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Making friends while making films
Albert Maysles Film-maker
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We're more a part of "Grey Gardens" because, especially Edie the daughter, was pulling us into her life as we were filming her. And we never asked questions of her, we never tried to control her, but a lot of her behavior was in response to what it would have been for her if anybody had come into the house as well, but because, because she could connect with us so easily, sure, we're more a part of the film than we would be in, say, "Salesman" or, or "Gimme Shelter" even, but the payoff was that you got to know her so much better from having a opportunity to pour her heart out to these two strangers who became very close friends. I have maintained a relationship with just about- certainly all the major subjects of, of the films- celebrities and ordinary people too. And just the other day I got a call from Jerry who was a very minor character in "Grey Gardens" but there are only three or four people- five people that, that appear on the screen and he's one of them. And I've lost touch with him all of these years. So all the years- these years have gone by, almost 30 years, and I got a call the other day from him; he'd like to get together and he- for sentimental reasons, as he expressed it. And he was only a kid then, maybe 18 or 19 at most, and it's 30-odd years later, and he tells me on the phone in his voice message, he says, that- I'm driving a cab in New York. And so I'm going to call him back when I have a tape recorder going so we can get the conversation and respond to his desire to get together and hopefully, with his permission, to film him. Probably as he's driving the cab and as we both recall the episodes from the film, I'm going to take that piece, with his permission, and put it on a DVD that will include a lot of other interesting stuff, a lot of it related to what's gone on about the film, beyond the film itself. And it's going to be put into a scrapbook which my daughter Sara is putting together of old photographs, of Edie's poems of hers, of letters between her and myself, and a number of scenes from the, from the film itself- scenes that would be perhaps on the DVD and, and also individual shots from the film that will be part of the scrapbook. So it never ends.

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: Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter, New York, Edie Beale

Duration: 3 minutes, 58 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008