Godard was invited to a series or open interviews to discuss his films as a parallel activity during his visit to North America to film together with documentary fillmmakers Leacock and Pennebaker (1 AM, which was later 1 PM). Two American Audiences documents one of these conversations in the University of New York, in April of 1968, in which the discussion about film seems to systematically flee to those common territories of the late 1960s (Martin Luther King was murdered that same day) which here are enlightened by the clarity of a filmmaker who could always see a little bit further. –BAFICI
American filmmaker/cinematographer Richard Leacock (1921-2011) made a major contribution to the development of the American version of “cinema verite” called “Direct Cinema.” As enacted by Leacock and Robert Drew, Direct Cinema attempted to utilize the camera only as a means to objectively record events as they happened without subjecting it to pre-planned direction or much care for the resulting technical quality of the finished product. What was important was to capture the now, just as it happened without the interference of the director and the crew. Typically, Leacock and the others involved in the movie travelled to events with minimal equipment and carried hand-held cameras.
The younger brother of feature filmmaker Philip Leacock, Richard began making his first films at age 14 while living in Britain (he was born a British citizen in the Canary Islands). Three years later he moved to the States, earned a physics degree at Harvard and participated in WW II as a combat cameraman… read more
One of the founding fathers of “direct cinema”, American filmmaker’s adopted name of choice for “cinema verite”, and perhaps its best known practitioner during the 1960s and early 70s, Pennebaker helped construct a style of storytelling and an attitude toward his subjects (often political figures or entertainers) that influenced a generation of nonfiction filmmakers. He is a proponent of a cinema which favors the filming reality in as unobtrusive a manner as possible, usually without narration.
This former engineer, advertising copywriter and painter began making films in the early 50s after falling under the influence of experimental filmmaker Francis Thompson. Pennebaker’s first film, “Daybreak Express” (1953), combined his documentary and experimental impulses in a five-minute portrait of the soon-to-be-demolished Third Avenue elevated subway in NYC set to Duke Ellington’s music. Pennebaker later established himself as a member of Drew Associates, which included major documentarians… read more