Tonight on TCM: Watch Albert Maysles essential films


Back at the start of March, the world of film lost one of its most revered documentarians, Albert Maysles. He and his brother David made three of Sight & Sound’s Top 50 Documentaries of all time, and to pay tribute to the late director, Turner Classic Movies is tonight changing their schedule to air three of those films, along with one of his early shorts.

TCM’s Albert Maysles Memorial Tribute will air Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter, and Meet Marlon Brando, starting at 8 PM ET tonight. We first reported on the series back in our film Week in Review. Here’s the schedule:

TCM Remembers Albert Maysles– Monday, March 23
8 PM Grey Gardens (1976)
10:00 PM Salesman (1968)
11:45 PM Gimme Shelter (1970)
1:30 AM Meet Marlon Brando (1968)

Grey Gardens recently received a restoration via the Criterion Collection, while the controversial Gimme Shelter is an absolute must-see and pinnacle of music history, ranking along with Maysles’ capturing of The Beatles arriving in America.

Here’s TCM’s synopsis of their Albert Maysles Memorial Tribute, via their website:

Alongside his brother David, Albert Maysles became one of the chief exponents of the cinema verité school of documentary filmmaking. After starting his documentary career with films about mental health in Russia and student revolt in Poland, the Maysles brothers joined forces with Richard Leacock, Robert Drew and D.A. Pennebaker to make a series of films, most notably Primary (1960), which followed the Democratic primaries between John Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in Wisconsin, and revolutionized the way documentaries are made. Turning to music, he directed What’s Happening! The Beatles in the USA (1964) and later made the controversial Rolling Stones film, Gimme Shelter (1970), which documented the band’s headlining performance at the violence-plagued Altamont Free Concert and captured the fatal stabbing of a concertgoer. In the following decade, the Maysles courted more controversy with Grey Gardens (1976), a disturbing look at co-dependency between a mother and daughter that was later turned into a Broadway musical and an Emmy-winning HBO film. Following the death of brother David in 1987, Maysles earned an Oscar nomination for LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton (2001) while making cable films covering everything from abortion and hospice care to Paul McCartney’s 9/11 benefit concert in New York City, solidifying his status as one of documentary filmmaking’s most celebrated pioneers.

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