Robert Drew, Cinema Verite Documentarian, Dies at 90

Historians in the News
tags: Robert Drew

Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles, has died at age 90.

His son Thatcher Drew confirmed he died Wednesday at his home in Sharon, Connecticut.

Starting in 1960 with "Primary," Mr. Drew produced and sometimes directed a series of television documentaries that took advantage of such innovations as light hand-held cameras that recorded sound and pictures. With filmmakers newly unburdened, nonfiction movies no longer had to be carefully staged and awkwardly narrated. Directors could work more like journalists, following their subjects for hours and days at a time and capturing revealing moments.

Michael Moore, a filmmaker, said Wednesday that Mr. Drew, along with Mr. Pennebaker and Richard Leacock, "made it possible for real stories to be told through film."

Read entire article at NYT

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