From the Eclipse Shelf: A Married Couple

On Film / Short Takes — Sep 1, 2015

Anyone interested in the art of nonfiction filmmaking should get familiar with the work of Allan King. The Canadian documentarian was a pioneer of the Direct Cinema movement of the 1960s, alongside Albert and David Maysles, Richard Leacock, and D. A. Pennebaker. He got in very close to his subjects—to a degree that might at times seem uncomfortable to viewers—to create startling narratives about people one might not normally see on the big screen. Throughout his remarkable fifty-year career, King made films about all sorts of such lives, including troubled children, runaway teenagers, elderly people with memory loss, and the terminally ill. But one of his most startling films remains a comparatively simple tale of a husband and wife leading what seems to be a fairly normal, middle-class existence. What King’s camera finds, however, when it settles in with them, is a family in extremis. A Married Couple, available in our Eclipse set The Actuality Dramas of Allan King, is an alternately hilarious and harrowing film. Watch a typically intimate scene below.

From the Eclipse Shelf: <i>A Married Couple</i>