Wednesday, April 24, 2024

RIP Albert Maysles, The Great Documentary Filmmaker Dies at 88, Director of “Grey Gardens”


I am sad to say that Al Maysles has died at the age of 88. With his brother David he directed “Grey Gardens,” one of the most famous docs of all time. With DA Pennebaker, Richard Leacock and Bob Drew he made countless other films, worked with the Rolling Stones on several legendary projects. I was lucky enough to call him my friend, as well. He was a sweet sweet fellow with a real air of mischief right up to the end.

I know that 88 seems old, but Al never ever seemed old. He wanted to be right in the thick of everything, at the center, in the middle of the action. Pennebaker told me just now: “We spent four months in Moscow making a film in 1960. And the thing about Al was, he was a great watcher. And that’s really 90% of the whole thing, you know?” The two old friends recently spent a day together watching “Moscow” and reminiscing.

Believe it or not, Al has a new movie coming out soon. “Iris” played at the New York Film Festival last to great acclaim. It’s all about style icon Iris Apfel. But the real icon today is Al, whose crazy tangle of white hair and wide, happy grin will live in my memory forever.

Grey Gardens:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News