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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

RIP, documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker


With all the headline news regarding the recent spate of horrific mass shootings in — as of this moment on Sunday afternoon — California, Ohio and Texas, the news of a filmmaker's death seems somewhat trivial. But if we ignore the normal passages involved in everyday life, the terrorists win. And I, for one, want to do what I can to keep that from happening.

So let me begin by saying that on June 12 the Spokane Public Radio show that I co-host — "Movies 101" — held a special live screening of the 1968 documentary "Monterey Pop." The show, which was taped at the Bing Crosby Theater in front of a live audience, discussed both the movie and the filmmaker who directed it.

That filmmaker, D.A. Pennebaker, died on Thursday at the age of 94.

As this obituary from The Guardian explains, Pennebaker was one of the most important — and influential — documentarians of the 20th century. Among his better known films were the 1967 Bob Dylan study "Don't Look Back" and the Oscar-nominated 1993 exploration of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign "The War Room" — and "Monterey Pop."

Another great documentary filmmaker gone. May others follow his path and continue to explore the world as it is — especially during this time of abject insanity.

Below: D.A. Pennebaker and his partner wife (and co-director/producer) Chris Hegedus discuss the 1967 film "Don't Look Back."

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