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Inducted in 1991 to the National Film Registry.

Jim McBride's brilliant cinéma vérité-esque independent film follows the titular character (charmingly portrayed by L.M. Kit Carson) as he documents his life. As news from the Vietnam War and social unrest blares over the radio, Holzman 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. DAVID HOLZMAN'S DIARY is one of the most influential films of the 1960s and (according to the New York Times) "a totally delightful satire" that "mocks those ghastly reels from the nineteen-sixties, when various filmmakers immortalized themselves or their friends by trying and failing to be spontaneous." Inducted in 1991 to the National Film Registry, the film was recently restored by the Pacific Film Archive.

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Reviews

(see the best reviews)

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Staff
STAFF
Created about 3 years ago.

There are many firsts in the world and this film is one of them. It is rough, as intended, and wonderful. A 'true' glimpse of Mr Holzman's psyche.

Created about 3 years ago.

Engrossing and fascinating film exploring the elusiveness of truth and the endless fecundity of self-observation and performance. One of my all-time favorites now for sure.

Created about 2 years ago.

Innovative film making, very experimental concept, stunning acting, the kind of film I like to suggest to students of avant garde arts. The uniqueness of the different sections juxtaposed stretches the mind.

Created 12 months ago.

Fantastic. Took me a little while to get into it, then I was hooked!

Created about 1 year ago.

ahead of it's time and has aged well

Top-reviewer
TOP REVIEWER
Created over 1 year ago.

Part mockumentary (before the term was invented) part pseudo existentialist tale of the mental breakdown of an egotistical loser and voyeur. Too well-mannered for its own good, yet, fascinating examination of the growing paranoia of the times. Kit Carson is excellent in the lead role.

Staff
STAFF
Created almost 2 years ago.

"David Holzman's Diary" is a string of welcome surprises: not only is it the insiderish, self-referential commentary on filmmaking that the first-time viewer expects, it's also a compelling drama with a craftily written ending; a now-nostalgic view of late-sixties New York; and, especially, a beautifully made piece of black-and-white film, with one artfully composed shot after another. Enjoyable in many ways, and deserving of its reputation.

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