This month we’re very proud to release two definitive editions of classic documentaries by the brothers David and Albert Maysles. Possessing a novelistic density of character, Salesman is the non-fiction portrait of a band of door-to-door Bible peddlers whose personal existences have become, over time, entangled in the difficulties of the soft and hard sell. Grey Gardens — the film that engendered a worldwide cult following and inspired the current smash-hit Broadway production — features Edith and “Little Edie” Beale, the bohemian black-sheep of the aristocratic Bouvier clan, as they go about their daily routines on a decrepit Long Island estate — accumulating piles of empty ice-cream cartons, feeding the family of raccoons that lives in the attic, and executing dazzling variations on personal wardrobe — making a kind of poetry out of life in the process.
Included with these editions are gorgeously illustrated 36 and 40-page booklets, the original trailers for both films, and a plethora of never-released video features: a new two-part interview with Albert Maysles filmed by Mark Rance; a 2005 Q&A with Albert Maysles and original “salesman” Kennie Turner; and two unreleased 2005 documentary shorts by Albert Maysles revisiting “the Marble Faun” and the Grey Gardens estate.
More Maysles films can be seen in London throughout May 2007 at the BFI Southbank’s Maysles season (our DVDs are available from the BFI shop in the same complex).