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12 years old in the library

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Starting out in photography: first darkroom
Albert Maysles Film-maker
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The dark room- the dark room was, was the bathroom. But I had to make it completely dark which meant not just the shades but covering the whole window- the whole operation in getting the dark room dark enough. And I was a perfectionist in that respect and it took maybe an hour. And sealing the door and so forth. But by the time I was sealed in, there was hardly enough oxygen to- for me to survive. Wasn't there only one bathroom in the house, too? But somehow or other, without passing out, I did my work and then- and then also, of course, the rest of the family were knocking on the door, clamoring to use the, the toilet. So with all this resistance somehow or other I managed to, to do my work. And- and I have some of those photographs somewhere.

Albert Maysles (1926-2015) known for his important documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, pioneered the documentary style known as Direct Cinema. He helped create techniques still widely used in modern documentary production, as well as many of the techniques used in reality TV.

Listeners: Rebekah Maysles Sara Maysles Tamara Tracz

Rebekah Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is an artist living between New York and Philadelphia. She has her own line of clothing, Blackberryrose, and co-runs the store Sodafine in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, a vintage and handmade store that sells clothing, books and other products made by artists.

Sara Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is currently doing her BA in East Asian Studies at Columbia University, and working as an Archivist of the photographs and photographic material at Maysles Films Inc., Albert‚s film production company. She spent ten months out of two years working with Tibetan refugees at a center in Nepal, and continues to travel back and forth between America and Asia.

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Tags: photography, dark room, photographs

Duration: 1 minute, 6 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008