Anyone who has ever enjoyed or learned something from a documentary has this man and his brother to thank for that. David and Albert Maysles revolutionized, or perhaps even created, the entire concept of documentary films, and unfortunately, an era has now come to an end, as Albert has died at the age of 88
The Maysles Brothers were filmmakers who were known for doing something no filmmaker ever dared do before - create honest documentaries about people who weren't necessarily notable or in the public sphere - in fact, they relished the idea of showing the lives of people who live outside of the public eye, creating films about ordinary people doing ordinary things, shown in an extraordinary way.
The brothers' most notable work is of course Grey Gardens
, a documentary about mother and daughter socialites, "Big Edie" Beale and "Little Edie." The film sparked a generation of documentary filmmakers making films about the everyday lives of some interesting subjects, and eventually the concept was turned into what we now know as reality television. Other notable works include the equally brilliant documentaries Gimme Shelter
(showing the backstage antics of The Rolling Stones) and Salesman
, a film about the lives of travelling Bible salesmen.
Albert died yesterday in his Manhattan home of natural causes, 28 years after his brother David died of a stroke in 1987.
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