Cinema Verité Shorts

Cinema Verité Shorts

15 Episodes

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Cinema Verité Shorts
  • Daybreak Express

    Episode 1

    Directed by D. A. Pennebaker • 1953 • United States

    Shot in 1953, though not completed until 1957, DAYBREAK EXPRESS was the first film D. A. Pennebaker made, a mad rush of images of New York City captured from a train and edited to the rhythm of Duke Ellington’s song of the same name. A jazz afi...

  • Baby
    Episode 2


    Episode 2

    Directed by D. A. Pennebaker • 1954 • United States

    D. A. Pennebaker credits this 1954 film with clarifying his focus. He took his daughter, Stacy, to the zoo with a short film scenario in mind: shots of Stacy running intercut with shots of the animals responding to her. But Stacy was more int...

  • Islands of Fire

    Episode 3

    Directed by Vittorio De Seta • 1954 • Italy

    This prize-winning short is a poetic portrait of life on the coast of Sicily before, during, and following a volcanic eruption.

  • Sea Countrymen

    Episode 4

    Directed by Vittorio De Seta • 1955 • Italy

    The rhythms of the sea set the tempo for this vivid account of a day in the lives of Sicilian fishermen.

  • Christopher And Me

    Episode 5

    Directed by Richard Leacock • 1960 • United States

    A children’s film directed by Richard Leacock, this short work shows twins describing their involvement in a sailboat race. The film is also noteworthy for the contributions made by Shirley Clarke, who worked on continuity and dialogue, as well ...

  • Happy Mother’s Day

    Episode 6

    Directed by Joyce Chopra and Richard Leacock • 1963 • United States

    September 23, 1963, was a happy mother’s day for Mary Ann Fischer when she gave birth to quintuplets in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Only the third such delivery, five babies all at once, medical history in America’s heartland—what b...

  • Lambert & Co.

    Episode 7

    Directed by D. A. Pennebaker and Richard Leacock • 1964 • United States
    Starring Dave Lambert, Mary Vonnie, Sarah Boatner

    A longtime fan of American jazz vocalist Dave Lambert, D. A. Pennebaker jumped at the chance to film him auditioning a new group of singers at RCA in 1964. The resulting film...

  • Uncle Yanco

    Episode 8

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1968 • France

    In her effervescent first California film, Agnès Varda delves into her own family history. The short documentary UNCLE YANCO features Varda tracking down a Greek emigrant relative she’s never met, discovering an artist and kindred soul leading a bohemian l...

  • Chiefs

    Episode 9

    Directed by Richard Leacock and Noel E. Parmentel Jr. • 1968 • United States

    This short film by Richard Leacock and Noel E. Parmentel Jr. was made in 1968.

  • Black Panthers

    Episode 10

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1970 • United States

    Agnès Varda turns her camera on an Oakland demonstration against the imprisonment of activist and Black Panthers cofounder Huey P. Newton. In addition to evincing Varda’s fascination with her adopted surroundings and her empathy, this perceptive sho...

  • The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins

    Episode 11

    Directed by Les Blank • 1968 • United States

    Les Blank creates a vivid portrait of bluesman Lightin’ Hopkins through a vital collection of musical performances and oral histories.

  • Spend It All

    Episode 12

    Directed by Les Blank • 1971 • United States

    Ethnographer of the offbeat and hyper-regional Les Blank offers a rich, fragrant look at the vitality of the Cajun lifestyle, paying special attention to the food, music (including legendary figures like the Balfa Brothers, Marc Savoy, and Nathan Absh...

  • Christo’s Valley Curtain

    Episode 13

    Directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Ellen Giffard • 1974 • United States

    Nominated for an Academy Award, CHRISTO'S VALLEY CURTAIN celebrates the Bulgarian-born artist's dramatic hanging of a huge orange curtain between two Colorado mountains. Since the late 1950's, Christo's large-sca...

  • Italianamerican

    Episode 14

    Directed by Martin Scorsese • 1974 • United States
    Starring Catherine Scorsese, Charles Scorsese

    In one of his most personal works, Martin Scorsese sits down with his parents, Catherine and Charles, in their New York apartment for a free-flowing discussion that touches on family history, the imm...

  • Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

    Episode 15

    Directed by Les Blank • 1980 • United States

    As a result of a lost bet with his assistant, Errol Morris, director Werner Herzog must eat his own shoe.