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David Holzman's Diary (1967)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 719 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 31 critic

Young filmmaker decides to make a movie of his life.

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Title: David Holzman's Diary (1967)

David Holzman's Diary (1967) on IMDb 7/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
L.M. Kit Carson ...
David Holzman
...
Penny Wohl
Lorenzo Mans ...
Pepe
Louise Levine ...
Sandra
Fern McBride ...
Girl on the subway
Michel Lévine ...
Sandra's Boy Friend
Robert Lesser ...
Max, Penny's agent (as Bob Lesser)
Jack Baran ...
Cop
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Storyline

This fake documentary which appears quite real on the surface is about a young man making a movie about his everyday life and discovering something important about himself and his reality. This film is not a real documentary or is it? Written by Michael "Durrutti" Valenzuela <mvalenzu@ucsd.edu>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

29 January 1975 (France)  »

Also Known As:

David Holzman's Diary  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Camera Noise (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm a Man
Written by Jimmy Miller and Steve Winwood
Performed by The Spencer Davis Group
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User Reviews

Hold, man, this diary
17 February 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Kit Carson's face has a relevancy even today, cutting through the demographic piece of the cake: he reminds one of Jean Pierre Leaud which is arguably one of the motives casting him as David Holzman, and he also reminds one of us today Beck's face, and his maybe signature lyric "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me."

But David Holzman as his name says is a man holding - holding what? A camera for sure, the instrument that ultimately makes him fall apart; pursuing his credo stated right at the beginning and maybe, uneasily, hilariously put to the test for the rest of it, that is Jean-Luc Godard's phrase that the cinematic truth runs 24 times a frame. I liked the fact that he rises a bit his voice and somehow overacts his name with an American accent as if it was not far away from jeans, luck, God and art.

I admit I expected something closer to the "I do this, I do that" poetic compositions Frank O'Hara was doing a bit earlier the same period, for he too queered and mocked supposedly avant-guard procedures, or at least their seriousness. I thought David Holzman's self-indulgence slightly needed the more constant alertness he exemplified in scenes like the one in the park, with rows of old people on benches and a dubious voice-over international commentary - that broke away from the rather one-dimensional reaction poor Penny has and seems that she conceives her late boyfriend a simple stupid stalker.

For me the anthology scene is the one with David's friend who talks on camera theorizing about film, in front of a pop mural at his place - and when you think the way the tableau conveys it that you are about to have an illumination on Rosenquist and his tableaux and the American predicament or what, David's friend moves and goes back to the wall resting his head on the crotch on the figure behind. This is great sophisticated camp.

And for me it echoes finely when the end comes with an unexpected intuition on the other side of the pitch: in the end David Holzman says he would not have done it; the 24-times truth seems to him something close to Bartleby territory. "I would prefer not to". Not to do it he says, but this, exactly, seems to me a grim acceptance of the American predicament. What I mean by this is that Bartleby never says "not to do it", nothing comes after his "not to," his denial is a formal gesture without content, that is why his presence is so unbearable. David is not Bartleby but he stumbles upon his presence, perhaps the way Zapruder stumbled upon a President's assassination some years back in his own brand of home cinema verite, and this is what troubles David and makes the film something else than a diary.


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David Holtzmans Diary is an orignal film. miker-35
Saw this on some station in the middle of the night. Quag7
So none of this was real then? therealbastard
About the ending roscoewrite
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