Tuesday, February 6
Directed by Robert Drew, Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, and Albert & David Maysles
(1960) Wisconsin, 1960. In a single extended take, Albert Maysles’ camera follows John F. Kennedy into a building, down a corridor, up some stairs and out onto a stage before a cheering audience. American politics had never been shown like this before this granddaddy of the entire genre, with memorable sequences including Kennedy handing out leaflets to indifferent commuters on a chilly morning, and an exhausted Humphrey conking out in his car to the rhythm of the windshield wipers. DCP. Approx. 53 min.
Plus Faces of November (1964, Drew): JFK’s funeral in the faces of his mourners. DCP. Approx. 12 min.
“THE LANDMARK WORK OF THE DREW CANON. Provided viewers with unprecedentedly candid access to John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey as they vied for the Democratic nomination for president that year.”
– Melissa Anderson, 4Columns
“With this classic...cinema verité came into its own”
– Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“THE KEY MODERN AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY… If Kennedy’s election was the first political earthquake of the sixties, the filming of his campaign by Drew and Leacock was its cinematic counterpart, a homegrown documentary correlate to the French New Wave, which, for its part, gained impetus from France’s own version of cinéma vérité, launched by Jean Rouch.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“Primary had as immense and measurable an impact on nonfiction filmmaking as The Birth of a Nation had on fiction filmmaking. Drew is the D.W. Griffith of documentaries–the guy who figured out how to show a story rather than tell it.”
– Matt Zoller Seitz