Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ESPN 30 for 30 - June 17, 1994

Sharon, Jack and I watched June 17, 1994. This is the fifteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 film series.

The film looks at the events of surrounding O.J. Simpson leading America on a slow speed chase in a white Ford Bronco across Los Angeles. On June 17, 1994, Arnold Palmer played his last round at the U.S. Open in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. The FIFA World Cup kicked off in Chicago. The Rangers celebrated winning the Stanley Cup with a ticker tape parade on Broadway. Patrick Ewing and the Knicks faced Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets in a critical game 5 of the NBA finals at Madison Square Garden with the series tied 2 to 2. Yet all of these events were sideshows to the press conferences in L.A., the search for O.J. and the resulting slow speed chase.

The documentary is done in a very unique way. Unlike the other 30 for 30 films, it includes no narration or interviews. It relies soley on actual footage from the day strung together as if you were watching the events unfold. The film includes two other unique aspects. First, it overlays recordings of the 911 calls with Al Cowlings and O.J. on to scenes of the Bronco; I do not believe that I have heard these recordings before. Second, it includes outtakes of Costa and Brokaw trying to figure out how to cover the story before they go on camera.

I highly recommend this film. It is one of my top five favorites of the series so far! My other favorites include: The 16th Man; Winning Time: Reggie Miller versus the New York Knicks; and The 'U'.

Bill Simmons did a podcast with the Director Brett Morgan that is a nice supplement to the film.

The film is available on Amazon.

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