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What we know about ‘Unknown Known’

Fri., April 4, 2014, midnight

The title of Errol Morris’ documentary about former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, right, “The Unknown Known,” was inspired by his now-legendary 2002 statement. (Associated Press)
The title of Errol Morris’ documentary about former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, right, “The Unknown Known,” was inspired by his now-legendary 2002 statement. (Associated Press)

(Posted Monday) For weeks, it seems, movie fans were asking about Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” When, they wanted to know, was it coming to Spokane? And on Friday, it finally did.

Funny but I haven’t noticed anyone asking about Errol Morris’ “The Unknown Known.” Following the format of Morris’ 2003 Oscar-winning Documentary feature “The Fog of War,” his “The Unknown Known” is based on the 33 hours Morris spent interviewing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The title comes, of course, from Rumsfeld’s famous (or should that be infamous?) statement, made in response to a question during a 2002 news briefing: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.”

First screened in August 2003 at the Telluride Film Festival, “The Unknown Known” has been working the festival circuit and is only now slowly getting a mainstream release. Available through On Demand services this Friday, it’s scheduled to screen April 11 at the Magic Lantern.

Dan Webster

What was the question?

(Posted Wednesday) I was taught early on in my journalism career never to use a question lead: As in, “Are you an opera fan?”

The reason? Because anyone who is NOT an opera fan will answer with a curt no and move on. But that’s exactly why this lead is so effective for the post I want to write. Because if you are NOT an opera fan, then you’re not going to care that a Metropolitan Opera production of Puccini’s “La Boheme” will screen at 10 a.m. Saturday at Regal Cinemas’ NorthTown Mall.

Dan Webster


 

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