D.A. Pennebaker by Keith Beattie

By Keith Beattie


This quantity is the 1st book-length examine of the vast occupation and prolific works of D.A. Pennebaker, one of many pioneers of direct cinema, a documentary shape that emphasizes commentary and a simple portrayal of occasions. With a occupation spanning many years, Pennebaker's many initiatives have integrated avant-garde experiments (Daybreak Express), ground-breaking tv documentaries (Primary), superstar movies (Dont glance Back), live performance movies (Monterey Pop), and leading edge fusions of documentary and fiction (Maidstone).
Exploring the idea that of "performing the real," Keith Beattie translates Pennebaker's motion pictures as performances within which the act of filming is in itself a performative transgression of the norms of simply observational documentary. He examines the ways that Pennebaker's presentation of unscripted daily performances is knowledgeable by means of connections among documentary filmmaking and different experimental hobbies corresponding to the recent American Cinema. via his collaborations with such quite a few artists as Richard Leacock, Shirley Clarke, Norman Mailer, and Jean-Luc Godard, Pennebaker has continuously transformed and redefined the sorts of documentary filmmaking. This booklet additionally features a contemporary interview with the director and an entire filmography.

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Barry Feinstein, filming with a “bug eye” lens, roamed through the crowd, and Pennebaker was responsible for onstage filming. Like Jazz on a Summer’s Day, audience reaction shots constitute a central component of the stylistic strategies of Monterey Pop. Indeed, at the beginning of the film, an audience member contextualizes and “interprets” the forthcoming event. The segment, which was filmed by Albert Maysles on roaming assignment throughout the festival ground prior to the first concert performances, is, in effect, a sly interview.

Had to obtain a release of the film from ABC and to repay ABC a sizeable sum that the network had invested in underwriting the film. Further, the process of self-distribution was a difficult task. , lacked “access to theaters, we don’t have the sales, we don’t have the muscle that a big major has, we can’t put out a half a million dollars in advertising” (qtd. in Rosenthal 197–98). Despite the difficulties it faced, Monterey Pop opened in December 1968 at New York’s Lincoln Center, and thereafter, following the method of exhibition of Endless Summer, it was four-walled at the Kips Bay Theater in New York (the site for the premiere of Endless Summer), among other venues.

A second eight-track stereo recorder was linked to a microphone facing the audience to record audience sound, including applause. While intended to be broadcast on television, Monterey Pop was recorded in stereo, an advance on television’s then standard of monophonic sound. Respected sound engineer Wally Heider oversaw the recordings on what was the most advanced equipment available at the time. Despite the state-of-the-art recordings, the limitations of the sound systems in the theaters in which Monterey Pop was to be screened demanded that the sound of the theatrically released version of the film was mixed in a relatively primitive two-track stereo edit with low sonic adornment.

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