A strikingly original crime documentary, The Thin Blue Line examines the 1976 incarceration of Randall Adams for the murder of Dallas policeman Robert W. Wood. For the most part, Morris refrains from the whimsy of his previous two features, alternating between a series of interviews and an extended reconstruction of the crime. With the interviews, he cements his distinctive 'talking heads' style, presenting all his subjects speaking directly to camera, not introducing or even naming any subjects until the closing credits, and completely eliding his own voice or face, with the exception of the concluding dictaphone conversation - and all these signatures result from his innovative use of the Interrotron, a variation on the teleprompter that allows the subject to look directly at him and the camera at the same time. On the other hand, the reconstructions of the crime are faceless, more imagistic than narrativised, and sufficiently textural - especially with the addition of Philip Glass' pulsing score - to satisfy something more than a mere evidentiary, procedural or documentary imperative. In fact, it's this textural attention that forms the common denominator between the two segments, creating a kind of cine-stenography that, paradoxically, finds a surplus sensuality in the very efficiency with which the crime is condensed and rehearsed - a sensuality which culminates with Morris' isolation and magnification of single, printed sentences, words and letters from documentation and newsprint, creating a kind of objectivist poetry, a cinematic adaptation of Reznikoff's Testimony. It's this heightened objectivism, rather than the subjectivism with which Morris is more conventionally taxed, that produces the indirectness and incompleteness of the reconstruction. Combined with Morris' taste for still images - reiterated by his tendency to photographically parse montage with brief, black screens - it also gestures towards the police procedural as a way of reviving a waning sense of the past, as repressed evidence becomes associated with antiquated media, or at least defamiliarizes contemporary media. It's this fascination with the texture of the past itself - the distributed sensuality of a drive-in theatre - that prevents the film turning into a cinematic protest song, and suggests that the film's impact upon Adams' subsequent release and exoneration was less a matter of any concrete evidence it provided - there's surprisingly little, for a film that's become such a canonical forensic object - as of its nostalgic injunction and invitation to recline upon the crime as a lush, flawed spectacle, or envisage it as a film that doesn't quite come together.