Re: [Frameworks] experimental documentary

From: Jeff Kreines (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jul 18 2010 - 03:25:20 PDT

Matt Helme writes:

"Don't Look Back" by Pennebaker probably qualifies because it represented a
new and groundbreaking way to make a film at the time."

Dont Look Back (no apostrophe) is probably Penny's best film, but I wouldn't
really call it experimental, though it was one of the first cinema-verite
films to get a theatrical release. There are earlier films of his that are
probably more experimental, if you want to use that term -- his films
"Elizabeth and Mary" and "You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You" come to

Since Fred Camper mentions Brakhage's Pittsburgh films, a good double bill
might be one of those and one of John Marshall's Pittsburgh films -- either
Three Domestics or Vagrant Woman. John Marshall really should be considered
the maker of Titicut Follies, as it was Wiseman's first film and Marshall
shot it -- though Fred W is certainly responsible for the editing (a peeve
of Marshall's). Since Titicut Follies is now widely available, go with
something that's hard to see but memorable. They are available from DER.

William Klein's great film about Muhammed Ali (The Greatest) is amazing
(skip the color section at the end that was tacked on) and beautiful -- a
picture of a lost America. On DVD, easily gotten.

And to be immodest, my partner Joel DeMott's Demon Lover Diary is a
pioneering cinema-verite/diary film that influenced many, but it's not easy
to get.

I really dislike the term documentary unless used historically -- it has
become meaningless in our world of reality TV. (My lord, the last episode
of The Hills steals from Godard and Medium Cool and is a reprehensible piece
of shit. But I digress.)

Jeff Kreines

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