Wisconsin Death Trip (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip (film).jpg
DVD cover (2004)
Directed byJames Marsh
Produced byJames Marsh
Maureen A. Ryan
Screenplay byJames Marsh
Based onWisconsin Death Trip (book, 1973) by Michael Lesy
Narrated byIan Holm
Music byDJ Shadow
John Cale
CinematographyEigil Bryld
Edited byJinx Godfrey
Release date
  • September 5, 1999 (1999-09-05) (Telluride)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited States

Wisconsin Death Trip is a 1999 American black-and-white and color docudrama film written and directed by James Marsh, based on the 1973 book of the same name by Michael Lesy. Original music for the film was composed by DJ Shadow, with original piano music for the closing credits by John Cale.

The film dramatizes the photographs by Charles Van Schaick found in the early 1970s by Lesy, connected to a series of macabre incidents that took place in Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th century,[1] and, in part, the film was shot on location there.[2] Marsh makes use of silent black-and-white recreations with voice-over narration by Ian Holm[1] contrasted with contemporary color footage of the area. The film's visual style was intended to carry the content of the film; as Marsh said:

I wanted to convey in the film the real pathos contained in a four line newspaper report that simultaneously records and dismisses the end of someone's life.[3]

Wisconsin Death Trip was presented on the BBC documentary series Arena in 2000.[4]


Awards and honors[edit]

Wisconsin Death Trip was nominated for two BAFTA Awards in 1999, and won the TV Award for Best Photography (Factual) for Eigil Bryld. The film also was nominated for a number of film festival awards.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Synopsis" on Allmovie.com
  2. ^ "Filming Locations" on IMDB.com
  3. ^ "About" on the film's website
  4. ^ "Arena -Episodes by date" on Arena series website
  5. ^ "Awards" on IMDB.com

External links[edit]