Direct Cinema: Albert Maysles at IU celebrates the work of the renowned documentary filmmaker who spent his life in search of the truth and documenting discovery. As a documentation, he placed “his fate and faith in reality,” stating, “the more I adhere to reality, the more honest and authentic my tales.”
Born near Boston of Polish immigrants, Albert received a BA and MA in Psychology, after serving in World War II. He pursued a career in psychology as a professor and researcher at Boston College. His research led him to Russia to photograph a mental institution. He returned the following year with a 16mm camera and filmed his first documentary, Psychiatry in Russia. His brother David had a parallel track with WWII and psychology, though he ended up in Hollywood working on commercial films. The two united to go back to Russia and Eastern Europe to make documentary films. The Maysles brothers would eventually make over 30 films together, which include their three most famous films, Salesman (1969), Gimme Shelter(1970), and Grey Gardens (1975). All three films are still listed among the BFI’s Top 50 Documentaries of all time.
Albert continued making relevant, award winning films after his brother David’s death in 1987. Upon his visit in 2011 at the age of 85, Albert had no less than five projects in various stages of production.