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Seeing original “Grey Gardens” documentary at TCM Classic Film Festival was fascinating treat

Kicked off day 2 of the TCM Classic Film Festival with a noon screening of the documentary Grey Gardens.

Had seen the excellent movie with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore but to see the real-life Edies (Edith Bouvier Beale and Edith ‘Little Edie’ Bouvier Beale) in action was something else.

The Beales are the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and lived their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton crawling with cats and had racoons in the attic that Little Edie fed each day.

One of Grey Garden’s directors, Albert Maysles, was on hand to introduce the film and to do a Q&A after.

He told us ‘it was love at first sight’ when he met the pair. “I’m really, really glad you got to know there people – it’s all them.”

“We thought we would live in the house (during six weeks of filming) until we arrived there – we couldn’t take it. The smell was so pervasive.”

Maysles said that after he showed the finished 1975 documentary to mother and daughter, the younger Beale got up and said proclaimed it ‘a classic.’ As Big Edie was close to death years later she said: “There’s nothing more to say – it’s all in the film.’

In 2010, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

BONUS VIDEO: A 2007 interview with Albert Maysles …

FILE UNDER: Film Festivals

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