Albert Maysles, the director of Grey Gardens (1975), which is arguably one of the most memorable documentaries ever made, passed away earlier this month in his home at the age of 88. Maysles was a pioneer in this genre, an innovator whose fly-on-the-wall style has influenced documentary filmmakers for nearly half a century. On the tail of his death, Grey Gardens is about to be re-released in select theaters for its 40th anniversary. The cult status documentary depicts the everyday lives of a reclusive mother and daughter, both named Edith Beale and who are cousin and aunt to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The two eccentric and cloistered women live in Grey Gardens, a derelict mansion strewn with cats, refuse, and choked by overgrown shrubbery in the wealthy East Hampton, New York. Little Edie over the years has become somewhat of a fashion icon with her penchant for wearing head scarves and skirts on her head (always fastened with a fashionable broach), leotards and pantyhose with the occasional fur coat. A philosopher queen in her own right, she steals the spotlight in this touchingly sad, yet deliciously hilarious look at the dilapidated lives of two former socialites.
For more on Grey Gardens, visit: “Grey Gardens, The lost World of Little Edie, still amazing after 40 years”
How Grey Gardens Was Restored to Its Squalid Glory (and Why You Need to See It)
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