Notes on The Fog of War (see them bigger)
The filmmaker Errol Morris’s blog for the NyTimes has quickly become one of my favorite reads on the internet, so I Netflixed a bunch of his documentaries. I started with The Fog of War (Amazon), since the film’s subject, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, died a couple weeks ago. (There’s a good Fresh Air with interviews of McNamara and Morris.)
This was a lazy set of notes for me: I knew ahead of time that there were “Eleven Lessons” from McNamara’s life, so I just listed them as the movie went along, with a few other scribbles here and there.
The one thing notable about them is that I used the page on the right of the sketchbook for straightforward notes, and the page on the left for doodles. I was thinking of Lynda Barry — how she keeps a legal pad next to whatever she’s working on, so she can keep her brush moving when she gets stuck.
Of course, to me, the doodle page is much more interesting. The right side is straightforward information, the left side is free-associative, with me riffing off the information, processing it. In my better notes, I combine these two sides…