Montauk, East Hampton, New York, 2016. Peter Beard discusses his work as a photographer, artist and diarist before reminiscing about his attempt to make a documentary in the summer of 1972 ... See full summary »
Edith Bouvier Beale
The Maysles brothers pay visits to Edith Bouvier Beale, nearing 80, and her daughter Edie. Reclusive, the pair live with cats and raccoons in Grey Gardens, a crumbling mansion in East Hampton. Edith is dry and quick-witted - a singer, married but later separated, a member of high society. Edie is voluble, dresses - as she puts it - for combat in tight ensembles that include scarves wrapped around her head. There are hints that Edie came home 24 years before to be cared for rather than to care for her mother. The women address the camera, talking over each other, moving from the present to events years before. They're odd, with flinty affection for each other.Written by
She was the girl who had everything - Money, good looks and social position. her mother - a classic Bouvier beauty. Now they are living amongst the souvenirs of their lives. In Grey Gardens. This is their story. A love story. Sort of. Hailed as one of the oddest, most beautiful films ever.
This is why i so love this website ! I saw this film in the 1980's on British television. Over the years it is one i have wished i knew more about as it has stayed with me as one of the single most extraordinary things i have ever seen in my life. With barely a few key words to remember it by, i traced the film here, and much information, including the fact it's about to become an off-Broadway musical !
Interestingly, unlike the previous comment maker, i do not remember finding this film sad, or exploitative. On the contrary, the extraordinary relationship between the mother and daughter stuck in the mind as a testimony of great strength, honour and dignity. Ironic you may think, considering the squalor of their lives. Maybe it's because i live in Britain, where fading grandeur has an established language in the lives of old money, where squalor is often tolerated as evidence of good breeding; I saw it as a rare and unique portrayal of enormous spirit, deep and profound humour, whose utterly fragile and delicately balanced fabric gave it poise and respect. In a way i was sorry to see it being discussed as a 'cult'. Over the years, as it faded in my mind, it shone the brightest, above all others as a one off brilliant & outstanding televisual experience. It was such a deeply private expose, it seems odd to think of it becoming so public as to be a New York musical. But perhaps somewhere, the daughter will be amused by such an outcome. It is she who will have the last laugh maybe..(They made a musical out of her before you Jackie O' )
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