"Annie and a Side of Fries" (YouTube). Just before she was a person with a TV show (
There's no sense of it being a stunt, or made to be cute. Jacobson just sits right inside Annie, who sits inside a room in which everything is represented by Jacobson's own drawings. (Annie draws, too, and Jacobson's divorced father lived, like Annie's, in a place called Chesterbrook; "Annie" is an offshoot of a pilot she wrote based there.) Detailed and funny and also dramatically satisfying to a degree its form wouldn't necessarily suggest, the series is a fine demonstration of how much may be accomplished in a short time and how rich a tapestry may be woven from small pieces, when every word and gesture is informed with a feeling for the real, and with love.
"Spies of Mississippi" (
The voices heard in the documentary remind us that while there is a New South, even in Mississippi, the old guard has not yet passed, and also that it was not only white people who sought to maintain the status quo -- commission informants included a few (a few, mind you) prominent black figures -- or cooperated with or worked for authorities, believing the situation to be permanently irredeemable. It is, additionally, a story of breaking this story: Records of the commission were declared sealed for 50 years, but were leaked in the late 1980s to an enterprising reporter; their opening led to some two dozen convictions, including that of Medgar Evers' killer, Byron De La Beckwith. No matter how many times you see it, this stuff is eye-opening. (It's
And it is easy to find them sympathetic, Butch and
They were famous, even if they were hard to find. They made pots of money. They dressed up and had their picture taken. The film presents the usual mix of historical ephemera and re-created scenes -- which, as they involve horses and locomotives steaming by night and big Western vistas, are nice to look at, and not too intrusive.