Wintonick, of “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media” fame, has created a cool blitz through the annals of film history. It explains the origins of the shaky-camera grittiness which, obviously, has become stock-in-trade for indie artists, MTV hipsters and everyone else. The old farts who retell this history are not only giants in creating portable-camera technology, pushing its introduction, and maximizing its potential, but they are also sharp, funny, and hip to the end. We even get to meet the Blair Witch Project dudes with their dialectical interrogation into historical antecedents. My strongest reaction was that I wished I could see all the docs excerpted here from 1958-68: New York jazz clubs, high-powered de-segregation battles, bible salesmen (reminiscent of Glengarry Glen Ross), mouthy British school kids. I wanted lots more, though it was already quite long.

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