David Holzman’s Diary is one of the most influential films of the 1960s, an “ingenious puzzle movie” (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader) that charts the self-destruction of a media-saturated youth.
As news from the Vietnam War and social unrest blares over the radio, David Holzman (L.M. Kit Carson) unloads comic-neurotic monologues to his 16mm camera. When his relationship with Penny (Eileen Dietz) goes south, he retreats further into moving images, secretly recording his pretty neighbor and even turning his lens to the TV shows he watches. No longer able to deal with life outside celluloid, all of his ties to the real world begin to erode.
The “totally delightful satire” (NY Times) of a narcissistic artist is also a well-crafted fiction about the deceptions of cinematic illusionism. Early on, Holzman quotes Jean-Luc Godard’s famous dictum that “the cinema is truth 24 frames-per-second.” As director Jim McBride teaches and Holzman soon learns, it lies just as often.