Documentary filmmaking has suffered another major loss as it’s being reported that Albert Maysles, thought to be one of the most influential documentary filmmakers of all time, has passed away in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 88.
Ironically, a restoration of Maysles’ 1975 documentary Grey Gardens, made with his filmmaking brother David (who passed away in ’87), about two eccentric aging relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, was just released into theaters today by Janus Films and the Criterion Collection.
The Maysles were best known for their cinema verité filmmaking, making 21 films between 1962 and 1997 including the groundbreaking concert documentary Gimme Shelter, documenting the Rolling Stones’ 1969 performance at Altamont.
In 2005, Albert started the Maysles Documentary Center and Cinema in Harlem, one of the only independent theaters in New York City above Lincoln Center which focused on showing the best documentaries.
Albert continued to make films after the death of his brother with his last feature film Iris, about fashion icon Iris Apfel, having premiered at the New York Film Festival in October with plans for it to be released by Magnolia Pictures on April 29. He also co-directed the doc In Transit about the Empire Builder long distance train route, which will have its World Premiere in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.
Through the years, he’s continued to be actively involved in the art of the documentary, both making his own films, as well as a cinematographer and producer for other doc filmmakers.
(Photo Credit: WENN.com)