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TCM Diary: Monterey Pop

TCM Diary: Monterey Pop 6

TCM Diary: Monterey Pop 7

Jimi Hendrix in Monterey Pop (D.A. Pennebaker, 1968)

Donn Alan (D.A.) Pennebaker, documentary filmmaking legend and co-pioneer of the direct cinema movement, died in August 2019 at age 94, having blessed posterity with chronicles of crucial fleeting moments in the performing arts, politics, and beyond—unflashy, minimally editorializing, but shrewdly planned and artfully assembled. Intending his camera to be “the least important thing in the room,” Pennebaker made films that have a thrilling immediacy, aided by brisk editing, often by frequent partner Chris Hegedus. Whether the subject is Chuck Berry or Jimmy Carter, George Stephanopoulos or Elaine Stritch, the films provide a sense of what it’s like to exist as that person at that time.

After serving in the Navy and going to MIT and Yale with an eye toward becoming an engineer (he founded the company that made the first computerized airline…


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