XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => The Small Screen => Topic started by: Weak2ndAct on August 29, 2005, 02:42:21 PM

Title: The Staircase
Post by: Weak2ndAct on August 29, 2005, 02:42:21 PM

Did anyone catch this documenatry series on Sundance?  If not, it's out on dvd this Tuesday, and I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.  

The jist: In Durham, NC, novelist Michael Peterson is accused of murdering his wife by beating her to death.  He says she fell down the stairs.  The case goes to trial and everything goes bananas.  Skeletons (figurative and literal!) dragged out of the closet, family strife, media mayhem-- and all caught first hand by the film crew, who was given total access to the family and the trial (though not so much by the prosecution, as time went on, they became less cooperative).  

This is no talking head/recreation crime show like 48 Hours or some crap.  You're hanging out, observing everything as it goes down, a totally compelling look at how the legal system works, and how it affects everyone involved.  It really is the ultimate reality show, only, you know, something important is at stake.

I will not dare say the result of the trial, or give any spoilers.  If you've never heard of this case, I guarantee you'll be totally absorbed for the 6+ hours (I know that sounds long, but they could have done more).  GO SEE IT NOW.

P.S. Definitely going to have to watch the director's previous work, the Oscar-winning doc 'Murder on a Sunday Mornining.'
Title: Re: The Staircase
Post by: PopsUp on March 13, 2006, 03:08:35 AM
well I'm glad to see it mentioned here. it is an amazing movie. it is by far the best legal movie ever in my opinion (the rainmaker, a civil action and murder on a sunday morning coming after) and it has some amazing human segments, the whole family issue is very well treated (the dinner scene where he talks about his brother moved me to tears).

there's a few elements that drag on too long in the 3rd or 4th episode but overall it was one of the best movie i saw last year.

I'm not sure it's appropriate to talk about the case here, but there's plenty to say, he he.
Title: Re: The Staircase
Post by: Pubrick on March 13, 2006, 08:14:50 AM
I'm not sure it's appropriate to talk about the case here, but there's plenty to say, he he.
don't do anything until you've introduced yourself.. (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=2.525)
Title: Re: The Staircase
Post by: wilberfan on June 12, 2018, 01:43:28 AM
Interesting this series is back with, as I understand it, new episodes to update the story.  Watched it during it's original run, and am presently 3 episodes into a re-watch.  Recommended.
Title: Re: The Staircase
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 18, 2019, 12:58:29 PM
Started watching this on Netflix and had to start skimming. This is one of those true crime docs where the filmmakers are embedded with the defense team, sort of like Making a Murderer. The access is remarkable, but you end up feeling the production is severely biased. Really illuminates a central problem with the genre.

It was screamingly obvious to me from the very beginning that this gentleman was exceedingly guilty. It can be humorous to watch the defense lawyers and experts try to stretch for alternative explanations, though.

"The owl theory" is unfortunately not in the doc, but it's one of the funniest true crime things I've encountered.