Lawrence Pitkethly, who produced and directed a number of documentary collection proven on PBS and different broadcasters, died Feb. 24 at Albany Medical Heart close to his house in Hudson, N.Y., of cardiopulmonary arrest linked to issues from Parkinson’s. He was 79.
Pitkethly is greatest identified for “American Cinema” (1995), a 10-part, $7 million collection for PBS, BBC and Canal Plus protecting U.S. filmmaking that he produced, co-wrote and co-directed. It examined movie genres, the rise and fall of the studio system, the creation of stars and different features of American films by interviews with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Sydney Pollack, George Lucas, Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Joel Coen and different main gamers. John Lithgow served as host; Matthew Modine, Kathleen Turner and Cliff Robertson narrated.
Earlier, Pitkethly co-wrote and co-directed “Voices and Visions” (1988), a 13-part collection on American poets, which profiled artists like Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot and Sylvia Plath.
A lot of Pitkethly’s work was produced by way of the Heart for Visible Historical past, his New York-based documentary store that generated and distributed packages from 1979 to 1997. Reveals spawned by the group embrace “Ezra Pound: American Odyssey” (1985), in addition to docs on the WPA and “The Speaking Treatment,” a research of psychoanalysis.
Pitkethly began his profession in London within the Nineteen Sixties. He labored as a author, on-camera correspondent and presenter on the BBC from 1969 to 1974. Most notably, he reported from Belfast, his hometown, through the starting of The Troubles – the 30-year bloody battle in Northern Eire between Irish Republicans and Ulster Loyalists.
In 1975, Pitkethly moved to the U.S., the place he taught movie at Hampshire School in Massachusetts whereas additionally writing and directing an array of documentaries, together with “The New South,” 4 movies for the BBC inspecting the pivotal position of the area in American society and politics.
Pitkethly transferred to Paris within the Nineties, the place he helped set up the Movie Division on the American College of Paris. Whereas in France, he wrote, co-directed and appeared in “Belfast My Love,” a 90-minute documentary on the Northern Eire Peace Accord for ARTE and RTE. He returned to New York in 2015.
He’s survived by his daughter, Camille Pitkethly, and his stepdaughter, Chloe Schulberg.