Saturday, March 6, 2010

Watching a Compelling Documentary - Albert Maysles

For Albert Maysles, Cinematographer/Director, to watch a compelling documentary film is to become "engaged in a process that is so human and so lacking, especially in our sophisticated societies'
He feels that the Iraq war "never would have happened if we had a few films of Iraqi people. I wouldn't be going on now the way it is without more skepticism if were were looking at what's happening there. We haven't even seen a photograph of what Baghdad looks like from the air after having them bombed to hell. Have you? I haven't seen it. That's about the first basic - they bombed Baghdad. let's take a look at it. But, from there we can get into people's lives"

Of documentary filmmaking, Maysles says, " I can't think of a better profession and it's not just because I earn a living by it. Although, I don't know - do I earn a living by it?" he laughs, gesturing around at his spare midtown office. "It's not just that, It's that I'm doing good all the way around. I'm making a film that I can be proud of. I'm doing a service, the ultimate service, for people that I'm filming, giving them recognition and paying attention to them, not as they would be or should be or shouldn't be, who they are. That's what people need, right? And then there's the benefit to the audience: Millions of people can step into the lives of people they never otherwise would have met, and learn something. 


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