I first noticed Albert Maysles name in an interview of Sarah Price, one of the producers of "American Movie". She cited him as one of her favorite documentarians. This was around the time I had signed up for Netflix and was on the lookout for interesting films. Since that time I've been working my way through his catalogue of films. Last night I started watching his series of films on Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the artists behind those grand environmental artworks like the Gates in Central Park or the Running Fence in California. I was reminded of what I love so much about his films. Not only is the photography stunning, but the action is all spontaneous and natural with minimal intrusion by Maysles. It's the way all of his films are. They are subdued and contemplative, but always real. One of the best lines that got captured was from an iron worker working on one of his installations that involved being suspended high from a cable. He said he was "as nervous as a whore in a peter patch." Most of the time, something like this would sound contrived, but it was so authentic it was priceless. I can't think of a filmmaker whose films I consistently love as much as his.
I urge all of you who have Netflix to start adding his stuff to your queues.