Saturday, March 7

Albert Maysles, Pioneering Documentarian

"Albert Maysles, the award-winning documentarian who, with his brother, David, made intensely talked-about films, including 'Grey Gardens' and 'Gimme Shelter,' with their American version of cinéma vérité, died Thursday night at his home in Manhattan. He was 88. His death was confirmed by K. A. Dilday, a family friend. Mr. Maysles (pronounced MAY-zuls) departed from documentary conventions by not interviewing his films’ subjects. As he explained in an interview with The New York Times in 1994, 'Making a film isn’t finding the answer to a question; it’s trying to capture life as it is.' That immediacy was a hallmark of the Maysles brothers’ films, beginning in the 1960s, when they made several well-regarded documentaries. But it was 'Gimme Shelter' (1970), about the Rolling Stones’ 1969 American tour, that brought them widespread attention. It included a scene of a fan being stabbed to death at the group’s concert in Altamont, Calif., and the critical admiration for the film was at least partly countered by concerns that it was exploiting that violence.”
NY Times
W - Albert and David Maysles