STF Fall Season Tribute to D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus Begins

This fall Stranger Than Fiction Docs at NYC’s IFC Center is screening eight films from Pennebaker Hegedus. This is the first time that STF has devoted its entire season to one filmmaking team. Chris and D A will attend most of the screenings for Q&As (please check website for latest info), and tickets for the shows are available here:

First up is TOWN BLOODY HALL, which screens on Sept. 23rd at 8pm.

Tues, Sept 23 at 8:00 pm

Q&A with Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker

On the evening of April 30, 1971, a standing room only audience of local literati and feminists packed New York City’s Town Hall to watch Norman Mailer, who had just written “The Prisoner of Sex,” grapple with a panel of passionate feminists. The subject was Women’s Liberation, an issue on which Mailer seemed like the devil’s own advocate.

JANE (1962) accompanied by DAYBREAK EXPRESS (1953) + BABY (1954)
Tues, Sept 30 at 8:00 pm
Q&A w/ D.A. Pennebaker

JANE, a rarely seen classic of early cinema verite, follows Jane Fonda preparing for her Broadway starring role in “The Fun Couple.” The action behind the scenes becomes more lively than what’s on stage. Filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Hope Ryden (working for the legendary doc company Drew Associates) capture the theatrical team on out of town previews, leading up to the big New York premiere.

The screening will be accompanied by two rarely seen short films DAYBREAK EXPRESS and BABY. 65 REVISITED (1967) accompanied by SHAKE – OTIS AT MONTEREY (1986)

Tues, Oct 7 at 8:00 pm
Q&A w/ special guest TBA

“The great relief of D. A. Pennebaker’s “65 Revisited” – which pulls together never-released footage shot for his documentary DONT LOOK BACK – is that this time you can hear the songs in their entirety. Because Mr. Pennebaker wanted DONT LOOK BACK to be about Bob Dylan, not his 1965 British concert tour, he made the somewhat maddening decision to cut down the songs in that first film to tantalizing bits and pieces. The problem of course being that the songs were as much a part of this youthquaking sensation as his pipe-cleaner-skinny legs, his fuzzy ‘fro, bobbing head, sly smile, riffs, rants, puns and playful, otherworldly genius.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

The screening will be accompanied by the short film SHAKE – OTIS AT MONTEREY  

Order tickets here (and click on 8:00pm)

(1970) accompanied by LAMBERT & CO. (1964)

Tues, Oct 14 at 8:30 pm
Q&A w/ D.A. Pennebaker
When COMPANY was first shown at the 1970 New York Film Festival, it caused considerable stir. A police riot squad had to be summoned to quell the outraged turnaways unable to get into the theater. The film documented the grueling 18 1/2 hour recording session for Stephen Sondheim’s new musical “Company,” which had recently opened on Broadway. It included Elaine Stritch’s show-stopping “Ladies Who Lunch” and became the sensation of the festival even though it was only 52 minutes long and intended for television. It seemed for an instant that it could be released successfully in theaters. Columbia Pictures was even interested. But the legal problems were considerable, and eventually Company had its television run in the U.S. and in Great Britain, and then as usually happens, disappeared from view.
The screening will be accompanied by the short film LAMBERT & CO.
Tues, Oct 21 at 8:30 pm
Q&A w/ Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker

“When we rolled across the country with the band-Martin, David, Andy and Alan-in their shiny green jet, with bus-loads of friends and accomplices and two 40-foot semis full of equipment, they were like a shipload of pirates looking for spoils. They’d pick out a city where their records sold well, arrive there at dawn, set up their stuff, and when they had an audience half-crazy with expectation, stage manager Andy Franks would announce, “Start the intro tape!” and the magic would begin. For two or three hours fifty thousand fans would sing and dance as they did for no one else. When it was over, and the fans had gone home, the band and crew would pack up and roll out, a few hundred thousand dollars richer, and by daylight only those who had seen the concert and bought a $20 t-shirt would know what had happened.  Their parents would say, “Depeche Who?”

So when this young band decided to risk all and try to fill the Rose Bowl for their final 101st concert we knew we had a band after our own hearts, and we had a film.” – D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus 

Tues, Oct 28 at 8:00 pm
Q&A w/ Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker

Hegedus and Pennebaker bring their fly-on-the-wall camera backstage to take a fresh, eye-opening, no-holds-barred look at the big bang adventure of producing a Broadway hit. The Broadway show in question is “Moon Over Buffalo,” starring Carol Burnett and Philip Bosco, a comedy about a low-rent Lunt and Fontaine, hell-bent upon recharging their careers.

Cited by The New York Times as “the best documentary of the year,” the film features hilarious turns by its leading actors-and even funnier behind-the-scenes sequences, as everyone mounting this high-risk Broadway production goes into nail-biting overdrive.

Order tickets here (and click on 8:00pm)

Tues, Nov 4 at 8:00 pm
Q&A w/ Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker
“The War Room” was the name for Bill Clinton’s campaign center in Little Rock, Ark. Though the press wasn’t usually permitted inside this small warren of chaos, filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, managed to secure partial access and shot nearly 35 hours of footage there. At the center of The War Room are the two men who guided Clinton’s ship from the beginning: James Carville, the fiery, charismatic, expletive-spewing Cajun who manages the campaign with a mixture of Southern charm and unrelenting passion; and George Stephanopoulos, the brilliant, handsome Rhodes Scholar who, as communications director, calmly but surely mobilizes his staff to take the presidency. – Janet Maslin, The New York Times  
Tues, Nov 11 at 8:30 pm
Q&A w/ Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker

Roger Friedman is an entertainment journalist and music fan with a particular love for R&B and soul music from the mid-’50s to the pre-disco era of the early ’70s. Discovered there is little or no surviving film footage of many of the greatest artists of the era performing on-stage, Friedman set out to capture some of his favorites on film with the help of Pennebaker and Hegedus.

Only the Strong Survive features knockout performances from such R&B legends as Wilson Pickett, Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lights, Carla Thomas, Mary Wilson, Ann Peebles, and many more, as well as interviews in which the artists discuss the ups and downs of their music careers.