Essay about Analysis Of Albert And David Maysles

2144 Words Dec 16th, 2016 9 Pages
Since their conception, documentaries have strived to broadcast intriguing and captivating stories, pushing the boundaries of cultural norms and comfort zones. In 1972, Albert and David Maysles stumbled upon a fascinating tale of a mother and daughter inhabiting a dilapidated Long Island mansion, Grey Gardens, which later became the title of the film. Lee Radziwill, the sister of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, approached the filmmakers in hopes of capturing the haunts of her childhood (Sutton, 2014), but the lens quickly shifted from Radziwill to her aunt, Edith “Big Edie” Beale, and cousin, “Little Edie.” The film falls within the participatory mode of documentary, which focuses on, “the interaction between the filmmaker and subject” (Nichols 2010, pg. 31). Dialogue between the filmmakers and the women classifies as diegetic sound, as it, “has a source in the story world” (Bordwell, Smith, Thompson 2016, pg. 285). The film relies mostly on this type of sound, other than sporadic non-diegetic background music. As a participatory film, the directors control elements of the mise-en-scene, such as the setting, costumes, and figure behavior, to their advantage. In the Maysles brothers’ 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, the filmmakers use diegetic sound and manipulate the mise-en-scene to highlight the disparity between the idyllic past and the disappointing present. Using the participatory mode, the Maysles possess the power to inform viewers of their intentions while filming…

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