“The most difficult discipline is to film what is there and not what is supposed to be there.” – Ricky Leacock, 14 February 1974
Directed by Jane Weiner
In 1972, Ricky put a Super 8 synch-sound camera in Jane Weiner’s hand and said, “If you want to become a filmmaker, you have to shoot.” Turning her lens on him, she was suddenly transported into another universe: What began as a filmic conversation developed into a filmic adventure that traces the roots of Leacock’s cinematic quest and his role in documentary-making over the last century.
RICKY on LEACOCK is a 38-year journey began by director Jane Weiner as a novice filmmaker, shooting off and on during the intervening years, filming various encounters with Ricky and his contemporaries. Mixing her own footage with film clips and never-before-seen images from Ricky’s personal film archives, this film pays homage to a friend, mentor and, most importantly, allows him to tell his story in his own words.
Presented as an intimate, on-going cinematic conversation with Jane Weiner and other filmmakers, Leacock recounts the periods of his career spent with Robert Flaherty, Robert Drew, DA Pennebaker and others, during which he discusses the roots of his lifelong quest to capture “the feeling of being there.” Ricky Leacock helped lay the foundation not only for today’s filmmakers, but also for amateur filmmakers all over the world who use portable equipment and new technologies. His pioneering role in the development of hand-held, observational documentary films can be traced through several important eras in film history to the explosion of the small-format ‘being there’ filmmaking of our YouTube generation.
THE FILMMAKER: Jane Weiner is an award winning documentary filmmaker. Her many production credits include SILVERLAKE LIFE, JUPITER’S WIFE, HOME PAGE, RAVI SHANKAR and MYSERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF BEES, which garnered a huge European audience in 2010. Inspired by her mentor, Richard Leacock, her latest film for French TV, LA CAMERA PASSE-PARTOUT celebrates the legacy of the American Cinema vérité tradition.