David Holzman's Diary

Watch David Holzman's Diary

  • NR
  • 1968
  • 1 hr 14 min
  • 6.5  (1,816)

David Holzman's Diary is a 1967 film that is directed, written, and edited by Jim McBride. It is an exploration of the self and narcissism in the context of a young man's life in New York City. The film is shot and presented as a faux-documentary, following David Holzman (L.M. Kit Carson) as he navigates his life and documents it on camera.

David's life is not going as planned. He lives in a small Manhattan apartment with his girlfriend, Penny (Eileen Dietz), but their relationship is strained. David is unemployed and struggles to find meaning in his life. His solution is to record his every move, every conversation and interaction with the world, no matter how mundane. He believes that through this process, he will discover himself.

The style of the film is raw, gritty, and fragmented, switching back and forth between documentary footage and staged scenes. At times, it is difficult to discern what is real from what is staged, which adds to the sense of confusion that David experiences. The use of jump cuts, voiceovers, and commentary from the filmmaker, all blur the lines between documentary and fiction.

David is acutely aware of the camera at all times, talking to it as if it's his only friend. He obsessively records everything, even the most mundane conversations with his girlfriend, friends, and strangers. However, as the film progresses, his narcissism becomes more and more apparent. He begins to manipulate his life to create interesting footage, even staging arguments or events with his friends.

Throughout the film, David's preoccupation with recording his life comes at the cost of meaningful connections. Penny becomes increasingly frustrated with his obsession, and his friends become less interested in spending time with him. In one scene, David's friends ask him to turn off the camera so they can speak more freely, but he refuses, resulting in a tense standoff.

David's documentary diary eventually takes a darker turn as he becomes more and more disconnected from reality. He begins to create elaborate fantastical scenarios in his head and on camera, where he imagines himself as a famous filmmaker, adored by the masses. In another scene, he stages an interview with himself as if he were a famous musician, which is both ridiculous and pitiful.

David Holzman's Diary is a thought-provoking film that explores issues of identity and narcissism. The use of a faux-documentary style adds to the sense of confusion and alienation that David experiences. The film's gritty, raw aesthetic evokes a sense of authenticity that makes the viewer feel like they are watching a real person's life unfold on screen. The use of jump cuts, voiceovers, and commentary from the filmmaker all contribute to the sense of disorientation that David experiences.

L.M. Kit Carson delivers a powerful performance as David Holzman, conveying his character's confusion and narcissism with sensitivity and nuance. Eileen Dietz is also excellent as Penny, David's long-suffering girlfriend. The supporting cast, mostly non-professional actors, deliver naturalistic performances that add to the film's sense of authenticity.

Overall, David Holzman's Diary is a fascinating and challenging film that encourages the viewer to reflect on their own relationship with identity and narcissism. It is a daring and experimental work of art that still resonates today.

David Holzman's Diary is a 1968 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 14 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.

David Holzman's Diary
Where to Watch David Holzman's Diary
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 14 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (1,816)