dont look back

INTERVIEW: D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus Do Look Back

The documentary masters ignore the title of Pennebaker's landmark Bob Dylan film to reminisce about their 40-year partnership and discuss their latest film.

On Wednesday, July 6, the Hollywood Theatre will screen a double feature of two of the most impactful pop-music documentaries ever made, 1967’s “Dont Look Back,” starring a 24-year-old Bob Dylan, and 1973’s “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” which captured the swan song performance of David Bowie as the titular, iconic persona.

Both were directed by D.A. “Penny” Pennebaker, who helped to invent the observational, handheld technique known as cinema vérité in the 1950s and 60s, and whose partnership with Chris Hegedus marks its 40th year in 2016. The couple, who married in 1982, have covered topics as diverse as Presidential campaigns (“The War Room”), the Internet boom (“Startup.com”), and dessert chefs (“Kings of Pastry”). On Thursday, the Hollywood will screen their latest film, “Unlocking the Cage,” which follows the seemingly quixotic efforts of attorney Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project to convince a New York court that apes (and some other animals) deserve recognition as legal persons under the law.

I’ll be moderating a Q&A session with the 90-year-old (same as the Hollywood!) Pennebaker between the two films on Wednesday, and both directors will join Wise in attendance at Thursday’s screening. In advance, I had a chance to chat with Pennebaker and Hegedus by phone last week. What follows is an edited transcript.

Continues…