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Crisis: Behind A Presidential Commitment Review - AVClub

AVClub: Nowadays, anyone who can afford a smartphone carries a fairly decent video camera around with them 24/7, ready to shoot documentary footage at a moment’s notice. Half a century ago, by contrast, cameras that could shoot moving images were such clunky behemoths that the documentary as we know it today was more or less impossible. It was a group of enterprising filmmakers, led by Robert Drew (and including such future doc legends as Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker), who worked out a means of reducing the necessary equipment to a bare minimum, allowing them to follow subjects around and capture events on the fly. Criterion’s new four-film set The Kennedy Films Of Robert Drew & Associates shows the medium’s rapid evolution over the few years of his presidential campaign and subsequent administration. Each film runs less than an hour (one is a 12-minute short), and they’re best watched in quick succession, the better to marvel at how speedily both the filmmakers and the politicians adapted to the new normal.

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