David Holzman's Diary
Time Out says
The allure of Jim McBride's secret comedy is now wholly different from the mystique that first charmed its nervously giggling audiences. Originally, the spirit was film-school sarcastic (a radical thing in 1967): McBride, an NYU contemporary of Martin Scorsese, loaded his script with digs at pretentious cinegeeks. David (Carson), our camera-obsessed self-documenter, is the kind of guy who drops casual references to Godard and Visconti. He drives his model girlfriend, Penny (Dietz), out of his life by ceaselessly filming her; we're watching his "diary," a scattershot affair. Other friends show up mainly to tell him how boring his movie will be. The target was navel gazing.
Now everyone's a David Holzman, broadcasting their lives without the benefit of McBride's air of critique. The movie feels like the ur-text of so much: mockumentaries, Twitter, reality TV and the cult of the YouTube auteur. Perhaps more lastingly, though, David Holzman's Diary has become the very object it was parodying: a lovely piece of vrit, one that captures the late-'60s Upper West Side in all its grimy glory. Cops, neighbors, car horns, sass---all of it survives in a record of one filmmaker's creative breakthrough and the urban metropolis that inspired it. Essential.