Albert Maysles, Destination Winnipeg!
Albert Maysles at Gimme Some Truth!
Winnipeg’s Documentary Film Festival
October 13th – 16th, 2011
Yes, it’s true. Legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles is coming to Winnipeg!
Maysles will be introducing two of his groundbreaking documentary films at Gimmie Some Truth, Winnipeg’s four-day documentary film festival in late October. And although it’s not officially announced, “insider information” suggests that he will also be teaching a master class for aspiring documentarians.
Albert Maysles and his brother David, who died of a stroke in 1987, were a double-headed cinéma vérité filmmaking team that revolutionized the documentary genre beginning in the late-50s and throughout their lives.
These pioneers of direct cinema are most famous for their hilarious and heartbreaking depiction of a group of bible salesman in the late-60s and for their account of a decrepit mansion in New York’s rich East Hampton neighbourhood, and the two reclusive socialites residing within. Both of these films – Salesman (1969) and Grey Gardens (1975) – will be introduced by Albert Maysles in person at this year’s Gimme Some Truth festival at the Winnipeg Cinematheque.
Maysles is also known for his music documentaries, including the seminal Gimme Shelter (1970), which follows the Rolling Stones on the final weeks of their 1969 US tour and culminates with the infamous Altamont Music Festival, marred by violence. Their 1964 film What’s Happening!: The Beatles In The U.S.A. (1964) follows The Beatles on their first tour through the United States and forms the backbone of the DVD, The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit.
A constant collaborator, Albert Maysles has also made countless documentaries depicting historical figures. In Primary the Maysles brothers document the Kennedy/ Humphrey Wisconsin primary of 1960 for director D. A. Pennebaker. In one of lesser-known of his works, Maysles films Orson Welles’ attempt to finance a largely improvised Spanish bullfighting movie. “Welles pontificates on the state of cinema, the filmmaking process and the art of bullfighting,” says Maysles.
Other personalities chronicled by Mayseles include: Joseph E. Levine, one of Hollywood’s most prolific movie producers associated with such iconic films as The Graduate (1967) and Carnal Knowledge (1971); Marlon Brando in Meet Marlon Brando (1965); and author and playwrite Truman Capote in With Love from Truman (1966).
“As a documentarian I happily place my fate and faith in reality. It is my caretaker, the provider of subjects, themes, experiences – all endowed with the power of truth and the romance of discovery. And the closer I adhere to reality the more honest and authentic my tales. After all, the knowledge of the real world is exactly what we need to better understand and therefore possibly to love one another. It’s my way of making the world a better place.”