Actuality: The Art and Life of Allan King

Actuality: The Art and Life of Allan King

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60 minutes


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The world mourned the passing of documentary filmmaker Allan King on June 15, 2009. A Canadian pioneer of cinéma vérité and direct cinema techniques, King often described his work as "actuality drama–filmming the drama of everyday life as it happens, spontaneously, without direction, interviews or narrative."

Actuality is a definitive portrait of a great filmmaker. In a career spanning 50 years, filmmaker Allan King challenged the conventions of the documentary art form. From his groundbreaking Warrendale (1967) and A Married Couple (1970) to the more recent Dying at Grace (2003) and EMPz 4 Life (2006), King shaped the genre to his vision and challenged the viewer.

Acutality: The Art and LIfe of Allan King is a tribute to King and his work and was completed three years before his death. The film examines pivotal moments in his career, seamlessly weaving together interviews with King, images and passages from his major works created between 1956 and 2006. It includes a cinéma vérité look at his film, Memory for Max, Ida and Company (2005).

"[An] elegantly structured and inspirational biography of one of Canada's most significant filmmakers. King's work has been central to the development of documentary film and direct cinema around the world, and he continues to make powerful films that confront and move us with the painful and beautiful understanding of what it is to be human."
  – HotDocs Festival (Toronto)


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