Wisconsin Union logo

Mr. Death

Thursday, September 23, 7:00pm
WUD Film Screening, Play Circle Theater

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control

Thursday, October 7, 7:00pm
WUD Film Screening, Play Circle Theater

Elusive Truths: Filmmaking & Politics
a lecture by Errol Morris

Thursday, October 21, 7:30pm
WUD Distinguished Lecture, Wisconsin Union Theater

Cinematheque logo

The Fog of War

Saturday, September 4, 7:00pm
Film Screening, 4070 Vilas Hall

Gates of Heaven

Saturday, September 25, 7:00pm
Film Screening, 4070 Vilas Hall

Vernon, Florida

Saturday, October 2, 7:00pm
Film Screening, 4070 Vilas Hall

A Brief History of Time

Saturday, October 9, 7:00pm
Film Screening, 4070 Vilas Hall

The Thin Blue Line

Saturday, October 16, 7:00pm
Film Screening, 4070 Vilas Hall

Errol Morris on Wisconsin Reflections

Thursday, October 21, 10:30am
TV show taping, Wisconsin Public Television Studios
2nd Floor, Vilas Hall

Errol Morris and the Anosognosic's Guide to Documentary Film
a lecture by Carl Plantinga

Thursday, October 21, 4:00–5:30pm
Lecture, 4070 Vilas Hall

Errol Morris and the Art of Documentary

Friday, October 22, 1:30–3:00pm
Round table discussion with Errol Morris
4070 Vilas Hall

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art logo

Ads by Morris

September 18–December 19
Installation, MMoCA New Media Gallery

Standard Operating Procedure

Friday, October 1, 7:00pm
Film Screening, MMoCA Lecture Hall

The Fog of War (encore)

Friday, October 15, 7:00pm
Film Screening, MMoCA Lecture Hall


Friday, October 22, 4:00pm
Film Screening, MMoCA Lecture Hall
Presented by Errol Morris















Truth is not relative. It's not subjective. It may be elusive or hidden. People may wish to disregard it. But there is such a thing as truth and the pursuit of truth.

— Errol Morris

A Year of the Arts Marquee Event, "Elusive Truths: The Cinema of Errol Morris" celebrates the work and ideas of this great American documentary filmmaker — and alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's History Department — with a complete retrospective of his documentary films and a sampling of his TV productions, culminating in two lectures by Mr. Morris himself. It is co-hosted by 3 Madison venues:

Wisconsin Memorial Union
800 Langdon St.

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
227 State St.

UW Cinematheque
4070 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave.


After twenty years of reviewing films, I haven't found another filmmaker who intrigues me more…Errol Morris is like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini.

— Roger Ebert

Since his filmmaking debut in 1978, Morris has directed eight documentary features, and is currently working on a ninth, Tabloid, which he describes as his first film about love since Gates of Heaven. His films have won many awards, including:

His documentaries have repeatedly appeared on many ten best lists and have been honored by the National Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review.

Morris has also directed over 1000 television commercials (a mere sampling of which will be featured in our retrospective), including campaigns for:

  • Apple
  • Citibank
  • Cisco Systems
  • Intel
  • American Express
  • Nike
  • Target
  • General Motors
  • Levis
  • Miller High Life

Morris also directed short films for the 2002 and 2007 Academy Awards, as well as for charitable and political organizations such as Stand Up to Cancer and Moveon.org. In 2000–2001, Morris directed two seasons of the acclaimed television series, First Person.

Morris is a regular contributor to The New York Times website, writing on issues in photography. His blog, which has been described by Ron Rosenbaum as an "entirely new, post-post-modern literary form" was the winner of a 2007 Cliopatria award from the American Historian Association. A book of Morris' collected essays, The Cow is Thinking Nothing: Reflections on Photography, Perception and Reality, will be published by Penguin in 2011.

Morris has received five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2007, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (History, '69) and was a graduate student at Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley.

He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Julia Sheehan, an art historian and their two French Bulldogs, Boris and Ivan.


"Elusive Truths" is a Year of the Arts Program presented through the auspices of the UW Arts Institute.

Co-hosted by:

Co-sponsored by:

Special thanks to:

  • Natasha Nicholson and Tom Garver
  • John Tortorice (Mosse Program, Goldberg Center, and History)
  • Vance Kepley, Joel Ninmann, Mike King, and Cassie Wentlandt (Comm Arts)
  • Eric Greiling (UW Foundation)
  • Norma Saldivar and Ken Chraca (Arts Institute)
  • Steve Stern (Office of the Vice Provost)
  • Sara Guyer (Center for the Humanities)
  • Ken Frazier (General LIbrary System)
  • Alex Wolf, Will Hoffman, and Tom Yoshikami (WUD Film Committee)
  • Tom Black (Distinguished Lecture Series)
  • Sheri Castelnuovo and Jane Simon (MMoCA)
  • Heather Heckman, Evan Davis, and Lea Jacobs (UW Cinematheque)
  • Especially Errol Morris and Ann Petrone