The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ fourth annual Governors Awards was held on December 1 at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom. The night’s first recipient was D.A Pennebaker, a pioneering force in cinéma vérité who came to the limelight with documentaries such as “Don’t Look Back” (1967), a candid portrayal of Bob Dylan.
Pennebaker had a longstanding collaboration with his wife, Chris Hegedus. Known for their unintrusive, cinema verite style of filmmaking, they followed their subjects using handheld cameras and available light with minimal interruption. The result was a candid portrait of a real-life drama in which the characters determine the action. Pera Film explored 11 feature-length and short Pennebaker and Hegedus films back in January 2012 in the program Pioneers of Cinema Verité.
“He wanted to get people who interested him fixed so they would never die. So they would always be there. I wanted James Carville to never die. I wanted Dylan, the poet, to not die. I wanted to put these people in a place where they would be inviolate. It wasn’t enough to have a still life of them. I wanted to surround them with the lives they led.”