Improvisational filmmaker Jim McBride knew enough of the "cinema verite" genre to poke fun at it in David Holzman's Diary. L.M. "Kit" Carson plays Holzman, who tries to put all of his life experiences on celluloid. His insistence upon poking his camera where it isn't wanted results only in irritation, alienation, and a few bloody noses. As Holzman's life (and his film) becomes harder to follow, the audience is liable to be as confused as Our Hero, especially if they make the mistake of taking this whole thing seriously. Filmed in five days on a $2500 budget, David Holzman's Diary won both the Mannheim and Pesaro Film Festival awards; history does not record whether the judges caught on that McBride was pulling their legs. The director, incidentally, is the same Jim McBride who years later went "mainstream" with such films as The Big Easy (1987) and Great Balls of Fire (1989).
by Hal Erickson synopsis