Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock dead at age 89

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock has died. He was 89 years old. Leacock, along with fellow directors D.A. Pennebaker, Robert Drew and the Maysles Brothers, helped pioneer the nonfiction format known as “direct cinema,” or Cinéma Vérité. His film-making carer spanned the years 1935 to 1996.

In 1984, he released Lulu in Berlin, a 50 minute filmed interview with Louise Brooks (intercut with film clips)  shot in the 1970's. It is remarkable and rare document, and has often been incorporated into other documentaries and television programs. I had a chance to meet and speak with Leacock a few years back, when Lulu in Berlin and another of his documentaries was shown here in San Francisco. You can read more about the man and his work at

The entirety of Lulu in Berlin can be found on YouTube. Part one is embeded below.


  1. The Guardian (UK) obit at -

  2. Leacock's memoir, to be published:


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