D.A. Pennebaker

D.A. Pennebaker – Don’t Look Back [+commentary] (1967)

Portrait of the artist as a young man. In spring, 1965, Bob Dylan, 23, a pixyish troubador, spends three weeks in England. Pennebaker’s camera follows him from airport to hall, from hotel room to public house, from conversation to concert. Joan Baez and Donovan, among others, are on hand. It’s the period when Dylan is shifting from acoustic to electric, a transition that not all fans, including Baez, applaud. From the opening sequence of Dylan holding up words to the soundtrack’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Dylan is playful and enigmatic. Read More »

D.A. Pennebaker – Dont Look Back (1967)


Documentary covering Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan. (IMDb) Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard & D.A. Pennebaker – One P.M. (1972)


From Time Out Film Guide:
In 1968, Godard began work on a film in America (One AM or One American Movie) dealing with aspects of resistance and revolution. Dissatisfied with what he had shot, he abandoned the project. Pennebaker here assembles the Godard footage, together with his own coverage of Godard at work (One PM standing for either One Parallel Movie or One Pennebaker Movie). Although it may be dubious to show stuff that Godard had rejected, the film does manage to convey how he got his results. You can draw your own conclusions about his approach and why he abandoned the film. Read More »

D.A. Pennebaker – The Complete Monterey Pop festival (1968)


Tom Wiener wrote:
Any record of popular culture of the 1960s would be incomplete without at least a mention of Monterey Pop. Monterey Pop offers the rock version of two equally invaluable documentaries, Jazz on a Summer’s Day and Festival, which respectively chronicled the jazz and folk festivals held every summer for many years in Newport, RI. Those films offered more coverage of their respective festivals’ audience members, suggesting the almost tribal nature of outdoor music gatherings. Monterey Pop lets the music do the talking for a generation of increasingly disaffected young people. The festival provided coming-out parties for a number of influential performers: Jimi Hendrix, leaving audiences members slack-jawed after he sets fire to his guitar; Janis Joplin, having the same effect on fellow singer Cass Elliot; The Who, trying to one-up Hendrix by destroying a guitar and a drum kit; Otis Redding, an established star with the black community reaching out to what he calls “the love crowd” of white hippies; and Ravi Shankar, the Indian musician little-known to American audiences bringing down the house with a final-day display of furious virtuosity (Shankar almost left Monterey after seeing what Hendrix and The Who’s Pete Townsend did to their instruments). Although Woodstock ultimately surpassed Monterey Pop for capturing a better sense of the entire experience of an outdoor music festival, Monterey’s historical status is unassailable. Read More »