Friday, April 25, 2008

Robert Drew Produces New Documentary on JFK

Robert Drew, the maker of four earlier documentaries on John F. Kennedy, has produced a new retrospective on the Kennedy presidency. "A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy" will be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26, at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts. Composed from Mr. Drew’s four acclaimed Kennedy films that represent the birth of the cinéma-vérité movement in America, the new work brings to brilliant life an American President, whose ideals and actions would often stand in stark contrast to those of today’s administration. The breakthrough documentaries, Primary, Adventures on the New Frontier,Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment and Faces of November, are thoughtfully edited together to offer a front-row look at how one man struggled to bring wisdom, honor and integrity to the nation’s top post.“Now, more than ever, it’s important for us to look back at JFK and his legacy and learn what we can as we continue to create American history today,” said Mr. Drew. “I created A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy from the realization that young people today have never known what it’s like to have a President who is celebrated both within the country and around the globe.” A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy travels in the company of John F. Kennedy from his days as a young Senator campaigning for the Presidency to the tune of “High Hopes” (his campaign theme song); to his early days in the White House; through to his struggles grappling with major issues, from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the desegregation of the University of Alabama, vehemently opposed by Governor George Wallace, who physically barred the entry of the first two African-American students. At the close of the film, the shock and deeply-felt sorrow of Kennedy’s assassination is captured in the faces of his compatriots.
The film notes, “Kennedy conjured visions of a more compassionate America and a more decent world.” Through Mr. Drew’s lens, the President is seen challenging the Soviet Union and its leader, Nikita Khrushchev, to a “peace race,” as he endeavors and ultimately succeeds in drafting and signing a Test Ban Treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons tests by both countries. Kennedy expresses his goal to “make the world safe for diversity” and “lessen the chance of a military collision,” which would potentially endanger the lives of millions of innocent people. In 1960, Mr. Drew revolutionized the art of the documentary with Primary, his first Kennedy film, that moved in lockstep with the rising star of the then Senator as he campaigned against Senator Hubert Humphrey in Wisconsin. Mr. Drew and his associates developed the first sync-sound motion picture cameras small enough to film intimately almost anywhere, effectively compiling a record that Kennedy himself admired as a “new form of history.” As seen in A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy, using this new technique made it possible for Mr. Drew and his team to present “a view closer to John F. Kennedy than any President before him, or, it turns out, any President since….”
Kennedy’s decision to permit cameras to candidly record the action taking place within the White House and the inner sanctum of the Oval Office for the first time raised a storm of protest, but resulted in a journalistic breakthrough of historic proportions.
Since 1960, when Mr. Drew formed Drew Associates, his films have captured an impressive range of extraordinary people and remarkable events on film – from race car drivers competing in the Indianapolis 500 to sailors racing Tall Ships across the Atlantic, combat pilots in Vietnam to NASA scientists guiding spacecraft to Mars. With Producer Anne Drew, Mr. Drew extended his candid filmmaking into the arts, as they followed Duke Ellington on the road, and documented the life of Indian Prime Minister Nehru, Prime Minister Indira Gandi and, later, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandi, among many other striking subjects.
Mr. Drew’s more than 60 documentaries have been recognized at film festivals across the globe – from New York and London to Cannes, Venice and Brazil – earning the filmmaker major broadcast awards, including Emmy, Peabody and duPONT-Columbia.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

By The People: The Election of Barack Obama- this documentary felt so real. It’s available TOMORROW

January 11, 2010 3:17 PM  

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