The Maysles brothers were huge proponents of Cinéma vérité documentary filmmaking. Some of their most critically acclaimed documentaries are Salesman, Gimme Shelter, and Grey Gardens. As a piece of trivia, in preparation for last year’s film Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik would watch Salesman. Below you will hear both Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin — close collaborator on other documentaries and editor — talk about one of such cinema verite offerings, and dissect the specifics of shooting and editing such a piece. —filmschoolthrucommentaries
Recommended reading, viewing, and listening:
- A Pinewood Dialogue With Albert Maysles [listen, mp3, pdf]
- The Art of Documentary: Albert Maysles
- Anatomy of the Filmmaker: The Maysles
- Meet Marlon Brando directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
- Media Hijacker and Serial Flirter
Remember that Leica M designed by Apple’s Jony Ive that was to be auctioned off for charity?
Initial estimates said it would fetch around $500,000, but the one of a kind camera ended up bringing in $1.8 million to fight AIDS in Africa.
A wonderful and fascinating scene-by-scene audio commentary by director Terry Gilliam. There’s so many levels to a Gilliam picture and it’s fascinating to have him open the layers of creativity.
“Only we know that,” Gilliam says at one point when he divulges some offscreen trivia, “We and the owners of the Criterion collection.” Which is a damn shame, because presently (and for years) this informative and enjoyable commentary has been available only on now-obsolete laserdisc, despite the petitioning of film fans to get it ported over to DVD. Gilliam demonstrates an amazing capacity to talk about the film from beginning to end without pause, seemingly on the fly. He finds something to say about every scene and covers every base imaginable. It’s a treat to hear him openly enjoying the film’s performances and odd inspired and unscripted moments. He’s also very canny/mindful about how to structure films that will ‘play’ for an audience.
Richard LaGravenese’s screenplay for The Fisher King [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
- “They’re Getting a Gilliam Film,” On Location with The Fisher King
- The Millimeter Interview, Terry Gilliam Discusses Bringing A Myth To Life In New York City
- Interview With Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese
- “Gilliam, Gotham & God” — The Filmmaker’s Views of Urban Landscapes (Metropolis Magazine, September 1991)
- “A Red Knightmare” — Design and Special Effects Behind the Red Knight (New York Newsday, October 1991)
Iconic quotes about Art and Creativity
'Family Reunion' by Ogden Nash - 1950 book cover design by Barbara Corrigan.