Early Maysles

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#1 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:27 pm

Anyone heard about this?

Leonard Klady over at Movie City News talked to Albert Maysles at the Toronto Film Festival and hints at an upcoming Criterion title.
Sentimentality also threatened to creep in when I bumped into Al Maysles at the Sutton Place. He was truly a mentor when I lived in New York City and thought my future was in film editing. Mostly we caught up on the past couple of years and swapped stories. He was about to screen Meet Marlon Brando, so I told him a couple of choice tales about the actor and he half seriously invited me to provide some commentary when the picture goes out on Criterion.
It makes sense seeing as how Maysles has done docs on Wes Anderson films for Criterion.

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kinjitsu
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#2 Post by kinjitsu » Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:29 pm


peerpee
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#3 Post by peerpee » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:14 pm

Just guessing here... but what about ONE-EYED JACKS? (which was co-produced by Pennebaker's company, hence a link to Maysles)

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Cinephrenic
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#4 Post by Cinephrenic » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:27 pm

Linking it to Paramount. We know how that goes.
Last edited by Cinephrenic on Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tribe
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#5 Post by Tribe » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:29 pm

One-Eyed Jacks is pretty much public domain at this point...I mean everybody from Joe's Video Productions and Car Rentals to Scavenger Video has released that. I don't see Criterion investing money in something like that.

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peerpee
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#6 Post by peerpee » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:30 pm

That would be linking the Maysles to their chief competition at that time, Leacock-Pennebaker!
Competition or not, they worked together on PRIMARY (1960), MONTEREY POP (1968), and last year for the NATIONAL ANTHEM project.
Last edited by peerpee on Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ashirg
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#7 Post by Ashirg » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:31 pm

Having a title in public domain, doesn't mean a Criterion release. For Criterion to release a PD film, they need to have access to the good quality print material. In this case, it's Paramount and I just don't see it coming out.

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Cinephrenic
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#8 Post by Cinephrenic » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:48 pm

This has been just released by MGM on DVD.

Wild card.

Coming in November.
Ashirg wrote:Having a title in public domain, doesn't mean a Criterion release. For Criterion to release a PD film, they need to have access to the good quality print material. In this case, it's Paramount and I just don't see it coming out.
So your saying there is a chance to see this released by Criterion, accepting the fact that they now have a relationship with MGM for distribution of their films? I really hope so. Most of Brando's stuff is out already on DVD, and for a documentary that is not comprehensive of his works (made in 1966), this might be used for a film previous of that year.

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Gordon
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#9 Post by Gordon » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:00 pm

He was about to screen Meet Marlon Brando, so I told him a couple of choice tales about the actor and he half seriously invited me to provide some commentary when the picture goes out on Criterion.
It is possible that Maysles was just joking. I can't see where this would fit on anything Criterion would release. I think it was just an off-the-cuff remark by Maysles, ie "As if Criterion would ever release Meet Marlon Brando, huh?!".

But stranger things have been released by Criterion recently!

Hey, I'd love to see such a collection from Criterion, but I just can't see it, myself.

Psychiatry in Russia (1955)
Youth in Poland (1957)
Showman (1963)
A Visit with Truman Capote (1966)
Meet Marlon Brando (1966)
A Journey to Jerusalem (1968)
Muhammad and Larry (1980)
Abortion: Desperate Choices (1992)

- Commentaries by Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, etc.
- Documentary on Maysles-Maysles-Zwerin

Such a set would be amazing, even if not all those films were included, and I'd buy it, for sure. I love the Salesman and Grey Gardens sets; I think that they are among Criterion's best releases. Hopefully, we'll get more info soon.

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Doctor Sunshine
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#10 Post by Doctor Sunshine » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:00 pm

I was at Albert Maysles' talk at the TIFF and afterwards he stayed on stage and talked with some audience members individually. Normally, I don't like hassling celebrity-types but I was front row and so I did stick around and ask him something. I had a number of questions that were maybe even interesting but I somehow managed to blurt out the nerdiest possible question: Are you working on anything with the... Criterion Collection?

He answered with three titles, Meet Marlon Brando--which they screened during the talk, and is great--was one of them and, being an idiot, I can't even remember what the other two were. I'm pretty sure it was the new one he's working on with the Grey Gardens footage and either The Gates, another new one about he and his brother's work or maybe something with Orson Welles footage. I didn't see the Welles film on the IMDb but they showed some clips during the preview of the autobiographical film.

I attended this with someone so I'll see if he recalls the response more clearly but I doubt he will. I'm the smarter of the two, sadly.

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zedz
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#11 Post by zedz » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:17 pm

This is great news, though it sounds to me like each of those (if you remembered correctly) could conceivably be extras on other discs rather than stand-alone titles. i.e. Meet Marlon Brando (which IS great) on a Brando title, the Welles film on Confidential Report (or another unsuspected Welles), the Grey Gardens update and autobiographical film on a double-disc reissue of Grey Gardens.

I think I may be even more excited by the above possibility/ies than by the prospect of more stand-alone Maysles discs.

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Doctor Sunshine
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#12 Post by Doctor Sunshine » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:31 pm

The second one was definitely the Grey Gardens sequel. I remember him talking about that now. We'll see if the third one comes back to me.

He gave the impression that there was a lot of great footage that wasn't used in Grey Gardens so I'm assuming that and the autobiographical ones are going to be full length but, yeah, as supplements or on their own, really, it's a win/win situation.

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ben d banana
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#13 Post by ben d banana » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:46 pm

Was there not previously a discussion regarding Criterion funding Maysles' Grey Gardens sequel, perhaps in that film's thread?

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Doctor Sunshine
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#14 Post by Doctor Sunshine » Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:39 pm

Y'know what, I'm pretty sure the third one was actually With Love From Truman. And more than a week later I'm still on a Maysles high. I think their short films deserve more than to be released as supplements.

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Arn777
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#15 Post by Arn777 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:06 am

The March issue of Tokion (#57) has a good interview with Albert Maysles. In the intro to the interview, it says that Criterion will release this year some of the Maysles rarely seen early films.

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a.khan
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#16 Post by a.khan » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:27 am

This is most certainly Eclipse territory.

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Arn777
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#17 Post by Arn777 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:54 am

I initially thought so too, but since Albert is still alive and more than willing to talk about his work, it may still be a Criterion release.

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justeleblanc
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#18 Post by justeleblanc » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:37 am

Arn777 wrote:I initially thought so too, but since Albert is still alive and more than willing to talk about his work, it may still be a Criterion release.
Isn't Bergman also alive, biatch.

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Arn777
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#19 Post by Arn777 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:43 am

Uh, whatever.

But he doesn't seem to be as willing as Maysles to talk about his films, so Criterion would be daft to shift these early films into Eclipse when they can add value (and charge more etc).

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#20 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri May 18, 2007 11:15 am

Tribe wrote:One-Eyed Jacks is pretty much public domain at this point...I mean everybody from Joe's Video Productions and Car Rentals to Scavenger Video has released that. I don't see Criterion investing money in something like that.
I used to work for one of those faceless video companies that specialized in dump bin crap for places like WalMart. I can tell you, while they are plenty of shitty video dupes that those companies use for releases (that are actually licensed from other companies - that was a big part of my job), as someone else mentioned, its an issue of finding a quality print.

The fact that public domain dupes even exist of One Eyed Jacks is truly shocking as it is not public domain. Even if the copyright wasn't renewed, as the film was released in 1961 it is still protected by the United States lethal copyright laws. Secondly, whoever is releasing it would have to re-acquire the rights for the novel it is based on as that requires another license.

"Public domain" is a such a vague premise to release or speculate anything on. If an estate of a filmmaker or musician is aggressive enough they can get anything pulled from shelves. Where I worked, before I came on board, they had released several compilation discs that included Nat King Cole tracks that were "technically" public domain but because their estate were so protective of his property and image, we had to pull those from stores and remove any pictures of his from the artwork. Frank Sinatra you couldn't go near for the same reason. Alfred Hitchcock's silents were considered public domain for many years until the copyrights were renewed in the UK, which made the legality of releasing them in the US difficult and every PD company had to pull them off shelves as well.

The BFI is in the midst of a complete retrospective of their work.

And The Independent offers an overview.

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Gropius
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#21 Post by Gropius » Fri May 18, 2007 5:03 pm

Antoine Doinel wrote:The BFI is in the midst of a complete retrospective of their work.
Yeah, I've looked through the listings for that, and I can't help feeling - from the descriptions alone - that, in thematic terms, Albert Maysles has spent most of his career punching below his weight. The 'direct cinema' aesthetic is one with massive potential, and yet, with the obvious exception of Salesman and a couple of others, most of the subjects of the films are people who already had plenty of attention (The Beatles, Stones, Truman Capote, Christo - even, although it's not mentioned in that retro, Britney Spears).

Of course one could argue that the Maysles camera gets behind the facade, or picks up on the revealing incidental details at pop concerts or press conferences or art installations. But I still feel like they might have made more films about 'everyday' people or situations where cameras don't usually go (one that does sound more in this vein is Lalee's Kin, a 2001 film about poverty in Mississippi).

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Jeff
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#22 Post by Jeff » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:30 pm

At Home Theater Forum...
MarcoBiscotti wrote:I attended a Master Class with Albert Maysles yesterday afternoon and got word that at least three of his films are slated for Criterion release in 2008:

A Visit With Truman Capote (1966)

Meet Marlon Brando (1966)

Muhammed and Larry (1980)
When we first heard about Meet Marlon Brando, my guess was that it would be used as a supplement (hopefully on a One-Eyed Jacks release). With all three of these coming though, a "Short Films of the Maysles Brothers," or "The Maysles on Celebrity" disc seems more likely.

I don't see it as an Eclipse release. Besides the fact that Albert Maysles is usually willing to provide a commentary or other participation, the three films are less than 30 minutes each. This would easily be a one-disc affair.

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#23 Post by OliverB » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:59 am

^^ For the record, that person was me.

I wish I would've had the chance to speak with him a little bit more about upcoming home video projects after the event, but we talked briefly about the current state of film and he kindly offered advice on funding and thoughts for today's independant documentary filmmakers and I had to run home for a family affair. I am very excited about the upcoming releases and I predict we'll likely see them surface sometime in the mid-year. Albert Maysles is without a doubt one of the kindest and most genuine human beings I've ever come across. Truly a great man.

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#24 Post by Adam » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:45 pm

OliverB wrote:^^ For the record, that person was me.

I wish I would've had the chance to speak with him a little bit more about upcoming home video projects after the event, but we talked briefly about the current state of film and he kindly offered advice on funding and thoughts for today's independant documentary filmmakers and I had to run home for a family affair. I am very excited about the upcoming releases and I predict we'll likely see them surface sometime in the mid-year. Albert Maysles is without a doubt one of the kindest and most genuine human beings I've ever come across. Truly a great man.
wait until you see the film by his niece, "Wild Blue Yonder" by Celia Maysles (David's daughter). It premiered at IDFA, where I saw it. Your view of Albert will, shall we say, get more complex.

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Cinephrenic
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#25 Post by Cinephrenic » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:47 pm

Do they really warrant a Criterion release? I see these as Eclipse-type material? Anyone agrees?

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