Sky Jinxes March With SoHo Doco

A six-part HBO documentary series that’s been compared to the podcast phenomenon Serial will screen from 8.30 Sunday on Sky’s SoHo channel.

“Expect long-form crime documentaries to be one of TV’s prevailing trends over the next few months as networks, cable mostly I’d assume, try to capitalise on the rabid following for Sarah Koenig’s This American Life spinoff Serial,” predicted Hitfix when HBO announced The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

The series is said to reveal long-buried information discovered during a seven-year investigation of a series of unsolved crimes dating back to 1982.

Director Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) made The Jinx after fictionalising the case in the 2010 movie,  All Good Things, and with the full co-operation of the chief suspect: Robert Durst, scion of New York’s billionaire Durst family.

The reclusive Durst exclusively spills secrets about the disappearance of his beautiful young wife, the murder of the key witness in the case, and the subsequent murder and dismemberment of a neighbour in Galveston, Texas.

But Entertainment Weekly warns The Jinx isn’t really a whodunit. “There’s a much better mystery here: What makes this guy tick?

“You might ask the same of Jarecki, who’s so invested in jerking his audience around about Durst’s guilt or innocence, it’s a bit sadistic itself.

“Though after collecting 10 years of evidence and nearly 25 hours of interviews, he’s earned the right to tease us a little.”

Concurred the Los Angeles Times: “It’s possible that, barring a confession, you will come to the end of The Jinx unsatisfied, wondering how it was you spent six unreclaimable hours in the company of a person you have decided is a creep.

“Either way, it’s fascinating as it gets there.”

But New York Magazine argued: “You never get the sense that the filmmaker is pushing beyond prurient interest to uncover a deeper truth, much less discovering something within the subject that makes him seem theoretically redeemable, or at least recognisably human.”

Later next month, SoHo will premiere another documentary, It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise (March 26, 9pm).

It’s an up-close-and-personal portrait of artist Hillary Knight, who illustrated the popular Eloise books about a precocious six-year-old who lives in New York’s Plaza Hotel.

One of the series’ young readers, Girls’ Lena Dunham, forged a friendship with Eloise and features in the doco she co-executive produced, along with family members, friends and writers who were inspired by Knight’s work and childlike personality.

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