19 user 36 critic

David Holzman's Diary (1967)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 29 January 1975 (France)
Young filmmaker decides to make a movie of his life.


Jim McBride
2 wins. See more awards »




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


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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


David Holzman: Truffaut said that in Singing in the Rain, Debbie Reynolds jumps over a couch and holds in her skirt as she does it, and this movement gives her away. Now the movement that Sandra just made and I just caught, she gives herself away. Now in each movement, she gives herself a little more away, to me.
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I'm a Man
Written by Jimmy Miller and Steve Winwood
Performed by The Spencer Davis
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User Reviews

It stops being your life and starts being a work of art, a bad work of art
16 November 2013 | by lastliberal-853-253708See all my reviews

Jim McBride's mockumentary is a delightful satire about the filmmaker's compulsion to capture everything on camera, and also a wry character study of one young man who uses his "art" as a pretext for complete self-absorption. This film from the sixties eerily forecasts our present absorption with social media.

As played by L.M. Kit Carson, David is on an irreconcilable mission: to at once understand a world in chaos, and cocoon himself from it in his own cinematic world.

He is lucky that his girlfriend ( Eileen Dietz) didn't chuck his camera when he filmed her sleeping nude.

One thing I found fascinating is the "Observer Effect" as defined by David. Once you start filming, you cease to have reality as you change in response to the film. It is not real life, it is a movie. One would wonder here, if you wore a GoPro Hero all day would you record a normal day, or would you look for the abnormal?

With irritation, alienation, a sex-hungry lady sitting in a car in the middle of traffic, and a few bloody noses, this one "Diary" worth peeking into.

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Release Date:

29 January 1975 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

David Holzmans Tagebuch See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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