Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Albert Maysles Remembers Sharon
Filmmaker Albert Maysles has won Emmy and Sundance Festival awards,
and has received several lifetime achievement honors. At age 82, he's
still going, with more than a few new projects in the works.
When you've been making documentaries for more than 50 years, chance
encounters are really moments that can provide new inspiration.
Albert Maysles has found "something to film" all over the globe,
documenting the lives of patients in psychiatric hospitals in Russia,
poor families in the south and Cuba, but also luminaries like Truman
Capote, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
"By exposing the true nature of the person, getting really a heart to
heart kind of exposition, that that's the healthiest thing that the
person can do in being filmed," says Maysles. "To open their heart
and mind to the viewer, and the best that a camera person can do."
He also yielded vintage shots of Sharon Tate getting down with a wild-eyed David Hemmings at Cannes in 1966 and of her with future husband Roman Polanski directing her in 'The Fearless Vampire Killers'.
"Wasn't she gorgeous? Oh..." Maysles sighed.
The scenes of Sharon Tate and David Hemmings dancing in a London discotheque were filmed in London. There exists a longer version of this sequence as well as on-set footage from 'The Fearless Vampire Killers' (1967) that have been part of a travelling festival of films made by the Maysles Brothers in recent years. Albert Maysles has also gone on record saying that "Sharon Tate was the sexiest woman" he ever filmed.
He's hardly slowing down, with documentaries planned on subjects
ranging from New York's subway system, the conversations of four to
six year olds and Muhammad Ali. But he says the job of the person
behind the camera has always remained the same.
You can see part of the footage on the beginning of "All Eyes on Sharon Tate" on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf1NX9AQOEI