Albert Maysles, the documentarian behind such groundbreaking films as Grey Gardens and The Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter, died Thursday evening. This morning, The Criterion Collection announced his passing via their Facebook page. He was 88.
Maysles innovated the “fly on the wall” style of filmmaking, and his films from Salesman to Grey Gardens to Gimme Shelter, along with his brother David and directing partner Charlotte Zwerin, were all included on Sight & Sound’s critics poll of the Top 50 documentaries ever made. Grey Gardens also just this week received a restoration for its 40th anniversary as part of the Criterion Collection.
Maysles even found himself at a pivotal moment in history, documenting the arrival of The Beatles to America. He also worked as a cinematographer on the Oscar winning documentary When We Were Kings about Muhammed Ali and was nominated himself for an Oscar with his short subject documentary Christo’s Valley Curtain.
Below is a clip of Maysles talking about The Beatles in The Making Of ‘The Beatles: The First US Visit”.