D.A. Pennebaker, the Oscar-winning documentary maker whose historic contributions to American culture and politics included immortalising a young Bob Dylan in Don't Look Back and capturing the spin behind Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign in The War Room, has died at 94.
Pennebaker, who got an honorary Academy Award in 2013, died of natural causes at his home in Long Island, son Frazer Pennebaker said.
Pennebaker was a leader among a generation of filmmakers in the 1960s who took advantage of such innovations as handheld cameras and adopted an intimate style known as cinema verite.
As an assistant to pioneer Robert Drew, Pennebaker helped invent the modern political documentary, Primary, an account of John F. Kennedy's 1960 victory in Wisconsin over fellow Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey.
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Widely admired and emulated, Pennebaker was blessed with patience, sympathy, curiosity, the journalist's art of setting his subjects at ease, the novelist's knack for finding the revealing detail and the photographer's eye for compelling faces and images. When reducing vast amounts of raw footage into a finished film, he said, "The minute people start to lose interest, that's it".
Pennebaker became a top filmmaker in his own right with the 1967 release Don't Look Back. It follows Dylan on a 1965 tour of England, featuring Joan Baez, Donovan, Allen Ginsberg and others.
Scenes from the film have become part of the musical and movie canon.
After Dylan, Pennebaker again recorded a musical landmark with Monterey Pop, a documentary of the 1967 California gathering that was rock's first major festival and featured such current and future stars as Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.