Doc Talk | Peter Keough

Death-defying acts and deadly thoughts

newport film
Surfing and dirt-bike jumping are two of the sports featured in “The Search for Freedom.”

Dinner and a movie? How about a yacht race and a movie, and maybe dinner and a tour of America’s biggest coastal fortification as well? As the seven teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 make their stopover at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., en route to completing their 38,739-nautical-mile course, newportFILM will put on its first outdoor screening at the nearby Racing Village on Monday.

Fittingly, it will be showing the world premiere of Jon Long’s “The Search for Freedom,” a documentary about “the action sports movement” which includes impressive footage of top athletes surfing, skateboarding, mountain climbing, ski-jumping, and engaging in all those other death-defying activities that cinephiles wisely experience only vicariously on the big screen.

In addition to the movie you can also indulge in the many food and drink pavilions available in the Racing Village, which might lead to participating in that great American pastime, “The Search for the Free Porta-Potty.”


The film screens at sundown (approximately 8:15 p.m.) at 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport, R.I.

For more information go to www

The shadow knows

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The late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick might not have gotten all the details right, but he did foresee the general direction of a lot of trends to come. In his 1956 story “The Minority Report” (made into a film by Steven Spielberg in 2002) he posited a future in which potential criminals could be detected and incarcerated before their crimes were committed. Thanks to the resources of the Internet, that future might be now. So suggests Erin Lee Carr in his documentary “Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop.”

As the title suggests, the method of detecting the uncommitted crime is not even the strangest part of the story. Busted by his wife after she noted his strange online activities, ex-NYPD police officer Gilberto Valle was prosecuted for and convicted of conspiracy to kidnap and eat women in March 2013. Valle insisted it was all just a fantasy, but based on evidence that consisted mostly of postings on such sites as “,” a jury found him guilty. Nearly 20 months later a judge overruled the conviction.

As T. S. Eliot wrote, “Between the idea / And the reality . . . Falls the Shadow.” And these days, it’s digital.

“Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop” can be seen on HBO Monday night at 9.

For more information go to www

Peeter Keough can be reached at