His filmography (much of which is available for purchase from www.pennebakerhegedusfilms.com) reads like a who’s-who of the past four decades. Pennebaker has hung out with the mighty and the fallen; he’s the ever-present shadow making public the private moments of people who should have known better. In 1964, he filmed Timothy Leary’s wedding to Nena Von Schlebrugge, which became the 12-minute You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You. In 1971, Pennebaker documented the outrageous women’s-lib debate between, among others, Norman Mailer and Germaine Greer at Town Hall in New York City; the film, Town Bloody Hall, sat unreleased for years, until Hegedus came in one day and edited the thing together in, more or less, an hour (it was the fledgling couple’s first film together). From 1979 to ’81, Pennebaker and Hegedus documented John DeLorean’s quest to design the perfect car, which became nothing less than a stainless-steel Edsel. And in 1990, the two released their film about Jerry Lee Lewis, which charted the oft-seedy life of one of rock’s pioneers.
After Nena divorced Leary she married a Tibetan scholar, Dr. Robert Thurman and her daughter Uma is Uma the actress. Dick Alpert became his own guru, Baba Ram Dass and achieved a sainthood of his own.