit of inquiry, with a genuine desire to investigate, a desire to find out something that I might not have known before.” "The Known Unknown" opens April 2 at Angelika Film Center and at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.


Errol Morris

Comments [28]


Makes Rumsfeld appear downright pleasant by comparison.

Apr. 09 2014 08:33 PM
Tom Ciocco

Leonard got in the well-deserved "evasive" jab, and to that I'd add, arrogant, condescending, smug, contrary, and snide. Errol Morris has shown himself to be a decidedly distasteful personality in every setting I've ever seen him presented in, and this interview was clearly no exception. This spot was really difficult to listen to, and I'm sure it was all Leonard could do from really teeing off on him. If I were him, I'd never have him back. Not withstanding his work as a documentarian, he comes off like a full-fledged jerk.

Apr. 03 2014 11:36 AM
Harry from Brooklyn

It just so happens that this arrogant, unhinged, 'know-it-all," is a documentarian without peer. He transformed the documentary genre through his innovations in interview technique and his ability to question the epistemological assumptions of the genre with such important political and moral effect. Perhaps, the reason why his is such a guarded and prickly interviewee is his desire to be precise in conveying his ideas.

Apr. 02 2014 09:03 PM
MIcky from nyc

ELewis is really annoying to listen to on the radio.
Such an interesting topic it's a pity he's the man behind the mic.

Apr. 02 2014 02:13 PM
El from Forest Hills

Lopate is a knowledgeable and intelligent interviewer. Now I know he also has the patience of a saint and the savvy not to rise to any bait, even when he is doing someone the favor of publicizing his work in a friendly interview. Bravo, Leonard, you are brilliant.

Apr. 02 2014 01:42 PM

Arrogant and pretentious to the point of being a cartoon. It was amusing to listen to though. Ufff…..

Apr. 02 2014 01:38 PM
Lynda from NYC

Nope. This guy is not drunk. He's just an arrogant know-it-all who treats his interviewers like crap. He was like this with Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert. If he wants anyone to go see his movie he should probably stop doing interviews. We love you Leonard!

Apr. 02 2014 01:38 PM
Nick from UWS

As radio-unfriendly Morris is, he has nevertheless made an extremely important film and I applaud him for doing so. The exposure of the sociopathy of Donald Rumsfeld trumps the lack of Morris's radio charm.

Apr. 02 2014 01:37 PM
J from Nj

Well that was an utterly exhausting interview. What a tooth-puller... And the barely cloaked belligerence... yuck. I'll bet this guy and Rumsfeld got along famously.

Apr. 02 2014 01:35 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Dark Matter" and "Dark Energy" are unknown knowns. I still think that some of Saddam's chemical arsenal ended up with Assad.

Apr. 02 2014 01:33 PM
Amy from Manhattan

BTW, I think there *are* unknown knowns. I think we know things on a subconscious level that we don't consciously realize that we know. I've experienced this in real life.

Apr. 02 2014 01:30 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

For the first time in memory I actually agree with the rest of the commentators on this board here, that this guy simply comes off no less arrogant and pretentious as does his target Donald Rumsfeld.

Apr. 02 2014 01:29 PM
amanda from Brooklyn

This man is unbearable. So full of himself. Spare us, never ask him back.

Apr. 02 2014 01:28 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Elephant in the room? I think it's more like the elephant in the cherry tree in the old joke: "Why do elephants paint their toenails red? To hide in cherry trees. Have you ever seen an elephant in a cherry tree? ...See? It works!"

On the other hand, I think some of Mr. Morris's interpretations of Mr. Rumsfeld's statements & expressions resemble Bob Woodward's interpretations of (I think it was) William Colby's facial expressions in the hospital. (I don't remember for sure, but I think Mr. Colby was unable to speak after a stroke.)

Apr. 02 2014 01:27 PM
Seana from UES

Did Rumsfeld profit in anyway from the Iraq war?

Apr. 02 2014 01:27 PM
Maruska from Texas

Someone had a cocktail or 3 with his lunch.

Apr. 02 2014 01:27 PM
Paul from NJ

Rumsfeld was a criminal. I was deployed during Op Enduring Freedom and equipment was either missing or unavailable or substandard. He tried to win a war on the cheap.

Apr. 02 2014 01:26 PM
Tom P from NYC

This arrogant twit sounds loaded.

Apr. 02 2014 01:25 PM
Leah from Manhattan

I am terrified. Does this guy have a dial we could notch down? How could someone so obviously passionate (if not unhinged) be a good documentarian?

Apr. 02 2014 01:25 PM

Hateful, unpleasant and full of himself, Not even gracious toward the host. The kind of "know it all" bore to be avoided at cocktail parties. I may need to put on some music until he is finished.

Apr. 02 2014 01:24 PM

…he reminds me of that character Tim Robbins played on Spielberg's "War of the Worlds"...

Apr. 02 2014 01:24 PM
David Barg

Can we get the bike guy back on. Worst guest ever.

Apr. 02 2014 01:21 PM
Hal from NYC

There is no evidence that Donald Rumsfeld is not a pedophile.

Apr. 02 2014 01:19 PM
Juli from Skillman, NJ

What is this dude on?

Apr. 02 2014 01:15 PM
Jay F.

Yawn. Self important bore.

Apr. 02 2014 01:15 PM

Is something wrong with Errol Morris? He sounds appallingly slow and recalcitrant.

Apr. 02 2014 01:13 PM

What an insufferable hater...

Apr. 02 2014 01:12 PM
Nick from UWS

Is this guy even awake?

Apr. 02 2014 01:11 PM

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