Saturday, May 18, 2024

Happy 90th Birthday, Oscar Winner DA Pennebaker, Father of Cinema Verite


DA Pennebaker (Donn Alan) turns 90 years young today. He’s the survivor member of the gang that created cinema verite– Richard Leacock, Al Maysles, Bob Drew were his accomplices. Penny– as he is known– took a home a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award two years ago in the Documentary category. His landmark films include “Don’t Look Back” and “Monterey Pop,” several important political docs including “Primary.” With his filmmaker wife Chris Hegedus and producer son Frazer Pennebaker, Penny’s other achievements include the Oscar nominated “The War Room,” as well as a film I made with them in 2002 called “Only the Strong Survive.” Penny’s fans include Michael Moore, Richard Linklater, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and so on. He’s been a great friend and mentor to me, a guiding light for so many, and we thank him and celebrate him today!

Daybreak Express (1953):

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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