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Salesman: the idea and finding the right subject


Truman Capote and the public's reactions to the film
Albert Maysles Film-maker
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Truman, you know, he opened his doors to, to his life and when Truman saw the film, once we'd finished it, I remember him walking out of the screening room with tears flowing down his face and turning to us and saying- turning to us and saying- it's the best film of its kind. We felt, of course, quite pleased with that. Then when the film got shown on PBS or NET at that time- excuse me- when the film got shown we heard that some 20% of the public turned the program off after two or three minutes having discovered through Truman Capote's strange voice that he was homosexual. Now, I dunno, if that film were brought back today some nearly 40 years later, I would hope and I think it'd be true that our culture would- would have progressed to the point where those numbers would be very small indeed. But that's the way it was at that time. It's another film that we hope to put on DVD so that millions more people can see it.

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: Sara Maysles Tamara Tracz Rebekah Maysles

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.

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.

Tags: PBS, NET, Truman Capote

Duration: 1 minute, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008