Friday, March 6, 2015

RIP Albert Maysles

Albert Maysles died yesterday at the age of 88. Every cinephile sooner or later comes around to the series of groundbreaking documentaries that Albert did with his brother, David.

We're such a GREY GARDENS (1975) household that our cat is named Little Edie. (Also, well worth watching, is the companion film THE BEALES OF GREY GARDENS which was compiled from footage the Maysles shot while making the original film.) I think the Maysles Brothers' most underrated film, though, is the great 1968 SALESMAN, which follows struggling door-to-door Bible salesmen. It's one of the greatest films ever made about American capitalism, a document of the ways cut-throat corporate greed insulates itself within the Trojan Horse of a think-positive public culture. Watching increasingly desperate salesmen try to wring a dollar out of cash-strapped housewives by preying on their religion and their fears of the future is fascinating and heartbreaking in equal measure.

May have to rewatch SALESMAN tonight.

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