Independent Lens 1999 | TV Show Watchlist

Season 5, Episode 8 Loaded Gun: Life and Death and Dickinson

First Aired: December 16, 2003

“Loaded Gun: Life, Death and Dickinson,” writer-director Jim Walpaw's idiosyncratic search for the essence of cryptic poet Emily Dickinson (1830-86), whose sometimes morbid work “still seems ahead of its time.” The reclusive Dickinson is not an easy subject for a standard documentary. “Nothing,” Wolpaw sighs, “was giving me a real sense of who this woman was.” So in addition to interviewing experts and filming “arty” establishing shots, he also got actresses to improvise as Dickinson. The results are hit or miss. Says one: “I consider death to be an orgasmic moment.”

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  • Premiered: August 9, 1999
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • User Rating:3.87 out of 5 (23 ratings)
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  • Premise: Independent filmmakers are spotlighted in this anthology, which concentrates on documentaries, but occasionally features artist profiles and offbeat fictional films. (more)

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