April 27th, 2016
@ Squeaky Wheel
$7 General / Free for Squeaky Wheel members
The Kaleidotropes selection for April is a classic of 60s underground cinema and a groundbreaking deadpan spoof of pretentious cinema verité documentaries and direct cinema. David Holzman’s Diary, directed by Jim McBride, is of its time but more importantly ahead of it, predicting our current society dominated by mass media and self-obsession, ripe for rediscovery in the age of Facebook and YouTube.This screening will also showcase McBride’s follow-up, My Girlfriend’s Wedding, an actual documentary and piece of personal filmmaking.
David Holzman’s Diary
74 minutes, digital, US, 1967
My Girlfriend’s Wedding
62 minutes, digital, US, 1969
“David Holzman’s Diary is one of the most influential films of the 1960s, an ‘ingenious puzzle movie’ (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader) that charts the self-destruction of a media-saturated youth.
As news from the Vietnam War and social unrest blares over the radio, David Holzman (L.M. Kit Carson) unloads comic-neurotic monologues to his 16mm camera. When his relationship with Penny (Eileen Dietz) goes south, he retreats further into moving images, secretly recording his pretty neighbor and even turning his lens to the TV shows he watches. No longer able to deal with life outside celluloid, all of his ties to the real world begin to erode.
The ‘totally delightful satire’ (NY Times) of a narcissistic artist is also a well-crafted fiction about the deceptions of cinematic illusionism. Early on, Holzman quotes Jean-Luc Godard’s famous dictum that ‘the cinema is truth 24 frames-per-second.’ As director Jim McBride teaches and Holzman soon learns, it lies just as often.” – Kino Lober
“David Holzman’s Diary is in fact a great work of synthesis summarizing the very notions of the film director as subject (and therefore as superstar) and the camera as tool of self-scrutiny that the 60s film explosion inspired. And its ambiguities about the various crossovers between documentary and fiction remain as up to date as the films of Kiarostami.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum
“Jim McBride followed his wildly inventive debut, David Holzman’s Diary, with this thought-provoking documentary about his then-girlfriend, Clarissa Ainley, and her ‘marriage of convenience’ to another man. ‘In many respects,’ states critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, My Girlfriend’s Wedding is ‘the best ‘critique’ of David Holzman’s Diary that I know.’ When Rosebaum interviewed the director for Positif in the 1970s, McBride noted that he was ‘fond of referring to it as a fiction film, because it was very much my personal idea of what Clarissa was like and not at all an objective or truthful view.'”- Fandor
Kaleidotropes is a series of strange and unearthly delights that is brought to you by Jake Mikler of Little Red Booking and Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Arts Center.