D.A. Pennebaker by Keith Beattie

By Keith Beattie

 

This quantity is the 1st book-length examine of the broad profession and prolific works of D.A. Pennebaker, one of many pioneers of direct cinema, a documentary shape that emphasizes commentary and an easy portrayal of occasions. With a profession spanning many years, Pennebaker's many tasks have incorporated avant-garde experiments (Daybreak Express), ground-breaking tv documentaries (Primary), star motion pictures (Dont glance Back), live performance motion pictures (Monterey Pop), and leading edge fusions of documentary and fiction (Maidstone).
 
Exploring the idea that of "performing the real," Keith Beattie translates Pennebaker's movies as performances within which the act of filming is in itself a performative transgression of the norms of in basic terms observational documentary. He examines the ways that Pennebaker's presentation of unscripted daily performances is trained through connections among documentary filmmaking and different experimental pursuits akin to the hot American Cinema. via his collaborations with such a variety of artists as Richard Leacock, Shirley Clarke, Norman Mailer, and Jean-Luc Godard, Pennebaker has always transformed and redefined the varieties of documentary filmmaking. This booklet additionally features a contemporary interview with the director and a whole filmography.

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By Keith Beattie

 

This quantity is the 1st book-length examine of the broad profession and prolific works of D.A. Pennebaker, one of many pioneers of direct cinema, a documentary shape that emphasizes commentary and an easy portrayal of occasions. With a profession spanning many years, Pennebaker's many tasks have incorporated avant-garde experiments (Daybreak Express), ground-breaking tv documentaries (Primary), star motion pictures (Dont glance Back), live performance motion pictures (Monterey Pop), and leading edge fusions of documentary and fiction (Maidstone).
 
Exploring the idea that of "performing the real," Keith Beattie translates Pennebaker's movies as performances within which the act of filming is in itself a performative transgression of the norms of in basic terms observational documentary. He examines the ways that Pennebaker's presentation of unscripted daily performances is trained through connections among documentary filmmaking and different experimental pursuits akin to the hot American Cinema. via his collaborations with such a variety of artists as Richard Leacock, Shirley Clarke, Norman Mailer, and Jean-Luc Godard, Pennebaker has always transformed and redefined the varieties of documentary filmmaking. This booklet additionally features a contemporary interview with the director and a whole filmography.

Show description

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Mamber finds “drama” to be an essential component of the lengthy scene. Indeed, Berry’s performance is “dramatic,” though in opposition to Mamber, it is rendered as such through Pennebaker’s close camerawork, which captures the facial expressions and bodily movements of a polished professional entertainer. The “mosaic” structure of Monterey Pop that Mamber disparages contributes to the generation of excitement as an evocation of the mood of the event. Presenting a series of relatively short scenes suggests movement, a theme reinforced in Monterey Pop in multiple shots of audience members restlessly walking about the fairground in preparation for a performance.

Otis Redding backlit on stage in Monterey Pop (1968). Ansara’s example stresses the place of the body in performance within affective and visceral representations. ” Williams writes of pornography, horror, and melodrama as genres that evoke “ecstatic excesses—. . a quality of uncontrollable convulsion or spasm—of the body ‘beside itself’ with sexual pleasure, fear and terror, or overpowering sadness” (5). Such genres not only “sensationally display bodies on the screen,” they share a spectatorial effect that is manifest as “an apparent lack of proper aesthetic distance, a sense of over-involvement in sensation and emotion” (4).

The pleasure that accrues to the insalubrious concert film and rockumentary leads to a reconsideration of the place of these forms within or against the documentary tradition. The concert film, which has very little public service sobriety about it, might more appropriately be considered a distinct genre or at least a hybrid form in which a documentary observational focus on performance evokes expressive moments of abandonment and joy. A. Pennebaker 7/14/11 10:38 AM Informed by this perspective, Pennebaker’s concert films represent and reframe performance in particular ways.

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