It's not often in life that we get a chance to meet our heroes, let alone interview them. Today, celebrated documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles visited the campus of UA, and participated in an informal Q&A session facilitated by our very own Andy Grace. The Maysles brothers (brother David is now deceased) were responsible for a number of classic documentaries in the late sixties, early seventies, the most well known of which were "Salesman" (1968), a look into the lives of four Bible salesman, "Gimme Shelter" (1970), about the 1969 Rolling Stones' concert tour that culminated at Altamont, and "Grey Gardens" (1975), a moving portrait of the eccentric Bouvier-Beales in their dilapidated East Hampton mansion. There has a been a recent resurgence in the film Grey Gardens, due to it's success as a Broadway musical this year. And I must say if you are ever in the Big Apple, you must see this show! Christine Ebersole gives a remarkable performance as Little Edie--I think she even won the Tony. We got a chance to see the musical this March while visiting NYC, and it was quite literally one of the best pieces of art I've ever seen. Not to mention packed with show-stoppin' tunes that really give Little Edie her place in the sun (finally!).
After a charming hour with the famous octogenarian, replete with insights into filmmaking, vignettes of his current projects (he's working on a film called "In Transit" about encounters in trains), as well as a look into the future of the documentary medium, I got to ride on some coat tails and join the big wigs for lunch. Unfortunately, I got stuck at the "kid's table" with four other people, and except for the occasional eavesdropping, missed out on Andy chattin' up his American idol. But I can't complain, because it's not everyday that T-town receives a non-football associated celebrity!