Pincus had written Guide to Filmmaking (1969), a famous manual of cinematographic techniques, and taught film at MIT and Harvard, as well as being a direct cinema documentary filmmaker. But in 1970 he considered his work to be at a dead end and decided to make a radical turn, exposing himself before the camera and questioning the conventions of cinema and his own life. The film begins when Ed’s partner Jane —a feminist and batik artist— is 34, and their children, Sami and Ben, are 6 and 2. They are, in Jane’s words, “the happy family”. Then comes the collapse of this family life, with Ed’s love affairs and the painful effects for Jane.
“Ed Pincus has created a comic melodrama of family life in the seventies that’s as engrossing, saddening, maddening, and haunting as any fiction. He has taken a magical leap, vaulting over the heads of cinéma-vérité and cinematic storytelling into a dazzling new realm.” (Stephen Schiff, Film Comment).
Diaries (1971-1976), Ed Pincus, United States, 1982, 16 mm, 200’
DCP screening with Catalan subtitles. Digitized restored copy provided by the Harvard Film Archive.