Albert Maysles

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Plane tickets to Park City aren’t too terribly expensive, but with the added cost of puffy winter jackets and hangover cures, Sundance can be a bit out of reach for most of us. I mean, that’s why I’m not there right now, and charcoal doesn’t really prevent a post-drinking headache anyway. Fortunately, we’re covering the festival from top to bottom (at least other FSR writers are), and there are websites like Focus Forward Films which has added a few Sundance titles to its roster of movies so you can watch them from home. As of an hour ago, they’re hosting Morgan Spurlock’s You Don’t Know Jack, Albert Maysles’ The Secret of Trees — which are both in the fest’s short film competition — as well as The Cleanest Pig, Techistan, and The Contenders – which are all getting a special premiere screening at the Holiday Village Cinema today. For more information on the films, check after the jump:

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Dawning a huge Uncle Sam top hat, Mick Jagger welcomes everyone to the breakfast show and sets into the vocals of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Thus starts an insane journey into the free concert the band gave for 300,000 people in which mayhem ruled, people were born, and people died. It’s a brilliant documentary that goes beyond the usual concert film, and the trailer gives hints to how chilling and exciting the movie really is. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Criterion Files

I had the privilege of seeing the surviving Maysles brother, Albert, do a Q&A after a public screening of Grey Gardens (1976). During the discussion, somebody asked him the inevitable question regarding how the presence of the camera changed the very subject he was documenting. It’s an interesting and essential question for any documentary filmmaker to consider, especially when one is engaging in the direct verite style rather than a traditional retrospective style, because it’s simplistic for the filmmaker to consider themselves “objective” or “invisible” when putting a camera on their subject: the presence of the camera changes things. Albert Maylsles responded with an amusing story about how the conversations the brothers heard between “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” outside the house when not filming were exactly the same as when they were inside. While this is no doubt the case as the eccentric Beales would certainly “be themselves” no matter the occasion or circumstance, with all due respect Mr. Maysles’s assessment of the question was a bit too narrow. Putting cameras within the aging walls of Grey Gardens did, in fact, change everything.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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