Directed by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin • 1969 • United States
This radically influential portrait of American dreams and disillusionment from Direct Cinema pioneers David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin captures, with indelible humanity, the worlds of four dogged door-to-door Bible salesmen as they travel from Boston to Florida on a seemingly futile quest to sell luxury editions of the Good Book to working-class Catholics. A vivid evocation of midcentury malaise that unfolds against a backdrop of cheap motels, smoky diners, and suburban living rooms, SALESMAN assumes poignant dimensions as it uncovers the way its subjects’ fast-talking bravado masks frustration, disappointment, and despair. Revolutionizing the art of nonfiction storytelling with its nonjudgmental, observational style, this landmark documentary is one of the most penetrating films ever made about how deeply embedded consumerism is in America’s sense of its own values.
Up Next in Documentaries
Directed by Les Blank • 1987 • United States
Filmmaker Les Blank breezily questions our commonly accepted standards of beauty with this paean to women with extra-wide dental spaces.
Directed by Murray Lerner • 1967 • United States
Before WOODSTOCK and MONTEREY POP, there was FESTIVAL. From 1963 through 1966, Murray Lerner visited the annual Newport Folk Festival to document a thriving, idealistic musical movement as it reached its peak as a popular phenomenon. Joan Baez, Bo...
Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara • 1984 • Japan
Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) designed some of the world’s most astonishing buildings, interiors, and parks; Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara constructed some of the most aesthetically audacious films ever made. In ANTONIO GAUDÍ, t...