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Jarecki on Robert Durst During HBO Preview: I Don’t Feel He’s Dangerous

A new documentary made for HBO about the life of controversial developer Robert Durst had its premiere in New York this past week. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst from filmmakers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling, who made the 2010 film “All Good Things, ” is expected to air sometime in February.

Smerling said after the screening, “It’s hard to talk to someone for a very long time who’s smart, somewhat charming, often deprecatingly funny and not have a real relationship with that person. It’s hard not to like him. He’s a charismatic character.”

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He continued, “Of course, he’s dangerous. He killed a man in Texas, chopped his body up and threw him away. That’s a dangerous thing to do.”

Jarecki said, “But when I’m with him, I don’t feel like I’m with a dangerous person. Does that mean I think he’s a good person? That’s a complicated question the audience will have to get to on their own.”

“There are some people who watch this and then immediately go Google everything, ” Jarecki said. “I don’t think you’re going to learn all that much by Googling it, and it tells you the story in sort of a confusing way because there are so many people that have lousy versions of the story and then the facts are wrong. The one thing that I can tell you is that the facts are right and methodically researched, so I would stay on this ride if you’re trying to understand the story and all that will come out.”

Jason Blum, the film’s executive producer, told The Hollywood Reporter, about Durst’s involvement in the production, “It’s an incredible story that people have been telling for 30 years, but the person they’ve been talking about has never told the story, so to see him try to tell a story that everyone else has tried to tell is the most incredible thing about it to me.”

The film has been funded by Durst and so the organization that bears his name is not happy with it; even though, no one there could have seen it yet. Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, called it “a self-indulgent work of fiction. Given that Robert is likely underwriting the film, it should rival the great works of propaganda.”

Durst currently lives in Texas and owns a townhouse in Harlem. In 2006, he got $65 million by settling a lawsuit against Douglas Durst over his share of the family fortune.



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