Beginning tonight at Anthology Film Archives in NYC is a great multi-program retrospective on Dick Fontaine — a documentary filmmaker who, by luck or intent, managed to be present for some of the most incredible moments of the 20th century’s second half.
Running through February 24, you can check out the UK-based Fontaine’s work with the Beatles, Normal Mailer, Ornette Coleman, James Baldwin, the Black Panthers, and the genesis of hip-hop (that’s Smokey Joe and DJ Kool Herc above, if you need to be schooled). That’s just a sampling; Fontaine seemed to be everywhere in the 60s especially, albeit serving as a semi-anonymous connector among dozens of much better-known personalities. Many of the films in this series have never been screened in the US, so this is a rare opportunity for doc junkies to get a serious Fontaine infusion. Recommended.