Richard Leacock’s Lesson and Legacy

“Screw the tripod. Screw the dollies. Screw all the stuff.”

Richard Leacock, who died yesterday, speaks on the freedom of Direct Cinema in the following video, which also features Robert Drew:

Read the documentary legend’s obituary and some reactions to his death in Eric Kohn’s indieWIRE piece (which I contributed to).

Read more of this post

Advertisements

Review: “Norman Mailer: The American”

Last night I attended a special screening of Joseph Mantegna’s Norman Mailer: The American, part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s bi-monthly Independents Night series, which presents NYC premieres of new American documentaries. And my main take-away with the experience was: what an antithesis of the audience for a Justin Bieber documentary!

Yes, leave it to me to compare Justin Bieber: Never Say Never with Norman Mailer: The American, but the latter is the first doc I’ve seen theatrically since the former and I just couldn’t help thinking about them together. For instance, Never Say Never is about a kid who hasn’t really lived much yet and his biographical concert film is more broadly about the zeitgeist of the last couple years. Meanwhile, the Mailer film is about a man who lived a very long and very full life, and his bio ends up more broadly being about the zeitgeist of a great many years. In a way, at least for now, Bieber represents the 21st century as much as Mailer represents the 20th.

Read more of this post