Photographer Stephen Wilkes creates an intimate portrait of his mentor, Jay Maisel, as he leaves the 30,000 square foot building in the Bowery that he's inhabited and filled with his ...
See full summary »
A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.
Cynthia and Mary show up to collect Cynthia's inheritance from her deceased grandfather, but the only item she receives is an antique sword that was believed by her grandfather to be proof that the South won the Civil War.
Salam, an inexperienced young Palestinian man, becomes a writer on a popular soap opera after a chance meeting with an Israeli soldier. His creative career is on the rise - until the ... See full summary »
Photographer Stephen Wilkes creates an intimate portrait of his mentor, Jay Maisel, as he leaves the 30,000 square foot building in the Bowery that he's inhabited and filled with his eccentric collection of beautiful random objects for the last 40 years - known as 'The Bank.'
Is Jay Maisel an artist? a genius if reluctant real estate investor? or both?
"Jay Myself" (2018 release; 76 min.) is a documentary about the life and works of Jay Maisel, noted photographer (in particular of all things New York), and reluctant real estate guru. We get to know Maisel through the lens of Stephen Wilkes, who comments that in 1979 he became an apprentice of sorts of Maisel, and had the great fortune of working under him and being mentored. All of this was taking place in "the Bank", a 6 story building in Manhattan's Bowery, and which Maisel had purchased in the mid-60s for next-to-nothing. Now 50 years later, Maisel is selling the Bank for tens of millions of dollars. But it also means he needs to clean up 50 years' worth of art, artifacts and memories... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie.
Couple of comments: this is the feature length documentary debut of Stephen Wilkes, who was for all practical purposes given full access to that amazing building. Along the way we get an up-close assessment of Maisel's output as a photographer, which is nothing short of amazing. Maisel and Wilkes discuss all of this as if among friends (which they probably are). We also get a good sense of the changes that New York, and in particular lower Manhattan, have gone through during these decades. In that sense the movie is a but nostalgic, in the best possible way, as if Maisel took it upon himself to chronicle New York's changing fortunes. But in the end, this movie feels being almost as much about the Bank than it is about Maisel. Please note that this movie is quite short, as in literally less than an hour and 15 min. (if you exclude the credits).
"Jay Myself" opened out of the blue this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. I figure this will not play very long, so I went to see it right away. The Sunday matinee screening where I saw this at was attended dismally (3 people including myself). If you like documentaries, or photography, or New York, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (not very likely), on VOD. or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this