David Holzman's Diary | Chicago Reader

David Holzman's Diary

Jim McBride's ingenious puzzle movie presents itself as a cinema verite document—the attempt of a young filmmaker (L.M. Kit Carson) to put his life in order by recording it on celluloid (1967). The simulation is seamless (it's much more convincing than Woody Allen's Zelig), which produces some wonderful paradoxes—as when one of David's friends (Lorenzo Mans) criticizes the footage of his violent breakup with his girlfriend for looking like “a bad movie.” Where most independent productions are founded on self-righteous claims of truth and honesty, McBride's film wittily observes that Hollywood has no corner on illusionism. Even the black-and-white, hand-held cinema still lies 24 times a second.

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