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D.A. Pennebaker$
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Keith Beattie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036590

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036590.001.0001

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Performing the Real

Performing the Real

(p.1) Performing the Real
D.A. Pennebaker

Keith Beattie

University of Illinois Press

This chapter analyzes the film career of D. A. Pennebaker. Pennebaker's key word is “interesting.” In numerous interviews, he has referred to events, subjects, and topics that have a certain “attractive” quality, in the sense that they demand attention, as interesting. In this way, he has insisted that a filmmaker “must shoot only what interests you.” His diversity of interesting films encompasses hybrid forms in which components of “documentary” mix with heightened dramatic elements associated with fiction film. These films include Daybreak Express (1953–57), an avant-gardist look at New York City; Jane (1962), a study of the actress Jane Fonda; Depeche Mode 101 (1989), and Only the Strong Survive (2002).

Keywords:   D. A. Pennebaker, documentary filmmaking, filmmakers, direct cinema

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