The Thaw: Proto-verite in the Soviet Union

Presented with Red Channels and the Brecht Forum

Russian Close-Up

Dir. Albert Maysles, 1957, 33 min.

Albert and David Maysles managed to buy their BMW motorcycle for only 300 dollars in Germany and travel across Eastern Europe into Russia. The brothers were helped in large part by the fact that they were (officially at least) going to attend the communist youth festival in Hungary. When they got there they were some of the very few Americans that were present. This film is a document of that adventure as well as a visual diary of the places and faces encountered by Albert and David along this cross-country motorcycle ride through the former Soviet Union. Since Russian Close-Up is a silent film Albert Maysles will provide a taped audio commentary recorded especially for this screening.


Opening in Moscow

Dir. DA Pennebaker, Shirley Clarke, Albert Maysles, 1959, 45 min.

In 1959 Richard Leacock, Albert Maysles, Shirley Clark and DA Pennebaker were all in Moscow where they made this film. This movie is an impressionistic look at Kruschev's Russia centered around the opening of the american exhibition in Moscow at the 1959 world fair. T In observing Russian people observing Americans play acting the role of the average U.S. citizen at the exhibition, the film documents a curious inversion where it is American lifestyle that signifies the exotic culture that is then presented and exhibited to spectators instead of the other way around. The film cleverly cuts between shots of the spectacle of the American exhibition and shots of Moscow and its people going about their daily lives thus making a statement about the differences and similarities between Russian and American working class life during this crucial period.


After the Screening: Panel Discussion with director DA Pennebaker and special guest

Moderated by Malek Rasamny

Presented in Partnership with Red Channels and the Brecht Forum

Special Light Brunch with Jerry "The Marble Faun" Torre

Beales of Grey Gardens

Dir. Albert Maysles & David Maysles (2006) 91 min.

The 1976 cinema vérité classic Grey Gardens, which captured in remarkable close-up the lives of the eccentric East Hampton recluses Big and Little Edie Beale, has spawned everything from a midnight-movie cult following to a Broadway musical, to an upcoming Hollywood adaptation. The filmmakers then went back to their vaults of footage to create part two, The Beales of Grey Gardens,a tribute both to these indomitable women and to the original landmark documentary’s legions of fans, who have made them American counterculture icons.

1:00 pm

Sneak Preview: The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens

Dir. Jason Hay & Steve Pelizza, work-in-progress, 13 min.

From the filmmakers: "Jerry Torre's life story unfolds as a classic American tale. A compromising childhood, then a dash for freedom leading him indirectly to Grey Gardens, a formative event in his life. Later awakening to his sexuality in the 1970’s in New York City, going on to travel in Europe and the Middle East under unique circumstances, and sadly falling into some of the darker passions in life. Eventually pulling himself up and dusting himself off, he decides to heed a lifelong call to carve stone and discovers his love for the craft. Jerry Torre’s sculptures help free him, and he fully develops into the beloved individual he is today."


Following the screening, Jerry Torre will present a trailer of the film being made about his life and share his experiences with the Beales and life in the years after. One of Jerry's sculptures will be on display in the exhibition/reception space downstairs, as well.

Muhammad & Larry

Saturday, April 17th, 7:00pm

Dirs. Albert Maysles & Bradley Kaplan (2009) 52 min.

Muhammad and Larry explores the unique and poignant relationship between two great boxers and two remarkable men who were more than just competitors. They were once teacher and student, and remain close friends. Muhammad and Larry combines never before seen footage of Ali and Holmes in the lead-up to their 1981 bout with reflective conversations with boxing experts, luminaries, and those who were at the fight.

Q & A with Albert Maysles & Bradley Kaplan