Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Grey Gardens" (1975)

by the Maysles brothers

This film serves as a chill inside exploration of mentality. By the simple documentation and prodding of the characters, the filmmakers are able to observe the Beale’s thoughts and actions, understanding their drives. Personally, living in a “bubble” where everyone is the same, it is stimulating to observe individuals who live such a diverse lifestyle. I resonate with them because my roommate carries many of the same characteristics they do, with preferences on nudity, cleanliness, and reason. To me, these are odd qualities, but as I confront them I am better able to understand them. The Maysles brothers are geniuses at casually, yet professionally, capturing character traits and the observed reality of a situation. I love how they portray themselves in the film and do not try to hide the fact that they are there. They acknowledge their own presence and realize that the audience will accept it as well. The shots where they film themselves in a mirror in order to detour the personal actions of the women candidly show their relationship to their subjects. While this is an artistic style, it is one to be admired and I hope to exemplify this type of documentary making sometime in my life/career. I fell that the Maysles Brothers did not exploit this family, but rather allowed the general public to understand them.

No comments: