AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER
***/**** Image B Sound B
directed by Nick Broomfield & Joan Churchill
**/**** Image A Sound A Extras C+
starring Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen
written and directed by Patty Jenkins
by Bill Chambers If the documentary's renaissance needed further confirmation, it's either the propagation of sequels to non-fiction films (nothing nestles a genre into the mainstream like second chapters), or the commercial synergy that has so flagrantly asserted itself in the marketing of Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill's Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer--a quasi-continuation, as it happens, of Broomfield's own 1992 Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer. Of course, it was one thing for Lantern Lane Entertainment to time the theatrical release of Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (henceforth Aileen 2) so that it surfed the ripples of hype generated by the splash-landing of Newmarket's Monster, and it's another thing for Sony, their common home video distributor, to unleash the two films on DVD simultaneously. But for NY MAGAZINE to print "Aileen Wuornos, the subject of Charlize Theron's Monster, distills absolutely terrifying interviews with the late serial killer," and for Columbia TriStar to then splatter that quote on the back of the Aileen 2 disc, signifies a blurring of divides more critical than ever in this age of reality-TV. Neither Theron nor Wuornos deserves to become inextricably associated with the other's (mis)deeds over a marketing crutch; Monster probably should've been called Aileen Wuornos for Dummies, but it wasn't, and that's the point.