Best (little-seen) rentable movie shot in / about Manhattan (2008)

David Holzman's

Everyone will have candidates to stump for, but omigod, which '70s New Wave grit immersion do you crown winner? Woody or Marty? Dog Day Afternoon or Klute? Because it's still an underdog, I'll pitch for Jim McBride's indie satire David Holzman's Diary (1967), in which the eponymous filmmaker (played by L.M. Kit Carson) decides to make a "vérité" documentary about his life, his West Side apartment, his street, and most of all, his relationship with Penny (Eileen Dietz), a sensible girl who grows not only increasingly fed up with being filmed but with Holzman's Godardian narcissism as well. A hilarious satire on documentary-student navel study, McBride's movie appears to be director-free, à la Kiarostami's dashboard confessional film Ten. But it is perfectly observed, dryly dead-on, and because it was produced for next to nothing, a timeless, grainy document of Manhattan in the '60s: cars, clothes, manners, speech, midday glare, even the news, since Holzman's radio provides a running real-news spiel on Vietnam and the Newark riots.


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