All posts tagged: Primary

The Cinema-Truth of PRIMARY

The 1950s and 1960s were political and aesthetic eras of radical reimagination, and both politics and aesthetics were unassumingly upended with the release of Robert Drew’s Primary (1960). Primary is an hour-long “direct cinema” documentary about the battle for the Wisconsin Democratic primary between Hubert Humphrey and winner John F. Kennedy. The film documents the candidates on their campaign stops, their speeches at publicized events, their glad-handing with voters, their travels, and, eventually, the day of the election and each candidate’s experience throughout the night waiting for the result. It is a major film that documents the confluence of politics and aesthetics as well as being an object of newly imagined politics and aesthetics itself in the history of documentary filmmaking. In Making Waves: The New Cinemas of the 1960s, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith writes that “the revolution in documentary film was more sudden and in many ways more radical than in any other kind of cinema”.[1] Documentary film – and the general recording of real-life events – has existed since the advent of cinema, and its …

Andrew Sweet is currently a Cinema Studies student at Oakland. He hopes to pursue a career in film production, specifically writing and directing his own features. If his television is on, it's likely that it's on the Turner Classic Movies channel. He thinks the streaming service Filmstruck is too good to be true. His favorite theater is the Redford Theater, where he had his senior year pictures taken. He loves giving film recommendations to friends and family.