Documentary Film Of The Day - Grey Gardens...

I have become a huge fan of documentary films after I started a subscription to Netflix, the popular DVD-by-mail outfit. In order to spread the word about this great genre, I've decided to highlight a new film every couple days. My first is a film called "Grey Gardens", by Albert and David Maysles (pronounced MAY-zuls) made in 1975. The film is in the true spirit of direct cinema, a style where there is no interaction between the film crew (in this case the two brothers) and their subjects and no narration. It is also known as fly-on-the -wall. The two subjects are Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie. They are the aunt and cousin, respectively, of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. They live (or rather have sequestered themselves) in a dilapidated mansion in the Hamptons on Long Island. The house is home to tons of cats, raccoons, and these two women. Because the house is in such disrepair, they confine themselves primarily to one room. The film documents their interaction and eccentricities. It is absolutely fascinating and proves that you don't need a lot of characters OR scripted dialogue to make a compelling movie. I must admit, upon my first viewing, I made it about 30 minutes in and turned it off because I thought it was stupid. I didn't get it. I gave it another chance and the second time, I couldn't tear myself away. If you are patient enough and don't mind a film that lacks guns and nudity, you will be treated to a character study that is timeless.

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