Remembering Cinema Verite Pioneer Ricky Leacock

Host Scott Simon remembers documentary filmmaker Ricky Leacock, who died this week. Leacock helped create the genre known as cinema verite.


Richard Leacock died this week in Paris at the age of 89. He was the ringleader of a group of documentary filmmakers who took small cameras into their hands, and shot real life in natural light.

He worked on films that defined cinema verite, and inspired directors from Errol Morris to Martin Scorsese, included "Primary," which followed Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy during the 1960 Wisconsin primary. The shot of a young Jacqueline Kennedy knotting her white-gloved hands behind her back is all the more vivid in black and white. Maybe most notably, 1968's "Monterey Pop," where Jimi Hendrix sets fire to his guitar.


SIMON: You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.